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Snow-covered rooftops, cosy firelight and carols – just some of the things we think about when we think about Christmas. Shopping might be another.
Holiday retail sales in 2018 surpassed $1 trillion and US households spent an average of $1,536 during the Christmas holiday period. The festive period is the biggest shopping season and involves a quarter of annual retail sales and $128 billion online sales, a 17-22% growth from 2017.
The share of spending over the holiday period continues to shift towards digital as all generations – except seniors – preferring online formats to brick-and-mortar shopping. But, why? For many, the top reasons for online shopping are convenience, free shipping and time-saving.
The stream of customers searching for the perfect gift for friends, family and partners makes the festive season a great opportunity to show your brand at its best and convert one-off gift-givers into loyal brand advocates beyond the Christmas season. Avoid drop-off by building long-term relationships with customers through a robust retention strategy – such as a loyalty program.
In this blog, we look at promotions from some of the brands who are using their loyalty programs to attract Christmas shoppers and keep them loyal for the long term.
Perfume subscription service Sniph offers loyalty members the chance to buy an exclusive, members-only advent calendar (valued at more than £450) for just £129.
With 79% of customers saying they would be loyal to a brand if they could unlock exclusive benefits, this strategy does exactly that. Making members of the community feel valued by offering them something no one else can have access to is a great way to make customers excited, keep them loyal and encourage them to recommend you to others.
Run an exclusive campaign for your loyalty program members that makes them feel valued. This could be rewarding loyalty points for shopping your Christmas collection, money off future purchases for spending a certain amount or an exclusive item that’s only available for members.
Faux lashes beauty brand, Velour Lashes make their loyalty members aware of brand updates first and foremost with dates to diarise and upcoming promotions so that loyalty customers are prioritised over non-loyalty members.
Velour Lashes has headed their email “Insider info only for you” to communicate a sense of importance in being a member of their community. The copy makes loyalty members feel valued.
Inside the email, they share the details of their upcoming Christmas gift sets and when they’ll launch so members can mark the date in their diaries. At the end of the email, they also include key sales and promotions dates, again giving the exclusive “first look” to members.
Velour Lashes also make it really easy for customers to spend with them by reminding customers of how many loyalty points they have by sharing their balance at the end of the email. This acts as a great prompt for the customer to either click through, shop and redeem points immediately or encourage them to come back and redeem those points when the promotions begin or new products drop.
Include your customers’ individual information when sending Christmas newsletters to personalise the experience for them. For instance, customise the “To:” field so the customer’s name appears in the newsletter. It’s a nice touch so the customer doesn’t feel like they’re just an anonymous number on a huge email database.
You can also use your loyalty program to pull out information specific to their account – for instance, how many loyalty points they’ve accrued, what loyalty tier they’re in and if they are close to receiving a free gift or reward.
They’ll be reminded they have points to spend with your business and will encourage them to redeem those points when they’ve turned their mind’s eye to Christmas shopping.
Ren Clean Skin Care use their loyalty program to remind members of their brand values and to highlight their environmental credentials. They pledge to donate £1 from each of their recyclable gift boxes to the charity Plastic Patrol, which takes plastic out of our oceans.
Not only are Ren Clean Skin Care reminding customers of their brand values, but are they also using this email to reiterate the benefits of their loyalty program. Here, they urge customers to sign up for exclusive offers and free UK delivery.
Remind your customers of shared values and key messages that lie at the heart of your business. When asked, 68% of customers said they are more likely to stay loyal to a brand if they share the same values. Communicating your core values is a great way to keep customers engaged.
Harness your loyalty emails over the Christmas season to showcase who you are as a brand, the “big-picture” challenges you care about and how you contribute to those causes – financially or otherwise. This will motivate customers with a similar worldview to spend with you.
Skincare brand, 100% Pure, and essential oils brand, Rocky Mountain Oils, use the festive period to showcase their various bundles and offers to appeal to all budgets and gifting needs, hitting as many tick boxes as they can for their customer base.
If you have many bundles, offers and products, it might be difficult to communicate your offering in a clear and effective way. 100% Pure and Rocky Mountain Oils design their newsletters in clear, easy-to-navigate sections, communicating their various offers from gift sets to products under $20.
Capturing customers now by showing their extensive range of products and creating an easy shopping process for customers makes it more likely that customers will sign up to become part of their loyalty program. This means Rocky Mountain Oils and 100% Pure will be able to re-engage these customers in the new year and during other seasonal promotions.
This will also increase the customer lifetime value of these customers as they’ll be more likely to return to you further down the line.
Give your customers the easiest and most hassle-free shopping experience you can. Design your newsletters in a coherent, clear way and make it simple for gift-givers to find the present they’re looking for. Personalisation is a great way to do this. Try checking what they’ve viewed or bought previously and recommend similar products that they’re likely to enjoy gifting – or to buy as a treat for themselves.
An easy, personalised shopping experience means these customers are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family which means you’ll garner and grow an engaged audience as your business grows after the Christmas period.
Gifting season is well and truly upon us. Get customers thinking about presents and gifting as early as possible and make the experience of shopping with your business as personalised and easy as possible. Providing an excellent experience now will help you plant flags for six months down the line when you can re-engage customers to shop with you again, securing long-term loyalty for many more months to come.