Differences Between B2B and B2C Email Marketing

Looking to better understand the differences between B2B and B2C email marketing? You’ve come to the right place.

Differences between B2B and B2C email marketing

Email isn’t a marketing medium of the past—99% of consumers check their email every day and it’s how they prefer to receive updates from brands. Moreover, 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating with vendors. But to be effective with email as a marketing medium, you need to stay in your lane. That means avoiding B2C best practices when you’re working in B2B and vice versa. To help you on your way, this blog will highlight the 5 key differences between B2B and B2C email marketing.

1. Different buying cycles

Because the barrier to entry on a B2C purchase (e.g., price point, accessibility, etc.) is almost always lower than the barrier to a B2B purchase, the buying cycles are very different. In many cases, the buying cycle for B2C can be measured in days and weeks, whereas the buying cycle for B2B is almost always measured in months and years.  

Therefore, B2C email marketing must focus on awareness, loyalty, and quick-hit engagement. One-off promotional (e.g., offers, discounts) and awareness emails (e.g. explain product uses) can be extremely effective.

On the other hand, B2B email marketing must be built using robust nurture programs that stretch out over months, and content that pushes industry-relevant thought-leadership. The primary goal should be cultivating trust and a following more so that facilitating a transaction. 

2. Visual representation of email templates

With attention spans at all-time lows, it’s never been more important to make a striking visual impression with an email. But the audiences for B2C and B2B are very different. 

Above all else, a B2B email template must present it’s message in a clear, orderly way—a “just-the-facts-ma’am” format if you will. Intense, decorative visuals should take a back seat to the copy of the message. Straight-forward relevance is the best-practice which means the design should be complementary to the text, not overpowering. 

B2C email templates are more flexible. They can be playful and more freely use unconventional creative elements like GIFs and emojis. Of course, this isn’t true across every industry—”whimsical” probably isn’t a good vibe for an email promoting a life insurance product—but, generally speaking, B2C can afford to have more fun in the design of their email templates.


boden gif

3. Content and messaging

For B2B customers, it’s important that an email quickly and clearly conveys value—industry insight, important news, etc. Communication should be kept professional, include real data, and be logic-based. Most importantly, it should try to speak to a problem or pain point without feeling “salesy.” The inclusion of educational content—case studies, tutorials, ebooks, reports, etc.—is also a plus.  

B2C email marketing, on the other hand, should tap into emotion and quickly capture attention. Keep copy short and instead include more animated graphics, video content, and bold visuals. Entice recipients to convert by including a coupon code or other special offer.

email template showing Differences between B2B and B2C email marketing

4. Timing 

Scheduling an email marketing campaign at the optimal time can have a significant impact on open and click rates. While there is no best time that applies to all customers, a recent study shows that 53% of emails are opened during the workday between 9am and 5pm

Although B2C customers may catch up on personal emails on the weekends, a good rule of thumb to follow is to not send emails to B2B customers over the weekend. You should, however, create a cadence derived from A/B testing to better understand what resonates with various customers. 

5. Frequency

Similar to timing, frequency is important in email marketing in order to create consistency. B2B emails require carefully built trust over time. For example, if a business consumer subscribed to your newsletter with the intention of receiving it on a weekly basis, it’s important to deliver on that cadence. B2C customers may not mind daily emails, but you don’t want to overcrowd their inboxes. Tie promotions to different events in order to remain relevant and build a strategic frequency. This can be timed around holidays, promotional events, special sales, etc.

Looking to master the differences between B2B and B2C email marketing?

Keep learning by reading one of our email marketing blogs, whitepapers, or simply reach out to one of the email acquisition experts at Zeta.

Customer Acquisition Versus Performance Marketing

It’s time to decide which strategy offers marketers more sophisticated measurement: customer acquisition or performance marketing.

Measuring Marketing Results: Customer Acquisition Versus Performance Marketing Deciding which approach offers more sophisticated measurement

Marketers are facing a measurement problem. Right now, less than 40% of companies (39% to be exact) can easily ascertain the effectiveness of their marketing. In this blog, you’ll get a glimpse at how measurement works for two of the most popular marketing strategies out there—Customer Acquisition versus Performance Marketing. 

Specifically, you’ll see which of these two strategies is better positioned to solve the measurement problem that’s plaguing enterprise marketers. 

