What’s the right activation approach for online retail?

Choosing your data model, the best scenarios...

At the crossroads of digital and physical worlds, e-retail faces a lot of challenges. Consumers are more and more demanding and volatile: get information from a range of channels and they expect ever richer and more personalized customer experiences.

Due to the covid-19 crisis, retailers have also had to provide consumers with extra reassurance (about the measures they've put in place, how they've adapted, etc.) and rely on personalized communications to maintain a strong link with their audiences.

Personalized communications need quality data that you can access and activate, so adopting an activation marketing solution only makes sense.

From the challenges for e-retail to activating channels, and the best scenarios to use, we'll share with you the recipe to create a unique customer experience!

What’s the right activation approach for online retail?

What are the challenges facing e-retail?

  • Converting prospects into clients thanks to the first purchase

  • Retaining existing customers and improving their repeat purchase rate

  • Increasing their average cart value

  • All while deploying a retention strategy for inactive contacts!

On top of these, the digitization of Points-of-Sale (POS) and new technologies are revolutionizing the sector. Consumers are more informed and more demanding – visiting multiple POS, using internet search and social networks, purchasing in-store and online. These behaviors generate much more data that e-retailers must collect and respond to to engage in a long-lasting customer relationship.

Is the solution activation marketing?


In this ever-changing context, activation marketing will help you automate key moments in the customer lifecycle – creating relevant and personalized interactions with the right person, at the right time and through the right channel.

Each marketing objective corresponds to a program or communication:

  • Lead generation & conversion: Your prospect signs up for your newsletter and receives a welcome. They get to know your brand, visit your site some more… trigger an abandoned cart message when they leave products in their baskets, or prompt them to discover the ‘Add to wishlist’ option.

  • Cross-selling program: When your prospect makes their first purchase there is a wide range of confirmations you may send. At this stage, you can also deploy campaigns to encourage a second purchase and grow their lifetime value (LTV).

  • Nurturing loyalty: A satisfied customer is a loyal customer. To enrich your relationship, be present at key moments: birthdays, anniversaries etc. There are many opportunities to increase LTV with cross-sell and upsell too.

  • Attrition: Manage your inactive contacts with regular data hygiene and optimizing your mailings. Consider implementing reactivation scenarios for inactive contacts with programs such as ‘welcome back’ and ‘we’ve missed you’.

These interactions are based on using, understanding your data.



Collecting and properly using data is crucial to carrying out a strategy focused on improving the customer experience. Here are a few types of essential data to collect in order to implement personalized activation scenarios:

Activation and targeting data needed to send out messages Activation and targeting data needed to send out messages Background

Activation and targeting data needed to send out messages



Person data to push the right content at the right time to the right people Person data to push the right content at the right time to the right people Background

Person data to push the right content at the right time to the right people

Interaction data to stop automatic loops Interaction data to stop automatic loops Background

Interaction data to stop automatic loops

Effective Data Models

To use data effectively and provide a smooth customer journey, data need to be reconciled in a central tool. Adopting a single marketing view ensures data is structured and quickly actionable within a marketing automation tool which can evolve with your needs.

This is exactly what Actito does, thanks to its agility and simplified architecture. Actito offers an evolving, rich data model designed especially for e-retail. It uses a star-shaped model, linking all data to a unique customer profile.

Types of tables available in Actito:

Our typical retail setup includes 7/8 data tables built around your Contacts table:

Interaction tables: include order data, order details, abandoned carts, active subscriptions, website visits, push campaigns, mobile app usage, product recommendations, wishlists etc.

Linked data tables: include coupons, children, loyal accounts etc.

Repository tables: include information about your business – like product catalogues or store information.

The rich data model helps manage multiple relationships between the different objects (a customer with several pets, or who makes repeat purchases) and use the customer history to optimise campaigns thanks to more refined segmentation.

Effective Data Models
Comment gagner en précision ? Ciblages, segmentations

HOW TO INCREASE PRECISION? Targeting, segmentation and personalization…

Comment gagner en précision ? Ciblages, segmentations

The abundance of data available – whether behavioral, transactional, online or offline – allows marketers to know their customers better, and therefore send personalized messages that correspond to consumer expectations.

