2020 was a boom year for online shopping. By January 2021, 4.66 billion people were using the internet, up 316 million (+7.3%) YoY, but with such huge increases in e-commerce, marketers are under greater pressure to deliver results.

Forrester estimates that most brands will increase the volume of their marketing messages — email, SMS, push, etc. — by 40% in the coming year. Changes in privacy will impact bottom lines, and many brands are slashing marketing budgets.

In addition to revenue growth goals, the increasing pressure on marketers demands efficiency, agility, and the ability to track performance. 

Analytics makes the difference between guessing and knowing which campaigns work on which segments, and revenue attribution tells you exactly how marketing activities generate sales. 

Revenue attribution has traditionally been used in paid marketing, where growth marketers use tools such as Google Ads or Facebook to attribute sales to ads. Last year, Emarsys released Revenue Analytics — a daily report that calculates and attributes sales to push, SMS, and email campaigns in your omnichannel strategy. This allows you to:

  • Identify and optimize your top revenue-generating campaigns and programs
  • Show management the revenue impact of your SMS, push notifications, and email campaigns
  • See which lifecycle segments make purchases from email, SMS, and push campaigns

The Revenue Analytics report is built on the Revenue Attribution Service that shows — at a glance — the overall impact of your customer engagement strategies and highlights the automation programs and campaigns that deliver the most revenue to your business.

Pressure to Deliver Results

The pressure to achieve make-or-break results this year is very real, and the impact on marketers is not new. 60% of marketers say they struggle to meet the increasing pressure to prove ROI.

As of December 2020, 8,000 stores closed in the US during the pandemic, but the impact of last year could continue to force retailers to close more stores this year. AT&T, Bed Bath & Beyond, Forever 21, J.C. Penney, Macy’s, and Pier 1 Imports have all had to shutter hundreds of brick-and-mortars.  

Businesses are relying more on marketers to understand changes in customer behavior, allocate resources wisely, and deliver results despite reduced budgets, projected to be 30% lower than 2019 (Forrester). With 79% of leaders focusing on customer retention to fuel growth post-COVID-19 (Gartner), marketers have to show how to leverage first-party customer data in a way that drives revenue growth.

“If you’re going to be able to take a business case and sell that [to] upper management… you’re going to have to have very clear and actionable items for how you can leverage the data and how it’s actually going to impact the business in a positive way. Especially if you’re sitting in front of a CFO, because they will always want to know the actual ROI from that.”

— Leandi McMurphy
Director of Marketing, Char-Broil

When you know the percentage of sales generated by your marketing activities from the total revenue, you can demonstrate the impact of marketing on business outcomes. For example, when you know that your program to increase premium customer revenue generates more than 30% of revenue, and that it’s particularly effective on apps via push notifications, you know how to replicate or amplify these results for your business.

But you also have to invest in your tech stack. As Gartner says, “Cost optimization is central, and it starts with data and marketing technology.” And with Emarsys you get the right tools, data, and analytics in one place to be able to do more of what works, faster.

Personalization and Analytics — Key to Predictable Results

One thing that’s predictable is consumers will likely continue to shop more online. By 2023, there will be 5 billion internet users up from nearly 4 billion in 2018, and today across the globe, almost 77% of internet users aged 16-64 say they buy something online each month.

To accelerate outcomes, you have to measure which programs generate revenue, and you need to understand your customers  — that’s where data is so powerful. Marketers who use customer data in marketing outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin. When you understand what customers want and which programs they engage with the most, you will see the results on your bottom line.

“To retain customers, you need to understand who your customers are and what their behavior is. Now if we take that identified store customer and the transactions that are linked to them, and we add that into a single customer view database, then you actually get that true cross-channel view of the customer that enables better segmentation, targeting, personalization, etc.”

Edward Drax, Managing Director, Yocuda
— Edward Drax
Managing Director, Yocuda

Consumers want personalized experiences. In fact, 75% are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history. You can leverage your first-party data in the most meaningful way by personalizing each of your customer’s shopping experiences.

“In our stores, when one of our loyalty customers comes in, we can identify them at POS through a loyalty ID that’s attached to their profile. So, from that, our stores can engage with a customer on a first name level. They know what tier they’re in, what trade they are, what products they may have recently purchased, or also to better recommend products that they may be interested in, because they know who that customer is, and they’ve really built up that relationship. And for us, it’s all about that personalized experience, because if you only lead by price and product, you’ll really lose relevance.”