Performance Marketing: A Refresher

With Performance Marketing (sometimes known as Affiliate Marketing), marketers or advertisers only pay for specific actions—a click, a touch, a conversion, etc.—in a specific timeframe.

It’s an approach to marketing that comes with a quick, clean, simple form measurement.

Unfortunately, the information yielded by measuring a Performance Marketing strategy isn’t always useful because it’s overly reliant on last-touch attribution. This matters as there are three major challenges when it comes to last-touch attribution: 

  • Inaccuracy

Since the consumer’s buying journey extends across various devices, browsers, and sessions, last-touch attribution often assigns too much credit to the final touch, and too little credit to all other advertising touches.

  • Veiled acquisition cost

Last-click attribution fails to recognize that people who click and convert are very low in the sales funnel. As such, some will likely convert without any exposure to advertising. This ultimately means the acquisition cost will not reflect a true cost.

  • Impaired long-term growth

Last-touch attribution limits marketing campaign costs at the expense of business growth.

Customer Acquisition Versus Performance Marketing

Customer Acquisition: A Refresher

The primary goal of a Customer Acquisition strategy is to (as the name suggests) acquire a new customer. In other words, drive the purchase of a product or service from a net-new buyer. 

Solving for customer acquisition is a huge challenge for many marketers as it’s almost impossible for a company to hit its given growth goals if marketers don’t bring net-new customers in the door. 

But the reality is that marketers’ appetite for growth exceeds what existing customers alone can offer. Marketers can’t rely solely on tactics like Performance Marketing to meet growth-related KPIs as those customers likely would’ve taken an action regardless of their exposure to an ad.

Unlike Performance Marketing, however, measurement for Customer Acquisition is more complex. Finding the right balance between cost effectiveness, scalability, and predictability can be a challenge, yet all are needed to properly measure the true impact of customer acquisition. Similarly, many Customer Acquisition campaigns leverage traditional metrics such as Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) that don’t paint a clear picture of revenue and results. It’s only when marketers leverage incrementality measurement can they see the true value of their customer acquisition marketing efforts.

The Pros. The Cons.

Pros and cons of customer acquisition

The Conclusion: Which Approach Solves the Measurement Problem the Best?

While Performance Marketing seems like a valuable strategy on paper since action is guaranteed, its common KPIs (clicks, signups, conversions, etc.) don’t always provide proper insight into marketing effectiveness. With a heavy reliance on last-touch attribution, this approach can be inaccurate, non-reflective of true acquisition costs, and impair long-term growth.  Marketers need a data-driven approach with more sophisticated measurement capabilities. With the right partner, customer acquisition can help solve this challenge by activating knowledge and media at the individual level and ensure the right customers are being reached at the most opportunistic moment. 

In order to be successful, a customer acquisition strategy must be cost-effective, scalable, and predictable period to period, month over month. Moreover, it should place emphasis on incrementality measurement to paint a clear picture of the return generated by your marketing efforts. The Zeta Marketing Platform helps marketers solve these challenges with independent technology that is data-intensive and identity-based to deliver against the higher standard of customer acquisition. By activating media, holding exposures, and measuring the impact of your marketing efforts at the individual level, your brand can see measurable results that drive business growth.

How To Increase Customer Engagement With Website Personalization

how to Increase customer engagement

When it comes to ecommerce, customers want three things from a website. They want to be able to browse products with ease. They want easy-to-access customer support. And they want a smooth, clean checkout process. There’s no better way to tick those three boxes than with personalization. In this blog, you’ll learn how you can increase customer engagement through website personalization.

1. Include complementary and suggested products

Cross-selling and upselling are two of the most effective ways to increase engagement on your site. Include onsite recommendations for complementary items at the bottom of a product page (i.e. “Buy The Look” and “You May Also Like” sections). Doing this piques interest by showing shoppers products similar to those they’re considering, increasing their propensity for engagement. 

increase customer engagement at Asos
(Image source: ASOS)

2. Implement a chatbot or a live chat 

Adding a chatbot or live chat feature to your website is an easy way to increase customer engagement. Deploying a chat-based pop-up offering personal support (i.e. “what can I help you find today?”) can help stave off disengagement too. Moreover, customers who interact with a brand via live chat are almost 3 times more likely to complete a purchase.

