DCR Strategies Presents: Holiday Marketing Tips Pt. 3
Good things in life come in threes, including DCR Strategies Holiday Marketing Tips series! In Part 1, we dished the deets on the “Dos and Don’ts” of customer communication and outreach, plus how to deliver a stand-out digital shopping and payment experience. In Part 2, we focused on starting your holiday marketing campaigns early, preparing for the inevitable weekend rushes and last-minute shoppers, and doubly stressed the importance of offering a personalized holiday shopping experience. What holiday marketing tips do we have ready for you in Part 3? Read on to find out!
Holiday Marketing Tip #10: DON”T Forget About Your Customers After The Holidays End
After the shopping snowstorm of the holiday season finally settles down in the new year, many companies–especially small businesses–decide to take a step and dial down on marketing, promotions, and customer acquisition. This “time off,” coupled with a post-holiday shopping draught, a slew of returned items and lost/unused gift cards, and a near-ubiquitous tightening of wallets and purses, can lead to a huge drop in sales and revenue that many businesses feel for months to come. Don’t fall into that trap!
Avoid the post-holiday revenue blues and start the new year off right by maintaining strong relationships with your customers. During the holidays, your business (hopefully) had an influx of new holiday customers. Don’t wait until the following holiday season to engage with customers. Reach out to them in January and turn these one-time buyers into repeat–and possibly lifetime–shoppers.
Thank your customers for their holiday loyalty with a personalized email. Make a social media post about special sales and promotions. Offer incentives, such as personalized offers, special sales, free shipping, or additional bonus points on their new loyalty card to customers who purchased during the holidays. Follow-up with customers and ask them about their shopping experiences, and how you could improve. Host an event in mid-January to show off new products and merchandise. Increase brand awareness and push new or unsold products by offering rebates or a referral program via your business’ loyalty program. This January, avoid a holiday hangover by offering an open-loop card as a holiday loyalty reward and watch as the customers keep coming back.
Holiday Marketing Tip #11: DON’T Only Reward Customers For Spending Money
While the main driver behind a customer loyalty program is obviously to keep your customers shopping–and spending–at your business, there’s more to life (and sales) than simply trying to get them to buy more. Rewarding customers when they spend money isn’t the only way to motivate your customer base. Any actions that directly or indirectly benefit your business should also be rewarded.
Offer loyalty points for post-sharing on social media, filling out online surveys, responding to emails, referring new customers, downloading your company app, or writing a review. Not only are these marketing strategies cost-effective ways to thank customers for your brand loyalty, but they will also serve to increase your retention rates and improves sales in the long term. Just be careful not to make it too difficult for customers to earn a reward, as this will have the opposite effect and result in a loss of engagement. It may even lose you customers forever. No one wants to use a time-consuming incentives program that offers paltry rewards.
Holiday Marketing Tip #12: Incentivize Your Employees To Deliver The Best Customer Experience
When the holiday rush is in full gear, it can be easy for small businesses to get overwhelmed by the influx of demanding customers who are also feeling the stress of holiday shopping (29% of shoppers report feeling stress while doing their holiday shopping). Your employees are the face of your company and on the front lines of the holiday “battle” for customer loyalty. Happy, motivated employees are the most valuable asset a company can have. 41% of customers are loyal to a brand or company because they noticed a positive employee attitude. 68% of customers defect from a brand or company because of a negative employee attitude.
A motivated workforce will ensure that holiday shoppers are properly attended to and enjoy a quick, easy, and stress-free shopping experience. Shoplifting is at an all-time during the holidays, and an inspired employee is a fantastic deterrent against theft. This holiday season, invest in your employees with a holiday incentive program and keep your customers happy and loyal.
- 83% of employees said they would feel more appreciated, work harder, and have more loyalty towards the company if they received a holiday incentive.
- 39% of employees feel underappreciated at work, with 77% reporting that they would work harder if they felt better recognized.
- Properly structured incentive programs can increase employee performance by as much as 44%.
Online customer service also has an important role to play in keeping customers happy during the holidays. As we pointed out in Part 1, reach out to your customers and offer timely and helpful support across multiple channels. 33% of social media users prefer customer service through a social media channel over telephone or email. Keep active, stay in touch, and respond quickly to any messages or responses.
Holiday Marketing Tip #13:DON’T: Make Checkout, Shipping, Or Returns A Hassle
As far as holiday marketing tips go, this is a big one. 80% of shoppers say they are “highly likely” to shop online for holiday gifts. A clunky and confusing checkout experience will have customers abandoning their carts and shopping at your competitors. Even more detrimental to your customer conversion rates are expensive, slow shipping, and customer-unfriendly return policies.
- 68% of consumers said free shipping is extremely important to their decision to shop online.
- 91% of those surveyed said free shipping had at least some influence on their decision to buy.
Timely shipping is especially important during the holidays; there are few things more frustrating than having a gift arrive just after Christmas!
- 40% of consumers said they would not purchase from a merchant that takes more than two days to ship.
- 63% of consumers expect delivery within three days.
Decrease online card abandonment by streamlining the checkout process, optimizing for mobile, securing your payments page, and offering free shipping and fast delivery. Keep your customers up-to-date with emails and online tracking links that inform customers on the delivery status of their purchases, Smooth over holiday pain points with a helpful and welcoming return policy that not only keeps your customers coming back but also gets them to shop with you in the first place.
- 66% of shoppers say they will check the returns policy before purchasing from an unfamiliar online retailer.
- 55% of customers will avoid purchasing from retailers that don’t accept free in-store returns or free returns by mail.
- 33% of shoppers say that after just one negative return experience, they will never shop at that retailer again.
- On the other hand, more than 60% of customers will shop more often from retailers who provide free returns.
- 41% will add more items to their cart basket if they know the retailer accepts free returns.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy, so make sure your business does its part and to get some presents of your own!
STILL need even more holiday marketing tips? Check out our 2019 Holiday Incentive E-Book below to see how DCR Strategies can help you win the season with innovative incentives that will make a difference.
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