Elisse Jones Headshot National Loyalty Manager Total Tools
— Elisse Jones
National Loyalty Manager, Total Tools

Successful brands leverage non-siloed data to drive profitable results, and analytics is what puts that data to work. You want to know exactly which strategy performs best, on which channels, for which customer segment, and how much it impacts sales. This deeper-layer view gives you data-led insights to drive revenue growth.

Perhaps the best reason to invest in analytics is that companies that use advanced personalization see a $20 return for every $1 spent, and 95% of companies that implement personalization see 3X ROI in the year after the personalization investment. That’s why 82% of CFOs have identified advanced data analytics as a top priority this year.

Accelerating Results with Analytics

Growth is one challenge, but speeding up growth can complicate that goal. The only way to scale what your marketers do is to bring in tech that makes them more accurate and efficient. “Companies will adopt AI,” Ritu Jyoti of IDC says, “Not just because they can, but because they must.”

Consider that brands are expected to invest $6.8 trillion in digital transformation between 2020 and 2023. And with good reason: Digital transformation and a focus on customer experience can increase revenue gains by 20%-50%.

Brands just need to spell out where they think the most profitable uses of the tech are, then break it down by segment and channel.

“Start with an easy win, look at your data [and] identify a way that you can use that data and create predictable business outcomes… [Create] business cases in an area that you know very well from a tactical perspective, and then use data to bring it to the next level.”

Charlie Cole
— Charlie Cole

With 2020 finally behind us, retailers must still press on and accelerate growth, yet many CMOs are risk-averse. 73% will choose strategies (low risk, low return) that have worked in the past, but that might not be good enough this year. With smaller budgets, many marketers will have to do more with less. But with analytics to glean insights from customer data, CMOs and marketers alike can confidently think out of the box, react to customer trends in real time, accelerate revenue growth, and, in the end, demonstrate the impact of omnichannel on business outcomes. 

“Create value through engagement and relevance. It’s not just a transactional mindset that e-commerce businesses have. Now more than ever, consumers will gravitate toward digital even for pre- or post-purchase experience, from awareness to consideration to post-purchase… how do first-timers perceive the brand… you’ve got to be thinking about creating value and loyalty from start to finish. How we engage and communicate with them is going to be very important in the future.”

Rick Alameida
— Rick Almeida
Vice President, E-commerce, PUMA

What Revenue Analytics Should Do

You have to find revenue analytics that supply clearer insights into the revenue impact of each program and channel for each customer segment most relevant to your revenue goals. 

The Emarsys Spring Release solves this challenge for email, push notifications, and SMS  — the only channel that saw budget increases last year — as well as revenue attribution based on standard sales data. When you connect each program to marketing-generated sales and attribute each sale over a 7-day or 30-day window, you’ll increase purchase frequency for the customer segments that are most engaged.

By attributing first- and second-time purchases to your high-performing omnichannel programs, Revenue Analytics enables you to convert more first-time buyers into repeat customers. The report shows you the sales generated by email, push, and SMS campaigns, as a percentage of your total revenue. When you know which marketing activity generates sales, you can do more of what works. This leads to better resource allocation in the long run.

Putting It All Together in a Seamless Customer Experience

Total Tools is Australia’s largest professional tool retailer, and they’ve been adapting their business to be more agile, efficient, and trackable.

Elisse Jones, National Loyalty Manager at Total Tools, has been transforming the way her brand uses data to optimize marketing and personalize the customer experience. The brand partnered with Emarsys to bridge offline and online shopping and enable customers to shop seamlessly across channels. Jones has also deeply deployed data as a customer-centric strategy, where the brand leverages analytical insights and automation to enhance the customer experience at every touchpoint.

We’ve been on a journey to really modernize our marketing, to build that ultimate customer experience, like we really wanted to enhance our capabilities and remove all those barriers and friction points that were really undermining our success and stunting our growth. And I think when you look at changing consumer patterns, there’s higher expectations and the current climate that we’re really in today.”

Elisse Jones Headshot National Loyalty Manager Total Tools
— Elisse Jones
National Loyalty Manager, Total Tools

Final Thoughts

Growing revenue in times of great change is challenging, but you can find solutions that allow you to include cost optimization in your argument for martech investment. First-party data is huge here.

Moreover, with the introduction of Revenue Analytics and segment-based analytics, marketers will get a better understanding of which programs drive the most revenue for specific customer segments, like leads and first-time buyers to convert them to repeat customers, faster. Then the marketing team knows where to double down on the segments and strategies that drive more growth despite challenges ahead.

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