(Image source: Sephora)

3. Leverage loyalty program data to increase customer engagement

By serving consumers personalized messages on your website, you’ll reduce bounce rates and increase on-site engagement. Loyalty programs make it easy to understand customers by looking at their past purchases or which unique offers they’ve redeemed. This is important considering 63% of consumers expect ecommerce businesses to know their unique needs and expectations. 

(Image source: Dynamic Yield)

4. Develop custom 404 pages

Roughly 74% of customers who encounter a 404 message on an ecommerce site become disengaged. As a result, they abandon their search for a product or service altogether. For this reason, it’s important to remove products that your brand no longer sells. Instead of deploying a redirect stating “this page can no longer be found,” develop custom 404 pages offering similar products/services that can replace the original search query.

(Image source: Tivoli Audio)

5. Offer interactive shopping tools

While it requires more work on the back end, implementing interactive content on your ecommerce site will increase customer engagement. In fact, 55% of consumers are more likely to engage with a product that offers immersive technology. Tools such as Augmented Reality (AR) now enable customers to “try before they buy” (e.g. sunglasses, makeup, furniture, etc.). This personalized approach not only enhances the customer experience but also increases purchase confidence and satisfaction.

(Image source: Wayfair)

Want more personalization insights?

Read some of our additional blog content on the topic of increasing customer engagement:

How To Decrease Cart Abandonment With Website Personalization

Looking for ways to decrease cart abandonment on your site? Learn how website personalization can help in our latest blog.

Decrease cart abandonment

In today’s ecommerce industry, cart abandonment occurs at an alarming rate—almost 70% of online shoppers walk away from their cart without completing a purchase. Moreover, cart abandonment costs the economy anywhere from $2 to $4 TRILLION dollars per year. While the reasons for abandonment are many—high shipping costs, expired discount codes, lengthy delivery timelines, etc.—there’s no better way to decrease cart abandonment than with website personalization. 

Consumers want and expect personalized experiences

Recent data shows 80% of consumers want personalized experiences from brands. Why? Because a 1:1 experience makes the buying journey seamless. Instead of browsing your inventory aimlessly, visitors can land on your website and find exactly what they’re looking for. And when you meet consumer needs and expectations in a more effective way, you increase the likelihood of a completed transaction.

5 Website personalization strategies that reduce cart abandonment

While there are several ways to improve website personalization, we believe the following five strategies are the best place to start.

1. Tap into known customer tastes with on-site recommendations

One of the biggest complaints consumers have is on-site overwhelm. Whether shopping for a summer dress or a new skincare routine, online shoppers regularly feel lost because there are too many products to choose from. This feeling of overwhelm cultivates frustration, and frustration often leads to cart abandonment. To combat this problem, invest in making smarter on-site product recommendations by tapping into known data about your customers. This data can be first-party or third-party, so long as it enables you to make recommendations that are more relevant and timely for the customer.

(Image source: Retailreco)

2. Leverage overlays at the first sign of potential abandonment

The moment a visitor moves to leave your site or interrupt the checkout process, deploy an overlay to remind them about the items still waiting in their cart. For price-sensitive consumers, provide an incentive such as a discount code or free shipping to get them to return to their cart and complete the purchase. By interacting with online visitors at this crucial moment in the customer journey, you can easily motivate them to finish their purchase.

(Image source: WisePops)

3. Offer additional complementary products at checkout

Using known cart information, you can offer shoppers complimentary products at the point of checkout to create extra incentive to complete their purchase. Consider add-ons such as socks for a sneaker purchase or a setting spray for a makeup purchase. These items are not only “nice-to-haves” that excite and delight the shopper (which pushes them through the checkout process), but they’re highly relevant because they’re tied to the primary purchase.

4. Optimize landing pages and menu bars

No matter how many visitors come to your site, each unique landing page needs to create a perfect first impression of your brand. That means you must design personalized landing pages tied to user browsing history, geolocation, time of day, etc. Doing so will enhance the customer experience and increase the likelihood of a purchase. Similarly, reorganize your navigation bar based on affinity or category preferences to help shoppers find products more quickly and efficiently, which helps increase the likelihood of a transaction.

