The holiday season is right around the corner. While the big box stores might already have their traditional advertising campaigns devised, they won't be able to offer their shoppers the same level of personalized attention that smaller retailers can.
This is good news for small stores. It will be easier for you and your sales staff to express customer appreciation, which means that your shoppers could stick with you through New Year's if you play your marketing cards right.
That's what this article is all about—helping small businesses generate a large boost in sales this season.
SEND A HOLIDAY EMAIL BLAST WITH PERSONALIZED DEALS
Consumers expect increasingly personalized experiences. They will respond to discounts on relevant products, and most retailers are eager to meet their needs in this sense. But being eager and successfully recommending relevant products are two different things. Do you have a system in place to analyze which of your shoppers want what items?
Now is the time to devise a marketing plan that will provide your loyal customers with the personalization they've come to expect.
Even though email marketing remains the original digital marketing strategy, it's still highly effective. Yes, SMS texts and mobile app push notifications also get opened and read, but most consumers still prefer to receive deals and discounts emailed to them.
As you plan and shape your holiday marketing strategy, here are some ways you can add the right touch of personalization to your emails. Review your CRM data and segment your customers into groups of similar interests and shopping habits. Compose an email for each group that includes offers on products that are relevant. Finally, use a strong CTA that goes beyond simply inviting them into your store this holiday season.
FOLLOW UP WITH CUSTOMERS POST-PURCHASE TO TELL THEM ABOUT ADDITIONAL SALES
There are numerous individual holidays coming up, all of which comprise the holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving, there are a whopping 7 holidays. Granted, we're counting Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Kwanzaa along with all of the religious holidays, but you get the idea. Each holiday is an opportunity to gain and retain more customers.
Do you have a system for following up with customers post-purchase? This is really important. It's far easier to get a customer to return to your store than it is to get a brand-new shopper to decide to walk through your doors for the first time.
Any consumer who has already shopped at your store will be happy to hear from you if you're reaching out to tell them about additional sales they didn't take advantage of when they were last at your location. In fact, by contacting them after-the-fact for this reason, your customers will feel appreciated.
The trick is to offer them either a discount they'll act on or information they'll appreciate. If they already took advantage of a particular promotion, then you should tell them about a different one that will help them save money on the kinds of products they like anyway.
REWARD HIGH-SPENDING CUSTOMERS WITH SURPRISE SWAG AT THE REGISTERS
The holiday season is all about gift giving. Shoppers love free stuff, especially when they're spending tons of money on their loved ones in order to ensure their holiday is extra special this winter. Reward your thoughtful, generous customers with surprise swag at the registers.
Branded swag is its own form of word-of-mouth marketing, yet amazingly, these items don't have to say a word. So long as your customer wears the swag around town, other people will be exposed to your brand. That being said, if you want to boost sales at the registers without breaking the bank, then you aren't going to be able to give away free, branded swag to every shopper.
But you can surprise your high-spending customers with fun, holiday themed branded swag. First, do a little math to figure out the minimum amount of money a customer will have to spend at the register in order to receive a tote bag, tee shirt, cell phone case, or whatever swag item you've decided to give them.
You can also go one step further by training your sales staff and cashiers to invite any shoppers who receive free swag to sign up for your loyalty program, if they aren't already enrolled. When customers feel excited that they just won a free item, they'll be in too good a mood to turn down the invitation.
CREATE A SPECIAL LOYALTY CAMPAIGN FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON
If you don't already have a customer loyalty rewards program in place at your store, there's really no better time than the holidays to launch one. Most retailers will see a huge spike in new customers that don't ordinarily shop with them year-round. Take advantage of the opportunity and ask your shoppers to join your loyalty program. There's no downside to trying, and you'll be surprised at how many new shoppers will eagerly sign up, especially if you offer them bonus points upon completing the enrollment process.
Create a special loyalty campaign that will help entice shoppers into signing up. The biggest drawing point for consumers will always be savings. Most retailers go wrong in their loyalty marketing by failing to be clear about the potential savings. Don't be afraid to amp up and brag about how rewarding your loyalty program is!
Earning more loyalty points per purchase or per shopping trip will always be an attractive incentive for customers. Be sure to highlight the points potential. By including your loyalty members' current points balances and listing the items they're eligible to redeem, for example, can help to effectively attract shoppers back into your store.
Lastly, when you're developing your holiday loyalty campaign, challenge yourself to think beyond discounts and sales, too. Yes, all shoppers want to save money. But they also appreciate having positive experiences. In fact, most consumers report that having a positive shopping experience with a brand is its own reward! You can try hosting an in-store holiday event for your loyalty members only, or hold a virtual Facebook party using Facebook Live that includes trivia, games, and more. Get creative and think outside the box!
This holiday season, focus on building more than just customer loyalty. Build brand loyalty, as well. As we touched upon in this article, a positive customer experience will be the result of customer engagement and satisfaction. Meaning, the best way to ensure that your loyalty members are satisfied is to create personalized holiday deals that speak to their interests and needs.
Loyal~n~Save is committed to helping retailers of all sizes boost sales during the holiday season and beyond. Be on the lookout for additional articles featuring holiday season marketing tips, tricks, and strategies that you can use in tandem with your customer loyalty rewards program and loyalty mobile app.
Have questions about where our loyalty rewards program can take your business this holiday season and into 2022? Contact us anytime, we would love to help you take your retail store to the next level!
This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.