Consumers receive marketing messages from nearly every device and website they visit, often leaving them blind to some of the ads retailers purchase. But retailers can connect effectively with customers if they learn how to utilize data to their advantage and reach shoppers where they are already browsing.

When done successfully, marketing separates consumers from their dollars without the customer feeling short-changed. At a time when messaging oversaturates consumers, it’s important to knock through the proverbial brick wall of clever, short messages.

Smiling photo of Helen White, co-founder of Houseof.

Helen White, co-founder, Houseof

For lighting fixture retailer Houseof, breaking through means focusing on brand image and prioritizing emails to loyal customers. That’s an approach the web-only brand settled on after trying various marketing schemes. By taking every review into consideration, Houseof can continuously build customer loyalty, says Helen White, co-founder of the web-only retailer.

Meanwhile, B2B and B2C retailer Majesty Coffee tries to always place the customer first in every marketing message it generates. By educating the customer on its different coffee machines, Majesty Coffee increases consumer confidence in both the brand and any future transaction, says Colin Palfrey, chief marketing officer.

Knowing where to reach customers—and which channel is the most effecting—is crucial for brands and retailers. According to a Digital Commerce 360 survey of 105 online retailers in May and June 2020, most merchants allocate most of their budgets to email, social, content marketing, search engine marketing and paid search.

In terms of effectiveness, retailers considered these channels as somewhat to very effective in 2020, according to the same survey. 61% of those surveyed found search engine and social media marketing to be effective, whereas 59% found content marketing effective and 56% found paid search to be effective. However, email marketing was cited as the most effective by retailers, with 76% of those surveyed indicating so.

For Houseof, organic and paid search deliver the best results, but email has recently started taking off, according to White.

“This is in no small part due to the increased velocity of our email contact with subscribers, as well as using email to put a product spotlight on one particular light,” White says.

For Majesty Coffee, Google ads and organic search are also delivering the best results. “These make the most sense for us as a B2B supplier,” Palfrey says. “Our customers aren’t really using other social networks for their business needs.”

Loyalty brings in more revenue

Houseof, a relatively young retailer founded in 2019, connects storytelling with functionality by reviewing its data and determining which promotional messaging offers the best return on investment. For them, that means focusing on building loyal customer relations.

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