Let’s talk about loyalty programs and how to cultivate repeat customers using thoughtful, relevant, on-and-off-site marketing efforts. You’ve built this new list of both subscribers and purchasers during the holiday season, now it’s time to nurture them into engaged audiences.
Rewarding repeat purchases and loyal customers is one of the best ways to cultivate long-term relationships and advocacy. Loyalty programs give customers something to aspire to earn, and in turn, tend to encourage more purchases and higher order values.
The key to making loyalty programs work is simplicity: don’t make it hard for the customer to understand how to reach their next reward or how the program works—tangible rewards and attainable expenditures are the building blocks for success. So, how do you use loyalty programs to get your newly-acquired holiday customers more involved with your brand and incentivize their next purchase in the new year? There are a few ways to do this.
The Holiday Shopper
According to Shopify, for 64% of retailers, the shoppers acquired during the holidays have an overall lower CLV (customer lifetime value) than those acquired during the rest of the year. In addition, only 6.5% of those who bought on Black Friday will place another order within a month.
Those are sobering numbers to hear about the holiday season boom, but it makes sense. More people are shopping and they’re shopping more during this time of year than they normally would (and at places they wouldn’t normally frequent).
But not to fear, there are ways to combat this lack of a second purchase and retain more of your new traffic than meets the eye.
Just because the majority of these new shoppers are outside of your target audience doesn’t mean all remarketing hope is lost.
Use an ideal customer profile (ICP) to distinguish amongst these new shoppers, which are likely to be more profitable in the long term versus others. If you haven’t already developed an ideal customer profile, you should in order to properly focus your retention efforts.
Take into account metrics like customer lifetime value, purchase frequency, average order value (AOV), purchase influences/environment, and, of course, loyalty towards your brand.
Together the answer to these traits will create a profile of your “ideal customer”: someone who is most likely to buy from your brand, buy frequently, and purchase more.
Seeking out this customer type amongst your newest database members will not only lead to quick wins in the new year, but also help you cultivate strong segmentation amongst these new lists.
Loyalty programs and your new audience
Once you’ve selected the subscribers (or customers) you’d like to go after the most from your new traffic, you can start to implement loyalty programs.
If you already have a loyalty program, that’s even better. Make sure to follow along with the best practices below so you can maximize the return you’re getting from your newest members.
- Make rewards as attainable (and attractive) as possible.
- Let customers know their progress towards various thresholds (goals).
Start off with small and attainable goals so that a new customer will feel they can “get” something extra on their next purchase. If they feel the reward is too far away, they’ll give up on ever getting there and won’t return to your store.
Promoting extra perks in January can be a great way to encourage new customers to return faster to your site and offset the inevitable slump that follows the holiday madness. Use double points or surprise gifts (a great way to clear excess inventory) to give customers a big incentive and close the sale.
They’ll feel good about already getting something out of you for free and you’ll have gotten that elusive second purchase; it’s a win-win.
Loyalty and the customer journey
Establishing and continuing this pattern of repeat purchases is key to continuing your success into the new year. Building off an initial or second purchase is critical to preserving that momentum and nurturing them into future engagement with your brand.
Engagement in a personalized and relevant way is the key to this nurturing process. Use onsite experience and highly targeted offsite marketing efforts to unite their experience.
By using strongly segmented campaigns based on recent buying behavior, browsing patterns, and more, you can reach shoppers with the right messaging at the right time. When they’re ready to learn more, offer an equally personalized experience onsite with campaign-specific or AI-powered promotions designed to convert.
Loyalty programs united with these engaging onsite efforts can help move customers through their journey. Show that your brand understands the shoppers and their needs, turning you into a store they trust and come back to time and time again.
Loyalty programs are just one tool out of many that you as a retailer can use to cultivate better customer retention and repeat purchases. You won’t keep all of your new-found shoppers and turn them into brand advocates, but you can find the ideal shoppers within them that exhibit patterns indicating the likelihood of a high CLV. Focus on that segment and take them from first-time purchasers into repeat customers or brand advocates.
Want to learn more about loyalty programs? Check out this video from Smile, Justuno and Blue Stout: How to Increase Profits 30-50% with Existing Traffic.
This guest post was written by Kathryn Browning, Marketing Manager at Justuno. Justuno is an AI visitor conversion platform that utilizes billions of user data points to provide intelligent lead captures, personalized website messaging, and actionable insights that help ecommerce businesses turn website clicks into customers.