[webinar] Ashley Stewart, John Varvatos, & Jonathan Adler Share Their Holiday 2016 Strategies

August 03, 2016


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This Webinar was all about the upcoming 2016 Holidays and how the below top retail leaders are strategizing to have their best holiday sales ever! Let's meet the panel:



and we can't forget to share another source of insights mentioned in this webinar: Click here for our new eBook all about holiday best practices -->



As a bonus gift (holiday pun #1 :) ) here are the webinar notes with time stamps


How can you acquire high value new customers? [4:50]

eBook Tip - Acquire through reactivation! The holidays are a great time to look deep into your past customers and try messaging to bring them back. They are familiar with your brand but might have fallen off your train for one reason or another - but you can get them back on and buying again!

Leland [6:04]

  • Jonathan Adler spent a lot of time ramping up - along with being a top location for modern home goods year round, many people come to Jonathan Adler for just home gifting. When planning their messaging, they keep in mind to target those gift shopping buyers vs. the customer looking for furnish their personal home. Also, going into the fall, they do a sweepstakes to acquire new emails to maximize reach and promote to a larger audience plus increased allocation spend and adjusted modeling for digital marketing campaigns.

Donna [9:30]

  • Ashley Stewart partners with a data marketing provider to build an iterative prospecting model of our customers. Based on the data, we market to prospective customers who are most likely to convert at our stores and/or online. With their unique customer base it is very helpful to be hyper targeted.

Nate [11:30]

  • They look at the data provided them through AgilOne and understand what their top customers look like, categories interested, buying behavior, and more. The launch acquisition campaigns on Facebook using hyper targeted lookalike campaigns. Using AgilOne segmentation, they are targeting audiences that look like their high value customers. Adding in 360* store photography to drive awareness and engagement with stores on  a local level.


How can you optimize promotions during the holidays beyond blanket discounting? [15:08]

eBook Tip - Two examples we have for promotions are "cut the line' for VIPs welcoming them to come in store and have special access to cut the line and DAVIDsTEA's pre-sale to VIPs. Get all the details in the webinar!

Leland [17:00]

  • Jonathan Adler is a fan pre-sales and friends and family promotions as well! One of the biggest focus areas for their team is testing. After two years of testing, now we have optimized the calendar to focus on concentrated promotions that last 3-4 days throughout season.

Donna [20:35]

  • Since Ashley Stewart's products turn fairly quickly, their marketing copies include a lot of urgency messaging. Their customers really respond well to limited items and the messaging that gets customers to buy now otherwise they won't have the chance. On top of that, adding sophisticated personalization in the recommendations are key to their strategy. This is a different approach than simply blanket discounting.

Nate [22:15]

  • Being data-driven, targeted, and personalized starting in October is key to optimize Nov/Dec efforts. For black Friday, they’ll use tiered discounts based on total spend to drive AOV. Cyber Monday they’ll offer additional discounts on anything already on sale (with coupon code). Tracking open engagement is also key, and re-sending to those that hadn't opened so that they get a chance to see it. One take away? Different discount wording resonates with different people - so doing a healthy mix and experimenting is a key for success!


How do you retain customers after the holidays? [24:20]

eBook Tip - Getting those customers in-store is key! You can do this by in-store return options or having gift cards (in-store or online depending on your priorities) that expire sometime soon after the holidays. That physical gift card serves as a reminder to get them back in to buy.

Leland [25:10]

  • Due to peak of new Q4 customers, they focus on motivating those new shoppers to make a second purchase in Q1 through targeted life-cycle marketing — they focus on either product or AOV. For example, if someone is identified as a new or returning Q4 shopper, they target them differently based off AOV. They also test messaging that will move the gift buyers into home goods buyers - helping the customers envision their own house full of Jonathan Adler!

Donna [27:40]

  • They execute life-cycle campaigns such as: 1x customers, lapsed/lapsing customers, new customers, etc. They engage customer segments via multiple marketing channels – email, SMS, social media, direct mail, etc. The more touch-points cut through the noise and keep them engaged.

Nate [28:30]

  • They implemented a strong welcome sequence and are working on post-purchase campaigns for email & Facebook. John Varvatos is planning to execute these promotions right after Christmas to continue engagement while it’s fresh.


Wrapping it up (holiday pun #2) [30:00]

  • What is your omni-channel approach during the holidays? How do you prepare your data?
  • What is the best holiday campaign/promotion you have ever seen or executed yourself?
  • How do you make your VIPs feel special during the holidays?

Leland [31:00]: thanks to AgilOne they feel truly omni-channel and targeted this year! They are also challenging stores to ask for customers emails while in-store so they can start email marketing. Leland's favorite promotions to see are the huge discounts (ouch! :-)) but beyond that giving a gift card on the spot that expires shortly after the holidays is a great retention idea. For VIPs, a gift that makes sense with their purchase history and signed to come from their local store manager to make it more personal.

Donna [35:10]: Focus on stores to provide excellent service and hit the metrics needed. As a company, the eCommerce team is driving traffic to the store and on cyber Monday the in-store teams push people to the site. Ashley Stewart does a lot of segmentation before the holidays by channel, product and segment so we can speak to her in the right way. Great promotions can be free shipping and strategizing a balance to promotions and making that profit. They surprised their best customers with a gift and tea shirt with a '#' so delighted customers can share socially.

Nate [37:35]: They are prepping and strategy on visual and retail to make sure all messaging is interactive and aligned. Picking segments now and understanding which have the best opportunity to make the most impact. The best promotion has been by pulling out the segment of customer who have bought but are not opted in to emails - with AgilOne we can get to their social profiles and re-target them that way. Rely on store staff to give direct invitations to the store and events.

Tune into the recording to find out the answers to these audience questions

  • Who do you partner with for your data marketing acquisition?
  • Any ideas on promotions that don't include discounting?
  • How are you using SnapChat & Instagram for your holiday engagement?
  • If customers aren't engaging with you via email - have you noticed if re-targeting on social or direct mail has a bigger ROI?


Hope you enjoyed our notes, the recording, and the eBook! Ready to leverage AgilOne like these top retail leaders before the 2016 holiday? Request a demo here.