Not just for Christmas: 7 ways to keep shoppers coming back after the festive period

Despite cookie changes and supply chain shortages, the retail sector has remained robust. The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently forecasted that November and December sales will grow between 8.5% and 10.5% this year. NRF Chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz, also had this to say:

“The outlook for the holiday season looks very bright. The unusual and beneficial position we find ourselves in is that households have increased spending vigorously throughout most of 2021 and remain with plenty of holiday purchasing power.”

With purchasing power on the up, and Christmas predicted to be bigger than ever, there will be plenty of new customers shopping around for the perfect gift. But have you had the chance to think about how you’ll retain them in the New Year?

Christmas is an ideal time to focus on more than just sales; it’s perfect for creating long-term emotional connections between your business and your customers. In the end, they’ll be more likely to return to shop again. 

This blog will give you seven tips for festive ecommerce and will show you how to retain your Christmas shoppers into the New Year, and beyond.

See how consumers really feel about about seasonal discounts

1. Personalization πŸŽ‰

All too often, customers complain about faceless brands and companies that don’t care about them or their purchase experience. By showing your customers that you know them and their preferences using personalization, you can create brand loyalty. In fact, 65% of shoppers reported being loyal to the brands that sent them personalized offers. 61% reported that they would be loyal if they received personalized product recommendations.

Using a loyalty program, send personalized emails to let shoppers know how many points they have to spend with you in their account. This kind of email compels customers to open them before other promotional emails from different brands as it contains information personalized to them.

For example, Tower London sends out emails that do exactly this. They tell customers how many points they have in their account as well as their loyalty tier, compelling them to shop with the business again.

2. Double point events πŸ™Œ

To keep your customers’ lifetime value consistently high, consider putting seasonal strategies in place that keep them coming back to you over the Christmas period, and beyond.

Double loyalty point events add a little sparkle to the season as they give customers added value for shopping with you. For each dollar they spend, consider offering double your regular amount for a limited time only.

Screenshot 2021 11 25 At 15.31.42

These kinds of events will add a surge of points to your Christmas customers’ accounts. With points waiting for them, they’ll be more likely to return in the New Year to spend. As a result, you get customers with a longer lifetime value.

3. Early access to sales and offers πŸ”₯

Our research exposed that:

  • 70% of customers say that early access to sales would motivate them to purchase over seasonal peaks
  • 79% of consumers are loyal to brands if they can unlock exclusive benefits

This year over the Christmas giving season, try supplementing discounts with VIP experiences for your high-value customers – like early access to your sales.

Screenshot 2021 11 25 At 15.45.05

These experiences make shoppers feel valued by your brand and they’ll remember the top-quality customer experience you’ve given them. Because of this positive sentiment, they’ll choose you over your competition as they know they’re by you on a one-to-one basis.

4. Early access to products 🎁

Much like early access to sales, giving your most loyal customers early access to new products also makes them feel like a VIP. By giving them a top-tier customer experience, they’re going to be more likely to return to you and act as an advocate on your behalf. Plus, if they’re the first to get their hands on a product, they’ll be more likely to share it on social media once it’s launched to all. Plus:

  • 69% of customers said that early access to new products would make them purchase over seasonal peaks

With a loyalty program, you can place your most loyal customers into a top tier of your loyalty program where they get the ability to give feedback on products and get first dibs on them before others.

Screenshot 2021 11 25 At 15.52.58

5. Free or discounted shipping 🚚

  • 76% of consumers said that free or discounted shipping would encourage them to buy from a brand over peak periods, like Christmas

Free shipping allows you to replace the feel-good factor of a financial reward without cheapening your products or brand. Over the festive period, set up loyalty tiers that give shoppers at different levels varied shipping perks.

The healthcare brand, Happy Mammoth, gives customers in their second tier free shipping on orders over $90. But when shoppers move into the “Gold” and “Insider” tiers they get lifetime free shipping on all orders.

Screenshot 2021 11 25 At 15.57.24

This benefit will make your seasonal shoppers return to you after the Christmas season as they’ll know that by spending more with you over time, they’ll get better rewards that financially benefit them.

6. Letting customers donate to a charitable initiative 🌱

Today’s shoppers are conscious consumers. We all want to shop with brands that align with our personal beliefs and better the planet. In fact:

  • 84% of consmers say it’s important that a company supports charitable causes
  • Half of Americans say that they would switch to a company that supports a cause they believe in
  • 62% of shoppers say they would purchase from a brand over seasonal peaks if they could contribute to a charity or initiative that they supported

Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year, so why not use it to show your shoppers how you care about the same things as them. You could let customers earn points for completing charitable-based actions – like Astrid & Miyu who give customers loyalty points for recycling their unused jewelry. Or let shoppers spend their points on charitable donations.

Screenshot 2021 11 25 At 16.11.05

If shoppers feel connected to you this way over Christmas when they’re choosing where to shop, they’re going to think fondly of you for the rest of the year too. The result will be more brand loyalty and a higher lifetime value.

7. Make gift-givers your advocates πŸ’–

The majority of shoppers over Christmas time will be shopping around for perfect gifts for loved ones. If you give them the motivation to do more than just bag a gift, they’ll stick around outside of the festive season.

With a referral program, give them loyalty points for referring others to your brand. For example, when shoppers refer their friends, nuud gives the advocate 10% off their next order. Meanwhile, the new customer who’s been referred gets 20% off their first order.

Nuud Referral Email 1

Rewarding Christmas gift-givers for making referrals will mean they’ll be more likely to return to you in the New Year as they have acquired points ready to spend. Plus, the new customer you acquired through the referral will also return and spend more often too. In fact, referred customers have a 16-25% higher lifetime value than customers acquired other ways.

Let the festivities commence

With Christmas being such a busy time of year, it’s important to remember that there are ways to compete without driving prices through the floor. Improving your customer relationships by increasing personalization, customer experience, and giving VIP experiences is an excellent way to keep sales high throughout 2021.

To see how customers real feel about seasonal shopping peaks, download The new discounting playbook.

Emailbanner Q3 The New Discounting Playbook 1

About the author

Mollie Woolnough-Rai

Mollie is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion. After graduating from UCL in 2016, she has worked both in-house and at marketing agencies providing expertise in content for both B2B and B2C clients. At LoyaltyLion, Mollie manages our content, making sure our readers get the best quality resources about customer loyalty and retention.