In Actito, targeting allows you to easily activate data linked to customer orders such as recency, frequency and monetary value. For example, you can target profiles who have purchased at least once or placed just a single order. Targeting can even be fine-tuned by taking into account a specific order status (e.g. ‘confirmed’ or ‘on the way’). You can also target profiles whose first order dates back to [date] (useful to celebrate anniversaries) or whose last order dates back to [date] (useful to revive your inactive contacts).

Why do our clients love Segments? Segments let you…

  • Categorize your profiles into homogenous groups according to their purchasing habits (RFM segmentation), their behaviors (e.g. email activity or browsing habits) or their preferences (for products, promotions etc.)

  • Trigger scenarios when a profile goes from one segment to another. For example, triggering a communication on their new perks when your customer goes from ‘Bronze’ to ‘Gold’ on your loyalty program.

  • Detect or anticipate behaviours and react with the right offer.

  • Create campaigns with dynamic and personalized content.

  • Follow the evolution or history of defined groups, and filter your campaign reports to see how they respond.

Then go beyond ‘first name’ to personalize communications using your customer’s ‘pet name’, ‘birthday’, ‘personalized coupon’, ‘loyalty information’ as well as their ‘preferred communication channel’. Any information you capture.


The omnichannel approach is really the one that suggests an optimized global customer experience without cannibalization going on between channels.

Good to know: Actito includes email, SMS messages and print plus optionally transactional campaigns (email, SMS), push notifications (with our partners), and wallet notifications (with our partner Captain Wallet). Thanks to integrated reports you can see the impact of your multichannel campaigns and follow up in real-time.

Good customer knowledge allows you to identify your customer’s preferred channel and anticipate their needs. Thanks to a marketing automation solution, you can be present at each key moment of their journey.

To get the most out of each channel, it’s good to know the advantages and disadvantages of each channel:

Email Email Background


Email remains "one of the best techniques for engaging audiences" (Dave Chaffey) . An email allows you to talk to your audience in more detail than with SMS. To personalize your email communications use conditional content, based on purchasing behaviour or contextual data (like geo-location or climate) for example.

SMS SMS Background


97% of text messages sent are read (SMSmode study, February 2020). However it’s more expensive than email. Use SMS to quick updates to your audience (new opening hours, new delivery terms, exceptional promotions etc). Personalise your text message or insert a short URL that goes to a personalized landing page.

Push Push Background


Push is useful for sending short, contextual or local information to your targets. They can be particularly interesting for managing managing micro-moments as they deliver concise and relevant content in an application or website.

Mobile Wallet Mobile Wallet Background

Mobile Wallet

An interesting trend, mobile wallet is installed natively on iOS and deployed for Android through major Google campaigns. In one click, the contact adds a pass to their wallet to receive notifications on their mobile – like coupons, tickets, click-and-collect info etc.

Print Print Background


Print is more traditional, but in an era when digital communication is omnipresent it’s tangible nature keeps it relevant and it often comes with a perception of higher quality.


By using marketing automation, marketers are able to seize opportunities throughout the purchasing journey and increase customer lifetime value. Actito lets you implement scenarios easily and autonomously:

Welcome programs, anniversary campaigns, loyalty points reminders, abandoned cart recovery, second purchase push, wishlist price changes etc.



Les Bonnes Pratiques sur vos campagnes d'acquisition

During peak period (Sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday…) consumers are more in demand, and subject to more commercial pressure. For their part, ISPs are more vigilant too. Pay special attention to the quality and personalization of your message to avoid jeopardizing your deliverability (and therefore your sales).

Acquisition campaigns should be managed with caution. As Anne-Claire Fichten, our deliverability expert, says:

It’s important when you run acquisition campaigns to choose your partner well. Make sure that they are following best practices as any email sent on your behalf is linked to you and your reputation. If you generate too many complaints that you’ll find yourself blocked by ISPs.

Les Bonnes Pratiques sur vos campagnes d'acquisition

Your turn!

Marketing activation strategies allow marketers to stay top of mind with customers thanks to advanced personalisation – continuously optimised using analysis, testing and learning.

An automation solution like Actito has the advantage of providing easy and efficient use of collected data plus quick implementation of scenarios and campaigns – freeing up marketing and IT resources. Expert assistance guarantees your marketing strategy will be next level – letting you better seize offline and online opportunities.

What opportunity do you want to grab hold of?