The holidays represent the most important retail period for the year. It’s a time of increased foot traffic, website visitors and customer acquisitions. Building a holiday rewards program strategy is one way to maximize the success of the peak season and engage the new customers you acquire during the peak period into the next year and beyond.
According to BigCommerce, the season typically sees retailers getting 59% more new customers. Here are seven ways that you can engage customers and turn holiday shoppers into returning customers:
1. Introduce a Lean Loyalty Program
If you don’t already have a loyalty program in place, there is still time to introduce a new program for the 2018 holidays. Depending on your brand and strategy, we often recommend starting with a soft, invitation-only loyalty program to get started and get customer feedback. This can be a great way to test the program and promote a secondary launch during the second half of the 12-week holiday season.
Promoting a loyalty program during the holidays is a great way to get customers registered and promoting rewards, services and exclusive savings opportunities, will help you increase holiday sales, while helping you collect data about your customers that will allow you to reach out to them far beyond the peak season.
2. Provide Holiday-relevant Services
Providing free services year-round as part of a loyalty program is something we wholeheartedly recommend at Antavo. During the holiday season there are a few relevant services you can really highlight in an effort to get more members to sign up and make use of those services.
Gift wrapping is one of those tasks that could be fun, but is actually rather stressful when you know you have 100 other things to do before Christmas arrives. That’s why free gift wrapping is an extra-relevant service that saves customers time and effort. Free engraving, stitching, or other product personalisations are also a great way to offer a personal touch.
Same-day delivery is another convenience you can offer to last-minute shoppers. And consider offering other time-savers, like a separate shopping line or customer service chat function for members only – just during the busy holiday season.
3. Give Customers Early Access
Harness the omnichannel possibilities inviting local customers who usually shop online to your in-store events. Welcome your customers to invite a friend for an in-store soiree to show off the new season’s designs.
Or keep the party online by giving members a chance to get their hands on discounted season favorites before the public promotions begin.
4. Help Customers Reach Their Holiday Goals
If your customers get excited about getting (or staying) fit through the holidays, you can reward them for using a fitness tracking app or wearable, like Fitbit.
If you want to help customers keep their shopping list in order, you can reward them for using the wish list or an external to-do checklist app.
Assisting loyalty program members in reaching their goals is an effective way to build a relationship with customers. Lending a helping hand during the stressful holiday season is a great way to be remembered.
5. Offer Memorable Experiences
Give customers a chance to see or do something unique – perhaps even something they’ve never experienced before!
Recommended for You
Offer loyal customers the opportunity to see how your products are made, or meet the people who make them. Or even let them get involved in their own design ideas.
Create a sweepstake to win a luxury shopping trip to a hot fashion destination or offer a private tour of your flagship showroom. Experiential rewards are a huge draw to loyalty programs, and are a great way to build interest and get new signups.
6. Grab Attention With Freebies
A free low-value item is a great way to drum up a bit of excitement. Give the item away with a minimum purchase amount during the holiday season, or give it to all new members once they make their first purchase. This trick helps you save on shipping costs, since you can include the gift with their first online order.
Offering a free gift during the holidays is a great way to say “here’s a little something for you” when most customers are concerned with what they’re buying for others.
7. Use data gathered during the holiday season in 2019
By encouraging actions such as sign-ups, profile completions, or having customers answer questions about their favorite product categories within the loyalty program, you’re building up an incredible base of information which you can use to create special promotions and personalised communications well into the next year.
Consider what you would be able to do with better segmentation in 2019, because by setting up a loyalty strategy now, which will help you get the right information, you’re setting yourself up to incentivize repeat purchases for the long-term.