For Black Friday, Sport Chek had an ambitious target: beating Amazon at the online retail battle they’ve owned for more than a decade. Quite a challenge since Sport Chek invests nothing close to the billions Amazon invests online. But how do we select the flagship products that will give us the edge over the competition in the eyes of consumers?
As D-Day approached, we noticed that the average conversion rate on the SportChek site was dropping, and that the average number of abandoned items in baskets was increasing by the hour. It was clear: consumers were abandoning their baskets in order to better compare prices and discounts with the competition. Consumers were window-shopping online, just as they do at the mall!
Consumers told us, in real time, which of the thousands of items available on the SportChek site could be used as flagship products to attract new consumers to our site. Finally, consumer behavior also informed us on which categories to bet on against Amazon, knowing that we didn't have the capacity, or the budget, to beat them across the board.
So, a few hours before the start of the campaign, we activated abandoned categories and items in shopping baskets to attract potential new consumers with the most in-demand products. A risky gamble, given that in retail, these star products are usually determined months in advance by marketing teams, blocking any possibility and opportunity to react to consumer responses when the time comes. But make no mistake, this wasn't just a traditional retargeting tactic.
We didn't use the cart items on the SportChek site to retarget a small portion of site visitors who had abandoned their carts. To win Black Friday, an event that lasts only 24 hours, we used valuable data to create a mass campaign and reach 30% of the Canadian population with our offers, in record time. The success of this campaign lies not only in the consumer truth that enabled us to build an offensive in real time, but also in the reach generated. All without compromising the campaign's return on investment!
We set up a data feed that kept us up to date with the information consumers were providing us via their behavior on the site. Online window shopping not only guided the strategy, but also enabled us to select the right products and put forward the right creatives, all in real time. This data-driven approach revolutionized the retail industry's traditional process, focusing on the products consumers wanted most.
We also used the data stream to find out which categories to focus on in the search engines. We couldn't afford to fight Amazon on all fronts. Thanks to the information consumers provided, we were able to maximize our efforts and win on the right categories! These categories allowed us to generate a high volume of traffic to the site and optimize our efforts to convert buyers by using tactics that focused on message relevance and the ability to stay "top of mind" throughout the day.