What Can Marketers Achieve with Real-Time Web Data at Their Fingertips?

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Customer Experience based on Lifecycle and Customer Journey

Marketing with real-time data is a huge opportunity for marketers to make their digital content work better and return better results. But it’s easy to get overloaded by all the possibilities. So I’m going to combine together two standard marketing models: Customer Lifecycle and Customer Journey, and show you where some tactics fit within this framework.

Customer Journey in this case is the journey of the shopper to and through the website. First, shoppers read your email and land on your website. They then browse product details and cart products. At this point, they’ll either buy the contents of the shopping cart or abandon without buying.

Customer Lifecycle is another standard method, this time of profiling shoppers using transactional history. You acquire new shoppers and grow existing shoppers to maximise their value and retain them for as long as possible

Many people treat customer lifecycle and customer journeys as separate but in reality they are linked. The customer lifecycle is long-term and feeds into strategy, while the customer journey is often short-term and feeds into tactics.


How it Works in Practice
For example, a new shopper lands on your site, browses products, carts some and buys: this is 1 customer journey. Later they return as a one-time buyer and engage more with your site: they have now made 2 customer journeys, but still the same one customer lifecycle.

As customers’ lifecycles progress, they become more valuable to you and you acquire more data about them to use in personalization. This enables different tactics. For example, when a new visitor arrives at your website, you know almost nothing about them and should choose tactics to pull them in and identify them, including:

  • Offers specifically for new visitors, for example introductory coupons.
  • Related product recommendations to help them choose. On your home page, you could show recent best sellers (based on crowd-sourced data). And on each product page, include top sellers in the current category and “people who browsed X went on to buy Y.”


  • Pop-over address capture forms to identify the shopper and get permission for marketing.


In contrast, when a long-established customer returns, you should suggest products relevant to them personally and try to up-sell to related products, such as:

  • Personalized home page – for example, if your website sells Canon and Nikon cameras, returning visitors who have shown interest in Canon should see only Canon products and likewise for those who prefer Nikon. If you don’t know, you show a mix of both.
  • Recommend products that they previously bought because people often buy the same things.
  • Recommend “People who bought X also bought Y” to try and broaden their buying.


  • Offer to send them a Sale Alert or Bookmarked Search Details.

Another situation where you should treat new and established shoppers differently is through your daily or weekly emails. Obviously you will use real-time product recommendations so that you only market products that are in stock. For new shoppers, you could:

  • Recommend trending products that are currently popular.
  • Include a money-off coupon that applies to all products to encourage them to make that vital first purchase. The same coupon should also appear on the website (1st bullet) so there’s no need to remember the coupon code.

And in emails to existing customers:

  • Recommend products that are similar to those previously bought (e.g. the same brands) or that are bought together with those products.
  • Send reminders when it’s time to buy more.

It’s not rocket science. Use real-time marketing to leverage the information about each client. Help them along the customer journey as usual and simultaneously encourage them onto a higher-value level in the customer lifecycle: from shopper, to customer, to top customer.

Learn more about this topic at Amplify, May 16-18 in Tampa! In his session, Eddy will introduce a new model to understand how real-time customer insight can be used to transform the way marketers carry out their digital messaging. Attend session 1764: What E-commerce Marketers Can Achieve With Access to Real-Time Behavioral Data

Co-Founder and CMO, Fresh Relevance

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