(Image source: VWO)

5. Continue personalized messaging on additional channels

It’s important to note that personalization strategies to reduce cart abandonment shouldn’t end at your site. Oftentimes consumers get distracted or are browsing on mobile but want to complete the purchase on a desktop. An abandoned cart doesn’t always equate to a lost sale, which makes personalized email reminders an effective way to encourage cart abandoners to return to your site. Use messaging and creative specific to what the shopper was interested in, and remind them that their cart is ready for checkout. For an extra added incentive, consider including a promo code in your email nudge.

(Image source: Sleeknote)

Want to learn more about decreasing cart abandonment with website personalization?

Check out our recent blog post discussing Zeta’s approach to website personalization and how it can help markers enhance engagement across the customer lifecycle.

How Do Onsite Recommendations Elevate the Customer Experience?

Every marketer knows the importance of personalization, yet few manage to implement it on their website. In this blog, we’ll quickly introduce onsite recommendations as one of the easiest ways to improve personalization.

B2C Marketers often discuss the importance of delivering personalized or individualized website experiences. This makes sense given a personalized experience is likely to lead to more clicks, more pages viewed, more time on page, and more conversions. But creating such an experience isn’t always straightforward. If you’re looking for a less-than-complicated way to bring more personalization to your website, it’s time to think about how onsite recommendations elevate the customer experience. 

Why are onsite recommendations necessary?

Put plainly, onsite recommendations are necessary because shopping is moving more and more online every day. This is especially true in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which is only accelerating the transition from brick-and-mortar to digital. As people invest more of their time shopping online, they expect brands to cater to their individual needs and interests. (This expectation is not unlike what consumers expect when they regularly shop at local, brick-and-mortars.) Offering that kind of personalization—and creating better experiences for customers in the process—requires investment in tools like an onsite recommendation engine.

What kind of benefits to do onsite recommendations deliver?

Consumers love onsite recommendations and are far more willing to patronize brands that invest in that kind of personalization. Here are few statistics you need to keep in mind when thinking about the benefits it can deliver to your business:

  • 45% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a site that offers onsite recommendations
  • Consumers are over 50% more likely to return to a website that offers onsite recommendations
  • 59% of marketers feel improved website personalization delivers improved ROI
  • More than half of consumers believe a personalized shopping experience is valuable

Want to learn more about website personalization?

If you’d like to learn more about website personalization or onsite recommendations, Zeta would love to talk to you. The Zeta Marketing Platform can help you create a stronger connection with consumers—a connection that leads to more clicks, more time on site, and more sales. Request a demo to learn how our technology suite can help you give customers a more unique, engaging digital experience.

You can also learn more about website personalization techniques by checking out some of our other writing on the subject:

What is Zeta’s Approach to Artificial Intelligence?

In this blog, you’ll learn a little bit more about Zeta’s approach to artificial intelligence, and how it delivers BIG benefits to the modern marketer.

What is Zeta's approach to artificial intelligence?

Personalization helps advance customer relationships, yet many consumers believe brands don’t speak to them at a 1:1 level. This disconnect is an opportunity for marketers. An opportunity to achieve a competitive advantage by tapping into Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create the kind of personalization consumers crave but struggle to find. As a marketing technology company, Zeta utilizes AI to build smarter audiences, create better customer experiences, and obtain more helpful consumer insights. In this blog, you’ll learn a little bit more about Zeta’s approach to artificial intelligence, and how it delivers BIG benefits to the modern marketer.

What makes Zeta’s approach to artificial intelligence so valuable?

Zeta’s AI technology allows brands to mirror the real-world exchanges that take place between individuals, and do so at scale. By mirroring these human interactions, Zeta connects, centralizes, and scores signal data in real-time. This (in conjunction with the Zeta Marketing Platform) allows marketers to create more personalized, 1:1 engagement across all channels and touchpoints. 

