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5 things arts and crafts stores should be doing to retain new customers they’ve acquired

The arts and crafts sector has seen unprecedented growth over the past few weeks, reaching a 117% increase as people look for ways to attempt themselves without leaving the house.

Rosa Inocencio Smith of the Atlantic summarizes the situation by saying that, “Like many others in these times, I’ve turned to arts such as crochet and knitting to make sense of the chaos around me.”

With so many shoppers looking to get creative, now is the time to focus on turning the new visitors you acquire into long-term, loyal customers. Here are our top five tips for boosting retention as an arts and crafts business.

Let’s dive in!

1️⃣Turn your guest shoppers into loyal members 

Members generate between 12 and 18% more revenue per year than guest shoppers. When your guest shoppers become a member of your program, you can unlock insights about their individual buying behavior and deliver more personalized communication. This will help you to build longer-lasting relationships whilst accelerating your marketing efforts.

To encourage your shoppers to create an account, you can award them with loyalty points or offer a discount on their next purchase. For example, RubberMoon offers a 100 points if customers create an account. They also briefly explain the benefits of their loyalty program to show why it’s worth their while.

It is important to keep in mind that 78% of shoppers are motivated to create an account if the sign-up process is easy. Therefore, to ensure they complete the registration process, you need to provide a simple and user-friendly journey. Here you can see that RubberMoon uses a basic form to prevent shoppers from losing interest mid-way through the process.

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2️⃣ Provide exclusive rewards to keep your members engaged

79% of shoppers are encouraged to become loyal to a brand if they can unlock exclusive benefits or rewards. However, to keep your customers active and engaged, your rewards should be accessible. 22% of members become inactive if it takes too long to earn points or unlock rewards that can be redeemed.

You can enable program members to earn points instantly via onsite or offsite activities such as site visits or following on social media. For example, Let’s Make Art offer their shoppers the chance to earn 50 points for each follow on social media and 100 points for signing up to the newsletter.

74% of shoppers are motivated to return to the store by working towards a goal or reward. To give their customers a reason to come back to the store, they offer discounts based on the points that members have collected.

As a result, their active members now spend 34% more than their inactive members. Their repeat purchase rates have also grown, with active members returning to purchase again 25% more. 

Another arts and craft brand, Beadaholique directly offers discounts to their new members to increase engagement. This approach has helped them to increase member spend by 50%.

To give new customers more reasons to return to your store, you can also reward their site visits with loyalty points like Oh, Hello Co.

3️⃣Incentivize your new members to become brand advocates

In order to acquire new customers more cost-effectively, we recommend implementing a referral strategy that leverages your loyal customer base. It is widely known that consumers are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend or family member. Furthermore, the customer lifetime value of a referred customer is 16% higher than that of a customer acquired in other ways. 

To encourage your new customers to make a referral, you can incentivize them with loyalty points. For example, Blank Tag Co. offers 1,000 points to their members if they refer their store to a friend. And, to ensure that they convert the referred customer, they offer a 20% discount on their first purchase.

To make this process easy for their customers, they have enabled referrals via email, social, and WhatsApp directly within their loyalty page. As a result, they have gained 4,000 new visits from referrals, generating large opportunities for additional revenue.

In addition to a referral strategy, you can also encourage your customers to act as advocates by writing a review about your store or product. Today, 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as they trust referrals from their friends or family. To encourage your customers to leave reviews, you can incentivize them with loyalty points, just as Brutus Monroe do. They offer 10 points if a member leaves a product review on their site. You can also integrate your existing review platforms with your loyalty program to generate higher visibility and maximize ROI on your existing marketing channels.  

4️⃣ Build a brand community that stands for something 

47% of customers are loyal to a brand if they’re welcomed into a brand community of like-minded individuals. To build a brand community, you need to customize your loyalty program based on your brand values. Then through your loyalty program, you can encourage customers to engage and stay connected with your store.

For example, Darn Good Yarn created a 90 Day Crafting Challenge on Instagram that enhances engagement and strengthens their brand community. To encourage customers to share content, they enabled them to earn a “Karma Point” when they post on Instagram with #darngoodyarn hashtag.

As a result of this approach, Darn Good Yarn increased order numbers by 72% in one month and have seen a 39% higher customer spend from their loyal community.

5️⃣ Keep an eye on your at-risk customers

70% of first-time customers do not return to make a second purchase. Data differs from store to store, but for the remaining 30% of your first-time customers you might expect them to return to make a second purchase within 30 days. Therefore, it’s easy to identify and segment those customers who become ‘at risk’ – not returning to make that next purchase within an expected timeframe. 

Once you have identified your at-risk customers, it’s important to win them back by making them feel valued. Surprise and delight is the key here. For example, you can send personalized loyalty emails about their available rewards or points balances to remind them of your store. To surprise them, you can offer them a discount on their birthday via loyalty emails. Such activities would urge them to return to your store and purchase again, ensuring that they re-engage before they churn completely. 

With a higher number of new customers reaching arts and craft stores at the moment, it’s even more likely that you will wind up with a pool of at-risk customers. However re-converting these customers will take a lesser time and financial investment than winning over completely new ones. 

Boost your retention

Whether or not the current spike in arts and crafts ecommerce can be maintained, the relationships that you start to build with new customers can be. By following these five steps, you can ensure that growth is sustained, and the lifetime value of your customer base increases. Don’t let these new shoppers disappear again, but instead focus on retaining them so that they become loyal, shop from you again, and even help you to acquire more customers cost-effectively. 

If you’re an arts and crafts brand and you’d like to talk  about any of the retention strategies outlined in this post in more detail, then get in touch with one of our team – we’d be happy to show you some more examples or talk through your store’s unique challenges.

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