Active Buyers: Those Who Buy, and In Recent History
Actives are the individuals who are currently spending with you. They have made purchases in recent history and are always comprised of two high-value groups. Those who made their first purchase, and those who have begun to develop loyalty and make subsequent purchases. One-time buyers can present a unique challenge to retailers who are focused on acquisition, but lack a functional strategy to develop loyalty.
Your objective for active buyers is to keep them buying. Do so by identifying the purchase cadence they have exhibited and using that intelligence to inform communications when they are likely to buy again.
As a strategy, you should keep a lid on the frequency you use to mail this group. They have a good relationship and higher likelihood to buy again, it is not necessary to over-promote to them. Instead of making every message a call to buy, test your way into messages that are appreciation-focused, and recognize them. You’d be surprised how that can lead to a bump in new sales. Also share the things that are new with them and distinguish the first-time buyers who you need to invest in educating about the brand and your unique value proposition from those who are more loyal and experienced in the brand.
In-Market: Customers Likely to Buy Again Around … Now.
In an ideal situation, you would know when every buyer in your database was prepared or even likely to buy again. Logically, that kind of customer intelligence would materially reduce missed opportunities. Marketers are beginning to use more sophisticated models, like a “Next Most Likely Purchase,” that pinpoint the window in which a customer is most likely to buy.
When you do identify those customers who are moving to “In-Market,” you’ve got the highest-performing segment of your database primed for spending . That’s not only based on who they are or what they bought in the past — but who they are to your brand at a given, and pivotal point in time.
This can be accomplished through the statistical methods that look across your customer base and the purchases. It can use peer groups based on buying behavior and timing of purchases for various groups of customers. These models can be very effective and have stunning ROI when the lowest cost touch is used first, and escalating touches and offers are used subsequently.
When we study marketing databases, it is fascinating to watch buyers moving into “In-Market” every day. Missing this opportunity gets expensive, as those individuals should have reverted to “Actives,” but instead begin to “fade” in relationship and in value to the brand. Share positive reviews on new products to help accelerate the next purchase — and ensure the growth of your buyer relationship and customer value. As they approach the end of the likely purchase window, move to a more aggressive offer. Free shipping, special limited edition or hot product, or use a discount to keep them from leaving.
Faders: Active Buyers Who Missed an Expected Purchase
Faders are individuals who we expected to have bought — but did not. We may not know why, but the interrogation of a segment and other market conditions can help us understand. In one instance, a brand stopped a seasonal sale that it formerly had every year at the same time. Loyal customers looked forward to a chance to “shop the sale” — and it had become a part of the brand experience they knew. The sale wasn’t replaced — and the “Fader” metrics spiked accordingly. Having the customer intelligence to see this and quantify the impact is invaluable in developing pricing, promotion and general marketing strategies.