As inflation continues to run at a 40-year high and supply chain concerns persist in various sectors, the cost of about just every commodity is significantly more expensive than it was a year ago. It follows that it is likely that shopping behaviors have been affected by these factors and will continue to be influenced by world events going into the summer months.
Still there is some good news as retail sales proved to be resilient through the month of April. These numbers reinforce the notion that there are indeed inflation-proof events that shoppers are not going to miss – no matter what.
Although shoppers are cutting back on themselves, it appears that retailers can still rely on them to make purchases for loved ones on special occasions such as Father’s Day, coming up in mid-June. Retailers can implement a few straightforward strategies ahead of Father’s Day to encourage a one-time buyer to keep coming back for additional shopping experiences.
Plan loyalty promotions to coincide with Father’s Day. This simple tactic will both encourage new shoppers to check out your loyalty program, and reinvigorate your returning reward members to rack up some more points for themselves to use at another time. Everyone loves a win-win scenario and loyalty point promotions provide a feel good opportunity for shoppers and savings to encourage future spending.
Personalization. It’s no longer enough to insert your customer’s name and order number in an email and call that personalized service. Including those details won’t set a brand apart from its competition, and many ecommerce companies miss an opportunity when it comes to the content in their order confirmation emails. Including details of the points the customers have earned through their purchase is an easy way to get started. Add in extra bonus points or free items with other exciting opportunities (like coupon credit on an upcoming birthday) that will await them once they sign up for the brand loyalty program.
Free shipping. Sending off a package without charging the customer for shipping is a simple yet effective offering, as 90% of consumers say free shipping is their top incentive to shop online more. On Father’s Day, position this as a ‘member-only’ perk at the point of checkout and buyers will see it as a clear reason to sign up and maybe even make an extra purchase.
Charitable donations. Most of the time incentives are discussed from the perspective of the customer receiving something for free. But people love to give back. Charitable donation programs are great for everyone – brands, customers, and society itself. Retailers can create meaningful and memorable shopping experiences by providing an easy way for customers to give back and to donate to a good cause this Father’s Day. For example, a brand could present a particular set of products on a dedicated Father’s Day page and indicate that 10% of the profits from orders generated from the page will be donated to a men’s health charity. Another step would be providing customers with a choice and presenting them with three charities to select from, making the charitable donation even more personalized.
User generated content. Make a big deal of incentivizing user-generated content around Father’s Day. Retailers can encourage gift givers and receivers alike to share reviews and social content around what they’ve bought or been given by rewarding those actions with points. Make it even easier by asking shoppers to utilize a special hashtag about Father’s Day provided in post-purchase emails or packaging.
It is important for retailers to keep thinking of novel and fun ways for customers to realize a value-add in their shopping experience. We see in the news that even during economically trying times, customers, both new and repeat, will continue to buy during special occasions, looking for the best gift as well as the best brand experience. Retailers must anticipate what “the best experience” means and compete for attention in ways other than reduced pricing. As shoppers reevaluate their spending habits, retailers are provided with the perfect opportunity to build relationships with new and established customers in exciting and memorable ways. And by the way, Happy Father’s Day!