The festive and holiday seasons mark the most important period for any business looking to drive sales and profit. Apart from the usual sale and promotional periods that get people spending, it’s usually the branding and customer expansion that businesses are looking at. More customers means higher revenue, and not just during the festive periods, but all year around. Research has shown that 80% of future profit is derived from 20% returning customers. This means if you can successfully turn a one-time shopper into a returning customer, you will have increased your annual earnings by 4% per customer. That’s pretty massive, isn’t it? Turning your one-time shoppers into returning customers isn’t exactly rocket science, it just takes a little TLC and going the extra mile to nail it. Let’s take a look at 5 simple ways you can do that.
He who goes above and beyond will be rewarded handsomely. Ever wondered why retail staff are paid double the rates to work during the festivities? Apart from the fact that they’re required to work the full shift, they’re also expected to work twice as hard to provide the best experience to customers. All that aside, the quickest way to convert a shopper into a returning customer is to provide them with a smooth-sailing buying experience. This creates a positive association with the brand and encourages the customer to return for future purchases. Even online, the customer service experience exists. The little grace notes such as saying thank you, a smiley emoticon, the exclamation mark that makes you sound more excited to serve your customer all add to the impression.
Outside of customer service, it’s the act of ensuring your website is crash-free, easy and quick to browse through. It’s making refunding and returns easier for your customers and how much you’re willing to bend your business policies to make their request work. All these fall under customer service and they are going to determine if your customer has loved or hated it all.
Do not confuse people experience with customer service. Although the two are very much linked by the common theme of human interaction, the former deals with casual conversations and putting the human in human touch, while the latter is concerned with executing their job to perfection. We are all social creatures and desire connection even when we’re shopping. But there’s a surprising lot that you can learn and gather from your customers just by putting 10-15 minutes aside to have a casual chat with them.
A conversation with one customer alone offers you insight into their background, their spending power, their interest and hobbies, all which you can leverage on to learn about their product interest, the demographics or age group you can potentially market your products and services to, and the people they’re likely to recommend your products to. This practice is harder to achieve online, and most people rely on feedback forms and analytics to do so instead. But anytime you can spare to chat with your customer is a potential nugget of information you may stumble upon to improve your business. So to that, we say spend time getting to know your customers, they will come in handy during festivities.
Retarget and remarket are two very common methods employed by all businesses to get customers coming back. In a physical store, you would be telling your customers about your latest products. Online, you would be blasting out newsletters to your customers, new and old, to let them know that there’s a new product in store waiting for them to grab. It serves as a gentle reminder to your customers to come back and give your new products a chance. More importantly, it tells your customers there’s that one trusty place they can go back to buying gifts when they’re at wit’s end. Of course, you shouldn’t go promoting just about every new product on your display window/homepage to your customers. You will have to be subtle and smart about it, identify which products appeal to your customers, which is where people experience/analytics & metrics come in.
Freebies, coupons, free delivery, point exchange systems! Everyone would kill to have some free stuff or stuff that doesn’t require spending to get. Loyalty programs are a great way to get your customers to come back for more, because it builds a sort of progression to something bigger and better. If you can include some exclusive product never to be found elsewhere into your loyalty program, you can bet someone will probably return more frequently to spend, rack up points in the loyalty program and spend them. In a way, loyalty programs are a way of saying “Thanks for your wonderful years of support, we couldn’t have done it without you, have some exclusive perks on us!” Some people dislike spending an arm or a leg for festive gifts, and what better way to avoid that than by spending their hard earned points?
Brand packaging is a nice way to seal the deal with your customers, especially when it’s the festive season and everyone wants their gifts to look good. Even if it isn’t the festive season, brand packaging is important in leaving a lasting impression to your customers. From the intricate designs in boxes to the little thank you notes you leave in them, they all play a role in getting someone to spending. Humans are visual creatures, and they’re more attracted to spending if something looks good to them.
There are many ways you can convert a shopper into repeat customers and it’s ultimately a process of trial and error that you will have to discover to determine what works best for your business. Never be afraid of trying out different tactics to get your customers spending. At the end of the day, if it doesn’t work out, it just means you know of one less method that works for you, but 99 others that may prove to be a boon.