Some key benefits of Zeta’s AI include:

  • Real-time insights
  • Increased efficiency
  • Improved segmentation 
  • A better customer experience
  • More intuitive brand interactions
  • And more

AI for audiences

Zeta’s AI works with the Zeta Data Cloud to extract critical consumer insights and build  highly-targeted, custom audiences from 2.4B unique identities and 2,500+ real-time signals.  Some of the more critical capabilities of Zeta’s AI for audiences include:

  • Audience suggestion and discovery
  • Interest and intent scoring
  • Customer lookalike modeling
  • Spend and conversion prediction
  • Lifetime value prediction
  • Churn prediction
  • Deterministic attribution
  • Identity resolution

Two of the above capabilities most valued by marketers are customer lookalike modeling and churn prediction. Here’s a snapshot of how they work…

Customer lookalike modeling

Zeta’s AI supports marketers by suggesting audience segmentations based on specific, high-performing seed audiences (e.g. high-value customers). It uses unsupervised machine learning to identify the dominant traits within that seed population, before building new audiences of lookalike customers. Zeta clients can activate these audiences in real-time, engaging new, high-value customers, or existing customers ripe for an upsell. It’s a capability that’s best used for new product launches, retention behavior analysis, and improving conversion rates (in-app or in-browser).

Churn prediction

Zeta’s Identity Graph monitors behavioral and transactional signals so marketers can identify which customers are most likely to churn. Using these signals, Zeta’s AI proactively engages  consumers through existing campaigns to deter them from churning and increase retention.

AI for experiences

Zeta’s AI for experiences allows brands to deliver the 1:1 personalization consumers demand through sequential, real-time messaging. The result? Brands cultivate an unbeatable customer experience that strengthens engagement across all channels. Some of the more critical capabilities of Zeta’s AI for experiences include:

  • Product advice
  • Content advice
  • Send-time cadence and frequency
  • Hyper-local targeting
  • Subject line optimization
  • Omnichannel experience mix
  • Offer/promo/price sensitivity

Two of the above capabilities most valued by marketers are product advice and hyper-local targeting. Here’s a snapshot of how they work…

Product recommendations

Zeta’s AI determines the optimal product selection for each customer based on a range of signals. Marketers can leverage this capability to deliver an enhanced customer experience through website personalization or cross-channel personalization in messaging (ideal for retailers, travel brands, auto manufacturers, and more).

Hyper-local targeting

By analyzing transactional and geolocation signals, AI for experiences can automatically trigger personalized messaging enriched with localized offerings (e.g., exclusive promotions, store-specific savings, etc.) across channels.

AI for insights

One of the core differentiators of Zeta’s AI is its ability to understand consumer interests at scale. By gleaning live, actionable insights from channel performance and continuously updated customer profiles, brands can identify opportunities and ensure media isn’t wasted. Some of the more critical capabilities of Zeta’s AI for insights include:

  • Automatic AB and multivariate testing
  • Deterministic attribution
  • Marketing impact and ROI
  • Advanced custom model insights
  • Natural language processing
  • Bidding, forecasting, and completion

Two of the above capabilities most valued by marketers are natural language processing and hyper-local targeting. Here’s a snapshot of how they work…

Natural language processing

Zeta’s AI for insights mines the Zeta Data Cloud’s more than 2.4B unique identities and 2,500+ real-time signals to distill consumer’s real-time interests at scale. It then uses this interest-related data to help marketers make more informed audience and channel selections, as well as deliver more personalized content.

Deterministic attribution

This capability helps marketers spend budget more effectively by avoiding those consumers who would convert without any exposure to paid advertising. In other words, it allows marketers to automatically zero-in on those shoppers that won’t convert without exposure to paid advertising to create incremental lift. 

Interested in learning more about Zeta’s AI capabilities?

So there you have it—a brief (but hopefully thorough) introduction to what makes Zeta’s approach to artificial intelligence so unique. Curious to learn more? Then get in touch with a member of our team!

What Is the Zeta Data Cloud?

The Zeta Data Cloud helps marketers obtain a holistic customer view across all devices and channels. The result? Reduced media inefficiency powered by enhanced measurement and attribution at a 1:1 level.

What is the zeta data cloud?

When we think about the many challenges marketers face, understanding insights on prospects and customers is a pain point. Specifically, understanding those insights to unlock the full potential of customer data. This reality is what makes the Zeta Data Cloud so powerful. It helps marketers obtain a holistic customer view across all devices and channels. The result? Reduced media inefficiency powered by enhanced measurement and attribution at a 1:1 level.

How does the Zeta Data Cloud work?

