April 11, 2012, 11:46 AM

Good promotions begin by marrying technology and data analysis

An IRCE speaker talks about how to use online marketing technologies.

Lead Photo

Jason Miller

To  have an effective online promotions strategy, retailers must ensure that marketing, technology and data analysis are fused into a solidly balanced program, says Motorcycle Superstore vice president of technology Jason Miller.

Miller will speak June 5 from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago during a session titled “Marketing Technologies: The engines behind the promotions.” He says the right mix of technology and marketing to deliver effective promotions begins with a thorough understanding of the customer—and data analysis. “Use analytics and study the data to get a good baseline,” Miller says. “All effective promotional campaigns should be played with the same set of rules.”

Motorcycle Superstore, which posted web sales of $94 million in 2011 and is No. 206 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recently created a more effective promotions strategy for its mobile commerce program.

Each day, Motorcycle Superstore sends out an e-mail promotion as the deal of the day. Of the customers who have opted-in to the retailer’s e-mail marketing list, 30% of all recipients getting the deal of the day promotion receive it on their smartphones or other web-connected mobile devices.

But the promotion to mobile shoppers was ineffective. Shoppers opening up the e-mail on their PCs were immediately taken to a product page featuring that day’s special, while recipients that opened the message on their smartphones were redirected only to Motorcycle Superstore’s mobile home page. “We saw a lot of people coming in through mobile but the promotion wasn’t effective because they weren’t being delivered to the right page.”

To make its promotional campaigns more effective across all delivery options, Motorcycle Superstore first did a traffic analysis and devised a way to direct traffic from PCs and mobile devices to the same daily deal product pages. Now that mobile shoppers are redirected each day to a mobile-optimized deal of the day landing page, daily conversion rates have jumped by up to 180%. “We mapped the right way for everyone to get where they needed to be,” Miller says.

At his session, Miller will serve up several best practices Motorcycle Superstore uses to drive better promotions. But the first step is knowing how shoppers are responding to promotions—and why. “Data should create a universal set of rules for what you intend to promote,” Miller says.

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Miller to speak because he has a long track record in successfully managing large e-commerce operations. Now in his 12th year at Motorcycle Superstore, Miller has been developing software for more than 15 years. In his role as CTO/vice president of technology, he leads the teams responsible for all technical aspects of the company’s e-commerce business including software development, analytics, search engine optimization and network administration.

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