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Holiday ‘2016’ – ‘The Significance of E-mail & UGC Campaigns in Retail’

Holidays are always a good time for retailers. 2016 is not going to be any different. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years scheduled in quick succession, October to December can be considered as the busiest time of the holiday season for retailers. Let's look at what's in store this season. According to Professional Services giant Deloitte,


  • the total holiday sales in the US is expected in excess of US $1 trillion, that represents a 3.6-4% increase in sales (November-January) over last year


  • A 17-19 % increase in e-commerce sales is estimated reaching a massive US $96-98 billion during the holiday season of 2016


  • 2016 Holiday Season will see digital interactions influencing 67% of retail store sales, which is about US $661 billion

With more and more retailers indulging in digital competition in order to engage customers and achieve conversions, brand messaging that successfully appeal to customers will enjoy a more favourable rate of success. This season, digital marketers are looking to cater to the ever growing trend of customer personalization by effectively rolling out email campaigns that are meaningful and well targeted. With bulk of emails flooding the customer's inbox during the holiday season, a customer will only be interested if the email is personalized and differentiated. Emphasis will be laid on producing UGC (User Generated Content) as brands & retailers understand the significance of the creation of unique content messages targeted at the customers that will help them differentiate from other brands and help in doubling up customer engagement.

Customer Segmentation in E-mail Campaigns


As mentioned earlier, customers will only be interested in a particular email if it does not pertain to his/her domain of interest. After all, the idea is not to keep flooding the customer's inbox, but to ensure that the customer reads the mail. This can only happen when the customer will receive relevant, customized and personalized emails. For this reason, retailers this season will resort to dividing the customer base into different segments and cater to each segment individually.


(image: eTail West)

According to a study and the above representation by eTail West:


  • 43% of retailers feel that targeting by segment will be the most favourable technique for improving sales


  • 23% of retailers will resort to A/B testing for tuning their sales message


  • 20% of retailers indulge in mining consumer data to better understand who they are marketing to.

The E-mail Campaign Objectives of Retailers


Retailers will look to attain maximization of profits by scoring consistent conversions. There is no two ways about the fact that customers expect a high degree of personalization from retailers today. The ones who best attend to the customer needs will yield the maximum profits. Etail West further claims that the primary objectives that retailers will have while deploying email campaigns are:


(image: eTail West)

  • Triggered Messaging taking customer behavior into account will be the centre point of the strategy for 41% of the retailers. This includes instant messaging while a customer abandons a cart, browses something online, etc.


  • 34% of retailers will be interested in providing their customers with personalized recommendations after attaining valuable insights from their past purchase data.

The UGC Campaign Opportunities


Retailers will look to successfully carry out User Generated Campaigns so that customers can be encouraged to create and share exciting and engaging content. Etail West confirms that:

(image: eTail West)

  • around 35% of retailers believe that the maxumum potential for running such campaigns lies in Social Media.


  • 23% of retailers feel that UGC campaigns will be very effective while devising their omnichannel marketing strategy.

This season a staggering 57% of retailers will resort to running UGC campaigns. However, the main objectives that the retailers want to attain out of the UGC campaigns as per eTail West is attaining conversions and customer engagement (34%).


E-mail and UGC campaigns will be a major focus area for retailers this holiday season as they look to enhance conversion rates and maximize sales.

About Shakuntala Sarkar

Shakuntala is a marketer with 15 years of experience in Marketing Strategies & Operations, Brand Communications, Customer Relationship Management and Corporate Communications. An economics graduate from St Xavier’s college, Kolkata and a IIMC she, has worked across different industries like IT & Retail, with consumer marketing in both B2B and B2C segments. Before joining Tickto, she was the Head of Customer Relationship Management at Spencer’s Retail. Prior to that, she has been a part of the Global Marketing & Communications team of Satyam Computer Services.

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