When it comes to long-term retail success, converting occasional shoppers into long-time customers is one of the critical challenges an online entrepreneur has to overcome. While several businesses invest heavily in acquiring new customers during the holiday season, turning them into loyal lifetime customers, ensuring that your existing customers are not neglected – is a real challenge.
Most savvy digital enterprises believe that strengthening relationships with existing customers is far more cost-effective than finding and acquiring new customers. A recent global study conducted by Sailthru, a marketing technology firm and Forbes Insights shows that companies who made customer retention a priority experienced a significant year-over-year increase in their market share compared to those that only focused on customer acquisition.
However, building long-term relationships with customers do not happen by chance. It requires you to implement a solid customer retention strategy along with an effective deployment of online and mobile messaging, emails, and customer loyalty programs, most importantly, during the holiday season. This, for many retailers, is a make or break situation. Of course, the sales would increase rapidly during the holiday season, but if your company fails to implement the retention strategy at the right time, your newly acquired customers will disappear as quickly as they showed up.
Fortunately, the holiday season is the right time when once-a-year shoppers present a great opportunity to turn them into year-round or regular customers for years to come – If tackled correctly. As a company providing a wide range of development services including Magento eCommerce development, we have outlined eight practical ways to convert the holiday shoppers into loyal lifetime customers while keeping your existing customers engaged.
8 Tips To Convert Occasional Shoppers Into Lifetime Buyers:
- Gather Customer Data:
The holiday season is a great opportunity to collect your customer’s information in order to stay connected to them year round. You can request your customers for birth date, product preferences, or provide a wish list so that you can follow up with them when the time is right.
- Offer Incentives:
When the holiday rush ends, consider adding a coupon code, brochure, and other goodies to your shopping cart to generate more sales. These tactics will help you remind your customers that the offer still stands even when the holiday season is over.
- Include Branding:
You can offer free branded merchandise, preferably something that your customers can use, wear or see often. Also, do not make a mistake of underestimating the power of a constant visual reminder of your offers and brand to drive better customer engagement and sales.
- Exceed Customer Expectations:
A good shopping experience is a great driver of customer loyalty. If a customer places an order and you guarantee a delivery date, try to deliver the product before it. If you provide a free return, ensure they are seamless. Think of other ways to surprise and delight your customers that are memorable and shareable with family and friends via social media.
- Engender Loyalty:
Design a loyalty program to nurture your new customers while enabling them to earn points through their purchase. This will give them a good reason to return your business for a future purchase. Make sure you showcase your loyalty program prominently and make it easier for them to join the program.
- Train Your Team:
Everyone on your team must understand the significance of customer retention and learn how to proficiently deliver a positive experience online or in the contact center. Though great customer service is imperative to building long term customer relationship, a global study by Forbes Insights and Sailthru discovered the need to improve the way best approaches and benefits of retention are communicated internally. Retailers must keep this in mind while training their teams to provide an excellent customer experience to shoppers.
- Go Multiplatform:
As mobile and tablet devices account for a growing share of online holiday sales, it is essential for eCommerce businesses to go multiplatform. You can launch a single promotional campaign via multiple avenues to enable shoppers to engage through their preferred platform. Also, launching a single campaign helps maintain consistency and establishes a clear brand identity, while enabling multiple engagement platforms to encourage customers to explore the different avenues.
- Use Right Marketing Tools:
You must ensure you have the right marketing tools in place. This helps you demonstrate a commitment to increase the customer lifetime value (CLV) with a long-term business strategy. With the right marketing tools set up, you can boost customer acquisition, engagement, and retention, ensuring all your business needs are met holistically and across all channels and platforms.
Lastly, it’s important to know that while an amazing one-time offer can generate immediate sales, a powerful, integrated retention approach is required to convert holiday shoppers into loyal brand customers. So, make sure you exceed expectations, implement the right strategies, and deliver promises that compel customers to return to your business every time.
What are the other ways to turn holiday shoppers into lifelong customers? If you have any thoughts or suggestions, do share it in the comments below.