The holiday season is not only the happiest time of the year but also the busiest. Around 70% of small business owners recognize it as their top opportunity to increase sales and invest a lot of effort in preparing for this joyous time. They are, of course, right in doing so. Last year, retail sales around the holidays surpassed a trillion dollars, and there’s no reason to expect holiday spending to slow down in 2021.
Staying Loyal to Loyalty
But while businesses are right to get ready for the winter wonderland of sales, they often don’t cover all the bases. The average to-do list includes special marketing budgets, unique discounts, festive decorations, and almost no consideration for the loyalty club.
Businesses get so caught up trying to bring in new customers with shiny new offerings that they forget to invest in their existing customer base. Instead of showing their love and appreciation for the customers that keep them happy year-round, they lose focus and risk their establishment’s bread and butter.
How likely are customers to switch brands around the holidays? It depends. On the one hand, 41% of consumers state that shopping with brands they love is their go-to move. On the other, 70% are still open to new retailers and offers. If a beloved brand drops the ball and neglects to make the most out of this opportunity, they may lose a loyal customer for good.
It’s essential to have a solid loyalty strategy in place since loyal customers will put you to the test, and new ones will likely discover your business when searching for relevant products or gifts.
Ho Ho How to promote loyalty during the holidays
Here are a few things to consider when designing your loyalty strategy:
- Invest in your existing crowd: Make your current customers a clear priority to ensure that they continue to choose your business over the competition. These are the brand ambassadors you can approach asking to spread the word about your sales events. How can you keep them happy? By offering special discounts for the holidays and even better ones for returning customers. Research finds that 46% of US shoppers expect holiday discounts, and 45% consider them a deciding factor when holiday shopping.
- But also capitalize on the opportunity: This is the chance to expand your customer base and turn fleeting holiday visitors into loyal customers. Don’t forget to invite new customers to join your loyalty club and harness mobile communication features like push notifications to stay in touch later on. The combination of a seamless digital experience, great messaging, and special offers will do the trick.
- Give the gift of personalization: Cater to returning customers’ preferences with tailored content and personalized offers. Let them know you care enough about them to create a customized shopping list that suits their needs and budgets. Your loyalty program will ensure that core customers remain loyal and purchase more when gift shopping. Content helps promote specific products that might otherwise get lost in the crowd, and being the personal shopping assistant they always wanted will make your loyalty app the new Santa.
- Analyze, analyze, analyze: Wait, but how can you learn enough about customers’ preferences to make tailored suggestions? The answer is data. Your loyalty system studies customers’ needs by analyzing past shopping behavior. The more they shop and use the app, the better your suggestions become. And the best part? After this year’s holiday season, you’ll gather more information to make the next season even better.
- The time is now: Don’t wait for the last minute to build your loyalty strategy for the holidays. Harness end-to-end solutions like Glue Loyalty to ensure every loyalty feature is in place ASAP. Invest time in crafting clever themed messages, coming up with compelling offers, and building a marketing campaign around your holiday loyalty benefits.
This year, make your loyalty club the star of the show and put it at the center of your holiday sales strategy. Keep existing customers happy and make new ones a part of the family, and you’ll have every reason to celebrate.