In the world of ecommerce, Q1 is a fresh opportunity to conquer new revenue targets, welcome new and returning customers and make an overall smooth transition from Q4’s holiday sales frenzy…


The truth, however, is that Q1 is often anything but smooth.

As the Q4 sales storm drifts away, companies worldwide are often left with destructive aftermath that affects growth: a large volume of post-holiday product returns, a higher-than-usual abandoned cart rate, once-loyal customers who have now retreated into retail hibernation. And having a strategy in place to conquer this aftermath can be the difference between starting the year off strong and completely missing your Q1 sales goals.

Working with thousands of retailers, we know the problems associated with meeting Q1 sales goals. So we’ve mapped out an ecommerce personalization path that dives deeper into the challenges you and millions of other retailers may face during this sales season – we call this our Q1 Survival Guide. The guide enables you to navigate through common roadblocks that negatively impact your success in Q1, using tried-and-tested personalization strategies..

Your first roadblock lies at the very start of Q1…


Roadblock #1: Profit losses attributed to high post-holiday returns

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas continue to lead the pack in terms of revenue – but this sales boost often comes with a high return rate. In the apparel and accessories industry alone, as much as 30% of clothing and shoes purchased online will be sent back.

So how do you offset this hefty influx of returns and win back the revenue you’ve lost?

Optimize your webstore to inspire customers to purchase more – and that lies in using the power of personalization.

Onsite Product Recommendations enable you to drive conversion and revenue by personalizing a customer’s shopping journey. And with 81% of consumers expecting brands to understand their shopping needs, it’s a way to deliver the experience they crave – and the results you need to increase revenue opportunities.

As customers navigate your webstore, Product Recommendations enable you to compile customer behavior into a unique customer profile. Recommendations can be implemented across a number of pages in your store – each area offering its own personalization advantage.

Let’s look at three pages of your website where you can implement Product Recommendations, and what you can do to enhance the personalization factor:


The Home page

Your Home page is an important starting point for personalizing the shopping experience. As soon as a visitor arrives on your site, use Recommendations to promote your best-selling items. When welcoming back returning customers, greet them with products they’ve shown previous interest in, reminding them of these products helps steer them closer to the checkout page.

Pura Vida Bracelets promotes trending products using photos from their customers. This contributed to a 6% increase in conversion.


While offering best-sellers and previously-viewed products is a step in the right direction, take it a step further by leveraging geolocation. Personalization via a shopper’s location is a practice on the rise in ecommerce; a 2016 eMarketer report found that, over the next three years, consumers expect their shopping experience to be relevant to their location.

Nosto combines geolocation and personalization by showing your customer’s what’s popular in their area (a concept that we cover further into the guide).


The Category page

Most customers don’t look through every page of a category or even browse down the page. In fact, it typically takes about four seconds or less to decide whether to keep browsing or exit your website. In your Category page, give priority to items that are most likely to convert to drive a shopper closer to checkout. One example of this strategy can be seen with Campus Protein, who displays recently viewed items on their Category page to keep items of interest in front of the shopper. This essentially reduces the back and forth for the customer by making potential purchases easily accessible. Their result? A 10% increase in conversion.


The Product page

Use a cross-selling strategy to enable your shoppers to increase AOV. Cross-selling involves offering customers complementary items to inspire them to increase their cart size.

Product pages are also a key way to leverage dynamic up-selling – recommending products that are slightly higher-priced than the ones a buyer is considering. Up-selling has been known to generate 0.2% more revenue than cross-selling.

Another useful strategy would be to filter recommendations by brand to highlight your products with higher profit margins. Jackson’s Art allows customers to filter items by brand to personalize their search.


One thing to keep in mind…

While these are just a few of the ways you can implement personalized recommendations across your website, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. To maximize the use of Product Recommendations, focus on leveraging personalization in areas of your site where it’s most relevant. Adding that extra layer of personalisation to your website will go a long way in terms of driving Q1 traffic.

What’s next on your journey to conquering Q1? Find out by downloading our Q1 Survival Guide – 2018 Edition and start your journey to a more profitable quarter!