Three tips to turn new shoppers into lifelong customers this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has created a love affair with shopping

Year-on-year spending in the lead up to 14th February has been increasing. Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist says, “Valentine’s Day has become a holiday consumers take advantage of – not only to spoil their loved ones but themselves.” And that’s what the figures are saying too. According to the National Retail Federation, total spending on Valentine’s Day in 2018 reached $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion the previous year – the second-highest figures in the survey’s 15-year history.

The flood of customers on the hunt for an ideal gift for their partner makes Valentine’s Day the perfect opportunity to let your brand shine and convert those one-off spenders into your biggest advocates. How? By building a long-term relationship that avoids drop-off by with a carefully planned retention strategy – such as a loyalty program.

Here are three key ways to transform one-time shoppers into your biggest brand fans before they fall into the “at-risk” category this Valentine’s Day. They are:

  • Tie the knot
  • Don’t ghost them, and
  • Avoid the break up

Go get ‘em!

1. Tie the knot

Take a moment to examine your customers’ purchasing behaviour. Are they checking out as a guest? If so, you’re missing a key opportunity to build a long-term relationship with them.

If the customer has spent time on your site and purchased already, the chances are they care enough to create an account with you – especially if they can benefit from it.

And who doesn’t love an immediate benefit? Use your loyalty program to encourage more sign-ups by tantalising your shoppers with points or rewards for creating an account. If they can immediately translate points earned into a discount, you’ve just made their day and shown how worthwhile you are as a brand. With added points already on their profile, they’ll be encouraged to buy a bigger, and more expensive, gift because they’re immediately getting more bang for their buck. Everyone wins.

An example of a business who successfully incentivises customers is natural cosmetics and beauty brand, 100% Pure. They use LoyaltyLion to offer a 20% coupon to those who join their program. Gift-seekers can then use this deal for presents for their other loved ones further down the line. As a result, they’ve experienced four times reduction in customer churn. Customers who join 100% Pure’s loyalty scheme spend 72% more than non-members and the program has driven a 3x increase in purchase frequency, with 92% of loyalty members going on to purchase five more times after their fourth purchase.

Not only are your customers now keen to come back and see what other deals you’re putting their way, but you’ve also opened up a positive line of communication to keep them engaged and updated after Valentine’s Day.

2. Don’t ghost them

Now that you’ve got a clear line of communication set up with your new customers – don’t ghost them! Going quiet is a sure way to lose a customer’s interest; they signed up for a reason and they want to hear from you.

You could use the onboarding process to ask customers specific questions about the person they’re buying for. This way, when you communicate with these customers later on, you can tailor the contents of your emails to the tastes of the individual receiving the gift, rather than the gift-giver.

Use the information you’ve acquired to send tailored emails around other gift-giving peak seasons, such as Christmas. These emails could show the points the customer earned for the first gift and related products they could spend them on. Clueless gift-givers will welcome these suggestions with open arms – especially when they are struggling for ideas.

Any of these emails can be enhanced to include a reference to your loyalty program. If the customer has earned points by purchasing from you, tell them about it! They’ll be happy to know they’ve got a growing bank of points to redeem in the future and it will make them more likely to return and buy their gifts from you rather than your competition.

3. Avoid the break up

Valentine’s Day has passed and you’ve hit peak sales. Keep the momentum going by using your loyalty program to encourage these new faces to bring other befuddled gift-givers to your site.

Award these customers with loyalty points if they refer a friend. They’ll get money off future gifts and you’ll acquire new customers. You could also give your newly referred customers a special perk – such as express shipping – that encourages them to shop with you for their Valentine’s gift over your competitors.

A carefully planned retention strategy is a sure way to make your new customers feel valued after Valentine’s Day. Don’t let them languish on a database where they’ll forget who you are and what you do. Make them rely on you for future gifts by offering them rewards and points. Implement the above three strategies and watch your member purchase frequency soar.

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