The Zeta Data Cloud consists of an identity graph of more than 200 million adults in the US (almost 90% of the population). Within this universe, Zeta combines personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, address, and email, with digital identifiers such as cookies, MAIDs, and device IDs.


To determine whether the same person that watched Wheel of Fortune on their CTV program is that same individual that visited Toyota’s website.

From these 200 million consumers, Zeta collects more than 1 trillion signals per month including…

  • Content consumption across 5 million websites
  • Behavioral signals based on physical travel to stores, airports, hotels, etc.
  • Transactional signals based on trackable purchases and buying choices both online and off

At a high level…

This data is collected from proprietary opt-in sources and enriched in real-time using a range of online and offline signals (including up-to-the-minute identity and intent data). It offers marketers a holistic view of their customers and prospects to help drive high-value audiences and enable a wide range of marketing activities.


What's inside the Zeta data cloud
Pool of identity and intent data within the Zeta Data Cloud


The 3 keys to the Zeta Data Cloud


#1 – Identity

Identify and understand both new and existing customers to:

  • Enable rich customer experiences with robust customer profiles, continuous data collection, and profile enrichment
  • Resolve identities and recognize each customer as the same individual across channels through online and offline data

#2 – Intent

Capture intent by overlaying data-in-motion in real-time including:

  • Content consumption signals from publisher networks
  • Engagement signals and sentiment
  • Intent and churn signals

#3 – Connectivity

Leverage up-to-minute customer data to enable a range of marketing activities such as:

  • Targeting the most purchase-ready individuals across addressable channels
  • Creating meaningful message personalization across devices and channels
  • Attributing marketing results to the channels and messages that generate them

What type of data can be leveraged in the Zeta Data Cloud?

The Zeta Data Cloud is built from explicit opt-ins. All behavioral, transactional, and location data is derived from permission-based users (i.e. people who opt-in to messaging). This provides marketers peace of mind when activating data for marketing purposes, especially as privacy concerns continue to rise. (In other words, it does not share any client data.)

Moreover, the data within the cloud can be combined with your brand’s first-party data to enable a holistic customer view. Additional data may be derived from:

  • Transactions, interests, and engagement across channels and devices
  • Structured or unstructured data sources (e.g. CRM and ERP databases, point-of-sale systems, help desk and contact center systems, marketing and advertising software, analytics tools, etc.)

What differentiates the Zeta Data Cloud from other cloud services?

The key differentiator is that our deterministic data set uses AI-powered optimization and closed-loop measurement. We create a flywheel effect by ingesting and processing data to create high-value audience sets that you can engage with. In plain English, the way we capture data ensures constant updating and optimization. The Zeta Data Cloud’s feedback loop ensures marketers like you engage with the right consumer at the most opportune moment.

Using cloud-based data insights in marketing initiatives

While uncovering key data is important, knowing how you use that data to achieve business goals is crucial. The Zeta Data Cloud works in tandem with our Zeta Marketing Platform (ZMP) to enable precise segmentation and personalized omnichannel engagement. Activating data insights from the Zeta Data Cloud within the ZMP can activate a range of marketing activities, from customer acquisition to retention to even winning back new customers.

Achieving measurable outcomes with the Zeta Data Cloud

The Zeta Data Cloud arms marketers with the appropriate data insights to help target the right customers at the right times.

  • Capture intent, build audiences, and assign membership through better data inputs.
  • Leverage behavioral, transactional, and location data—all deterministically connected to a permissioned user base—through AI-derived insights.
  • Use personalized 1:1 marketing to increase engagement, brand affinity, customer value, and other positive business outcomes.

Ready to uncover key data insights?

To learn more about our Zeta Data Cloud offering, please contact us here.

9 Ways Marketers Can Increase Ecommerce Customer Retention

Want to learn how to increase ecommerce customer retention? Here are 9 helpful tips every marketer should follow.

While acquiring new customers is an important part of any marketer’s ecommerce strategy, retaining those customers is what drives success long-term. (Even a 5% increase in customer retention can grow profit by up to 25%.) But building a strong ecommerce customer retention strategy is challenging. This is especially true in the face of  increasing online competition related to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that being said, here are 9 ways marketers can increase ecommerce customer retention. 

