Just because the holiday shopping season is short doesn’t mean it’s not filled with opportunities to turn first time customers into lifelong fans of your business.
While you already engage customers throughout the year, you may be wondering what’s different about the holidays. Well, there’s a greater chance that the customers you engage during the holidays will return. According to a recent survey, 52 percent of small-business owners said that new customers attained during the holidays become repeat, loyal customers. Equally inspiring is the Google 2013 Holiday Shopping Intention Study, which found that more than half of holiday shoppers are open to purchasing from a retailer they haven’t considered in the past, especially when presented with an offer.
Given the frenetic pace of the holiday shopping season, how can you make a lasting impression and authentically connect one-on-one? You can start by following this three-step process.
1. Establish A Connection Before They Arrive
It’s now ingrained in our culture to check out a business online before making a purchase. Along with exploring your Facebook page, Pinterest boards or Twitter feeds, 88 percent of participants in a recent survey reported that online reviews influenced their buying decision.
Knowing this, look for opportunities to engage your loyal fans online and thank customers for their constructive and positive feedback.
You also want to be sure your email marketing campaigns are mobile friendly. With 56 percent of all adults now using smartphones, and the number of emails being opened on mobile devices increasing 330 percent over the past two years, don’t let technology stand between you and the customers you’re trying to attract.
2. Engage Customers Online And Offline
Once customers put your business on their holiday shopping short list, you need to engage them on their terms.
- