The holiday shopping season is the prime time of year to offer incentives that attract new customers and turn existing customers into loyal ones.
In other words, this season is an opportunity to capitalize on the tradition of gift-giving and recruit those shoppers into returning customers who strongly connect to your brand.
But growing brand engagement, retention and long-term loyalty is a marketing process to nurture — especially since a repeat customer spends 67 percent more than a new customer, according to findings from a BIA/Kelsey and Manta report.
In fact, 61 percent of the small and medium-sized businesses in the survey report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat business.
If you want to take advantage of this season of spending, here are ways to achieve that brand-supportive, loyal customer base all the way into the new year.
Personalize Loyalty Offerings
This season, embark on card-linked marketing and enter the new year with the potential for increased sales and engagement.
Customers like to feel personally valued for their repeat purchases and brand support — which is why Marketing Week emphasizes the major benefits of personalizing the customer experience, specifically through partnerships between a retailer and credit card company called card-linked offers.
CLOs provide data on individual customer spending that is used to send relevant, tailored offers. Once you can gain customer insight through CLO campaigns, you can use these profiles to build promotions unique to their interests and spending habits.
Customers benefit because deals earned through purchases are conveniently accessible on their online banking and mobile apps for quick, easy use.
Sell for a Cause
In today’s negative and fraught political climate, why not use driving sales as your own incentive to spread positivity and give back.
USCDornsife of USC University of Southern California informs that of millennials, 91 percent prefer brands associated with a good cause, along with the U.S. average of 85 percent. For example, on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, Patagonia donated all $10 million in sales to grassroots organizations dedicated to protecting the environment.
After announcing the outdoor company would donate all sales to support the “fundraiser for the earth,” it surpassed its expectation to reach $2 million.
This time of year is when to get into the spirit of the season by adopting a mission of social good and donating a portion of proceeds to a cause that you’re passionate about.
Give Something in Return
Main-in rebates. Company bucks. Gift cards. Once a customer purchases an item to receive these perks, they also receive the motivation to keep buying for more cash returns or to use their store credit.
Cabela’s dedicates an entire page on their website to promoting coupons, promo codes and special offers so customers can head directly to this page to scroll through items linked to an offer.
By promoting specific items, you’re also helping customers narrow down their holiday shopping list to this particular list marked with exclusive deals. Company bucks and gift cards further motivate customers to return and make another purchase — which continues to build a strong customer base.
To reach your more tech-savvy customers, offer mobile rebates. This modernized tactic streamlines the process, advises Mobile Marketer, and can provide customers with an instant cash return delivered directly via PayPal or Venmo once a customer uploads their receipt.
Mobilize a Brand Advocacy Program
Tried-and-true, word-of-mouth marketing is still effective — except today’s word-of-mouth marketing is most effectively delivered digitally, for example, through social media. Focus on brand advocates, explains Entrepreneur, who are current loyal customers with the power to connect your products with their personal networks.
One way to implement a brand advocacy program is through referrals. Provide a referral code that customers can share with others. In return, customers can benefit with store credit or a giveaway. Instagram serves as another tool for extending your customer reach.
Campaigns that encourage followers (brand advocators) to repost, tag a friend or use a hashtag on their own personal account expands your brand or promotional marketing. Gaining one more follower is the social media equivalent of recruiting a lead into a new customer who hopefully continues to like and interact with your account.
Over to You
How do you incentivize your customers and clients to build brand loyalty. Doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, customers and clients always appreciate being rewarded for their business with you.