#1 – Make the checkout process as seamless as possible

A major point of friction in the ecommerce purchase process is the amount of time it takes to checkout. Making it easier (i.e., faster) for first-time customers to complete a purchase can reduce cart abandonment and increase the likelihood of retention.

Make sure your brand offers a guest-checkout feature and links to online payment systems (e.g. PayPal, Google Pay, etc.) so visitors can become customers with the utmost ease. Give people the option to create an account for faster shopping in the future.

Making the checkout process seamless
PayPal and Google Pay options at checkout. Image source: ShipBop

#2 – Implement loyalty and rewards programs

One of the easiest ways to increase ecommerce customer retention is through loyalty and rewards programs. By offering customers “rewards” you’re enticing them to stay loyal to  your brand and buy again in the future. 78% of rewards programs succeed in increasing customer retention and 64% succeed in increasing average transaction value.

When it comes to implementing rewards programs for your business, do more than offer “X% off.” Try to surprise and delight customers with your program. Offer specific gifts for reaching certain rewards levels, or run recurring deals like Chipotle’s “Guac Mode” promotion.  Distinctive offers will impress new customers, keep old customers, and improve the value of your brand.

GuacMode from Chipoltle
Example of Chipotle’s “Guac Mode” reward. Image source: Hunt, Gather

#3 – Promote customer referral programs

Run referral programs to elevate ecommerce customer retention. In addition to being a great way to attract new buyers, referral programs help brands nurture their existing customer relationships. DTC beauty brand Glossier runs a highly effective referral program—current customers receive a credit for sharing a unique link with first-time customers. It’s a win/win/win for current customers, new customers, and the brand.

Customer referral programs
Image source: Tidio

#4 – Create value by offering insights and advice

While discounts and rewards are a great way to increase ecommerce customer retention in the short term, they aren’t always great in the long-term. That’s where insights and advice come in. By creating insight-rich content that benefits customers (e.g., “why turmeric is a natural cure-all for arthritis”) your brand can keep luring customers back to your website.

#5 – Keep communication flowing via email

A lack of regular, relationship-building contact is responsible for 67% of lost customers. Use email to stay  regularly connected with people who purchase from your brand, and encourage them to buy again. Build an ecommerce engagement cadence to promote to new arrivals, special sales, and exclusive offers only available to email subscribers.

Vans Chill Out
Image source: Vans

#6 – Be savvy with social media

It’s impossible to increase ecommerce customer retention without a savvy social media campaign. Your brand should organize cross-platform social efforts that either excite or educate your audience at all times to increase loyalty.  Leverage Instagram Stories to update people about new products or share thought-leadership content related to your industry.  More than anything, remember that social media is best used as a relationship-building platform, not a product-hucking one. 

Upwest Holiday Guide
Ecommerce clothing brand UpWest used Instagram Stories to promote holiday content linking to its website.
Image Source: UpWest Instagram

#7 – Provide customer support in a variety of ways

93% of customers are likely to buy again from brands with exceptional customer service. That means your brand needs to make it as easy as possible for customers to “get in touch.” Moreover, your brand needs to respond quickly and effectively to inquiries as they arrive. Social media (e.g. Twitter and Instagram), chat bots, and email should all be a part of your customer support strategy. Offering multiple points of contact makes it easier for customers to ask questions, engage with your brand, and get the help they need.

#8 – Consider offering subscription services

Online shoppers value convenience above all. For that reason, subscription services are a great way to increase ecommerce customer retention. Subscription models work in two ways—as a curated box of various products or as a recurring purchase of a single item. A subscription to Care/Of Vitamins, for example, provides customers personalized vitamin packs that ship automatically each month. It’s a “set it and forget it” approach that your customers will love given the minimal effort required.

Subscription Services to increase ecommerce customer retention
Care/Of Vitamins. Image source: CNET.com

Subscription boxes (e.g. Stitch Fix, Birch Box, etc.), on the other hand, require a little more effort for customers, but they more than make up for that additional effort by the excitement they deliver. How do they keep things interesting for consumers? By regularly introducing shoppers to new, curated products.

#9 – Highlight corporate responsibility initiatives

Here’s something that might surprise you: 63% of customers prefer to purchase from purpose-driven brands. For this reason, it’s important to communicate your brand’s efforts as they relate to sustainability, community engagement, social issues, and more. Consider working with charities and donating a portion of every purchase to a cause you care about. Or dedicating a portion of your website to educating customers on how your products are ethically made (Everlane does a great job of this). Keeping these practices transparent will make customers want to purchase from you time and time again for they know their money is going towards something worthwhile.

