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Shoebuy.com Uses Transaction-Enabled Marketing Strategies To Acquire And Retain Customers

  • Written by Alicia Fiorletta
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While customer acquisition and winning one-time buys is vital to improving sales results, incremental purchases have a long-lasting impact on retailers’ bottom lines.

By leveraging card-linked, transaction-enabled marketing programs developed in partnership with Affinity Solutions, retailers such as Shoebuy.com, Bloomingdales, RadioShack and 1-800 Flowers have piqued shopper interest and gained ongoing, incremental purchases, even through the competitive holiday season.

“Our transaction-based customer retention efforts have helped us achieve a record level of repeat buying,” Teresa Tao, Director of Online Advertising at Shoebuy.com, said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints, “which now represents almost 70% of sales.”

Shoebuy.com harnesses the Affinity Solutions partner network of more than 200 banks and multiple card processors, allowing the retailer to identify purchasing behaviors and brand preferences of specific customer segments. With these insights, the eTailer can better understand target customers and provide highly relevant ads through both print and digital channels. Shoebuy.com also obtains discerning shopper data for creating more relevant campaigns and pinpointing “potential shoppers that would fit well with our target customer base,” according to Tao. “The site retention and loyalty we have allows us to invest and focus on customer acquisition with great confidence.” 

Touting an online catalog of more than 1,400 brands and one million footwear, handbag, apparel and accessory products, Shoebuy.com focuses on campaigns tailored to women 25 to 54 years of age. However, in an effort to maximize campaign reach, the eTailer also markets to a variety of other shoppers, including “busy urban professionals, athletes and families with children,” Tao said, “as well as folks who may not have access locally to the same type of selection we offer on the Shoebuy.com site.”

Through the Affinity Solutions partner ecosystem, Shoebuy.com has access to approximately 4,000 brands, “many that are popular with shoppers in our target audiences who have never shopped with Shoebuy.com,” Tao stated. “We saw great opportunities in leveraging these brands to reach potential new Shoebuy.com customers, and to optimizing retention.” Network partners also include major publishers, such as Hearst Corporation, which owns ELLE, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, O, Redbook, and other media key to reaching the eTailer’s targets and strengthening the card-linked marketing program.

To drive sales during the holiday season, Shoebuy.com followed a two-fold approach, Tao explained: first, the retailer participated in holiday-themed loyalty campaigns for Affinity Solutions partners. In addition to being featured on holiday-specific pages, the retailer also was included in email campaigns released during high-traffic periods, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Secondly, the retailer worked with Affinity Solutions on connecting targeted high-potential shoppers to Shoebuy.com offers released through the Spot ON Deals program, which is an email-based deal program based on consumer transactional history developed by Affinity Solutions.

“With all of these campaigns, the millions of targeted impressions that Shoebuy.com received from television and online viewers have translated into increased awareness of Shoebuy.com and our association with these well-known partners, as well as into solid drivers of direct revenues,” Tao noted. “We continually see solid responses and strong ROI justification for our Affinity Solutions programs.”

Shoebuy.com will continue to work with Affinity Solutions during 2013 to find new ways to innovate together, Tao reported. Marketing campaigns released across channels will allow Shoebuy.com to engage with consumers in more meaningful ways and increase sales during the year.