All I Want for Christmas Is… Using AI to capitalise on browse and basket “wish lists”

Learn how AI can help you convert browse and basket “wish lists” just in time for the Christmas season.

Amanda Groth, 

8 August 2023



The holiday season is upon us – at least, that’s how it feels for customer marketers. And just like the twinkling lights illuminating the streets during the festive season, AI-powered strategies can light up the path to success for both consumers and retailers for this crucial time of the year.

With the convenience of online shopping, gift seekers will immerse themselves in a winter wonderland of products, browsing through endless possibilities, comparing prices, reading reviews and adding products to their cart as a way of creating their “wish list”. Yet, this behavioural trend has led to high rates of abandoned browsing sessions and shopping baskets, leaving retailers longing for a touch of Christmas magic.

Sound familiar? Get in touch today – we can help you convert browse and basket “wish lists” just in time for the Christmas season.

Using AI to Capture and Understand Changing Consumer Behaviour

Amidst this season of hope and joy, many shoppers utilise their online shopping baskets as wish lists, much like penning letters to Santa. They add products they’re interested in, intending to come back later to make a final decision. In fact, nearly 70% of these baskets are abandoned, leaving retailers with missed opportunities and unrealised revenue. As shoppers continuously seek the next best option, whether it’s an enticing discount or flexible purchasing options, staying relevant as a brand becomes an increasingly formidable challenge.

What’s most important, though, is the ability to capture indicative behaviours and react to them in a timely and compelling way. This is where AI comes in.

AI enables customer marketers to synthesise massive amounts of cross-channel data, identifying previously unseen patterns that can be acted upon in real time. From there, marketing teams can leverage predictive analytics and AI to deliver personalisation at scale using historical and in-moment contextual data – basically, giving each customer what they want, when and where they want it. No Christmas magic necessary.

Sophisticated Strategies with AI: Making Abandonment Campaigns Effective

With the help of AI-powered technologies, there are now more sophisticated methods to engage customers and enticing them to revisit their “wish lists”. Here are four key levers you can control:

1.        Timeliness: Implementing timely email triggers is essential to influence desired behaviours, like returning to a previously abandoned basket to complete a purchase. If you can test and refine your email triggers during the slower seasons leading up to Black Friday (for example, testing whether rapid triggers or those sent after a set amount of time result in higher conversions), you’ll be set up for holiday success.

2.       Personalised recommendations: To entice customers back to make a purchase after abandoning their browsing session or basket, sending them the old “you left this in your cart” message might not be enough. Instead, leverage predictive analytics and customer data to deliver sophisticated, personalised recommendations for alternative or complementary products. AI can also drive frequency and breadth of shop by applying product recommendations across shopping categories. Using predictive analytics, brands can calculate a customer’s affinity for each category, enabling more effective targeting and segmentation. Using this technique, you can understand and react to customer propensity beyond previously-shopped categories, exposing customers to new sides of your brand they may not have readily considered. Planning-inc’s Category Affinity Model identifies complex behavioural patterns to predict channel-agnostic upsell and cross-sell strategies, prioritising the content based on what a customer is most likely to engage with.

3.      Cross-channel execution: Recognise that customers engage with brands through multiple channels. Ensure that the abandonment message seamlessly transcends these channels, making it easy for customers to complete their purchase wherever they interact with the brand.

4.      Value insight: Consider a customer’s historical value or predicted Future Value when deciding whether to incentivise them to complete a purchase. CRM teams can create a decision-making framework to determine the worth of offering incentives based on customer value.

The Magic of AI for a Merry Christmas Shopping Experience

The Christmas season is the perfect time for retailers to implement AI-driven strategies and capitalise on the browse and basket “wish lists”. By understanding consumer behaviour and utilising advanced AI algorithms, businesses can design effective abandonment campaigns, offer personalised experiences, and boost conversion rates.

As we embrace the enchantment of AI, this festive season could mark the turning point for retailers, making shopping merrier for customers and businesses alike. If you’re a marketer looking to make the most of this holiday season, Planning-inc can help you implement cutting-edge AI solutions that will transform browsing into buying.

Contact us now to add a sprinkle of Christmas magic to your shopping experience, making this season unforgettable for your valued customers.


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