Wrapping Things Up

Maintaining happy and loyal customers increases customer lifetime value, which means more for your business than separate purchases made by one-time customers. The number of customers is important, but focusing on ecommerce customer retention can bring you better results (especially as it may cost up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain one).

Want more ideas on how to increase ecommerce customer retention?

Check out our recent blog which unpacks  What Every Marketer Needs to Know About Customer Retention.

4 Ways to Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates This Holiday Season

Zeta Marketing | Need tips to increase ecommerce conversion rates this holiday season? Here are 4 helpful things every marketer should do.

Even though holiday shopping looks different this year, as consumers ditch brick-and-mortar for ecommerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are still buying. Americans spent billions on Black Friday (including $9 billion online), and Cyber Monday was the largest online sales day in U.S. history. To make the most of the few weeks that remain in this distinctly digital holiday season, marketers must do everything in their power to increase ecommerce conversion rates. With that in mind, Zeta is pleased to provide 4 ways to increase ecommerce conversion rates this holiday season.

#1 – Create a Strong Homepage

Your website’s homepage may not be where conversions happen, but they’re a major part of the customer experience. This year, your homepage is as important as any brick-and-mortar location. It must be adorned and decorated for the season. Put any special holiday offers, discounts, or deals above the fold on your homepage to entice visitors to start browsing (and buying) as soon as they arrive.

A strong homepage will Increase Ecommerce Conversion Rates This Holiday Season

Additionally, make sure your homepage is optimized to show return visitors products they’ve previously purchased or browsed, as well as popular or trending seasonal products. If you’re not using your existing customer data to highlight a personalized “hero item”, your homepage is effectively incomplete for the holidays. 

To increase your ecommerce conversion rates this holiday season, try showing return site visitors some combination of the following:  

  • Items viewed together with
  • Items bought together with
  • Items bought after viewing
  • Most popular (bought/viewed)

#2 – Leverage your mailing list to keep shoppers interested

Regularly engaging consumers via email is another way to increase ecommerce conversion rates this holiday season. Use an incentivized overlay on your homepage (e.g. Join our list and receive 25% off your first order) to encourage site visitors to signup for your mailing list. Once someone joins your list, email them at least twice a week with holiday updates, exclusive offers, gift guides, product recommendations, and more.

Use pop-up offers to add people to your mailing list

Although email marketing isn’t sexy, it’s the best way (return on investment for email can be as much as 42:1) to capture the attention of consumers during this digital holiday season.

#3 – Include category pages that are holiday-specific

When a visitor navigates to a category page on your website, it’s a good sign of intent to purchase. To increase your ecommerce conversion rates this holiday season, you need to add seasonal categories to your website—categories built on curated gift guides and special seasonal promotions. Why is this important? Because it eliminates the need for endless scrolling and aimless shopping. In other words, it makes it as easy as possible for visitors to say YES—yes, I will buy because it’s exactly what I need, it’s special (e.g. on sale), and it’s right in front of me. 

Ulta Beauty does a great job of this on their website via an annual “Holiday Beauty Blitz” category—a site category where Ulta can offer special product deals every day during the month of December. It’s an easy way for their brand to drive a spike in ecommerce conversions during the holidays.

Ulta Beauty Holiday Blitz Used to Increase Ecommerce Conversion Rates This Holiday Season

#4 – Use shopping cart data to your advantage

Shopping cart information is a great way to drive more ecommerce conversions, especially during the holidays. Once a visitor adds a product to their cart, offer seasonal footer recommendations with “holiday gift essentials” (seasonal products that complement whatever the visitor has already decided to buy). For those shoppers who don’t checkout, rekindle their interest and simultaneously increase ecommerce conversion rates this holiday season by deploying cart abandonment emails. Used properly, cart abandonment emails can deliver as much as a 10% boost to your ecommerce conversion rates.  

nordstrom ecommerce conversion rate cart

Increase Ecommerce Conversion Rates This Holiday Season


Want more tips to increase ecommerce conversion rates this holiday season?

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