How to turn Christmas shoppers into loyal customers

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Can bargain-hunting Xmas shoppers be retained as loyal customers?

Shopping for the Holiday season is a hotly debated topic, whether to start in August or leave it until late December. Ashamedly, I must admit that I fall into the latter. What can I say? I love endless queues, trodden toes and a scramble in Aisle 1 for the last Christmas Pudding.

With festive shoppers becoming discount customers searching high and low for the best deals, how can brands turn ‘Discount Daisys’ into ‘Loyal Larrys’?

Increase awareness of discounts & deals

Consumers are mostly turning to the net for their Holiday shopping, in a bid to avoid the fun and games listed above. But what can retailers do to encourage those last few people heading to the busy high streets? Through our research we have discovered that 60% of YOU would in fact start your Holiday shopping sooner, should you be made aware of online deals.

Of course, this can be done in many ways offline, TV adverts and billboards for example. However, for a more cost effective solution (It typically costs 5 times more to win a new customer than to get repeat business), first and foremost we should make use of customer's details that we have. Personalized automated emails after someone buys a product, are a fantastic way to re-engage recent customers with your latest deals. Increasing their loyalty to your brand in the process by making them aware of the deals that you know they will love,. This will serve to strengthen your relationship with the customer and lead to repeat purchases!

Listen to your customers

Once you have converted a sale on your website, it is important to look at the next stage of the customer journey, feedback. Customers love to be listened to and to see their feedback taken on board. In an age of Social Media where a customer can ‘Tweet’ a matter of seconds after a purchase both positive and negative feedback, it is clear that customers are becoming more willing to share their views on your offering. For some, yes this can be a worry but your customer feedback should be seen as an opportunity to your business and not a threat, especially if you act upon this and the customer notices.

But what about customers who abandon their shopping cart?

The holiday season will see an increase of traffic to eCommerce sites, so why not take advantage of this and find out more about your shoppers? In a recent twitter poll we asked ‘Do you regularly fill in customer feedback surveys?’ and the answer came in an overwhelming 68% yes.

So why not give it a try with a survey that appears as your shoppers are about to abandon their basket? This allows you to enhance your customer journey based on feedback from those who decided not to go ahead and purchase. This gives you a real opportunity to increase conversions and turn abandoners down the path of loyalty.

Turn your customers into sales people

Finally, and leading on from the previous point, it is important to turn your customers into Sales people, and you can do this through User Generated Content. Reevoo, recently said that ‘Content created by peers is much more influential than brand created content with 60% of people seeing it as ‘very Influential’. This highlights the importance of allowing your loyal customers to have a voice on your site.

This works to increase the loyalty of both the customers posting a review and shoppers on your site who see customer reviews as an objective way of judging your products. In fact, it is thought that customer reviews can help uplift sales by an incredible 18% - I think we would all love that!

To make the most of this holiday season, it’s vital that your customers know the great offers that you have. Show them off through automated post-purchase emails that highlight, and drive shoppers back to your site time and again. Value the voice of abandoning customers as much as those who convert. And finally, utilise user generated content for an uplift in loyalty and sales!

Matt Anderson is a marketing assistant as SaleCycle

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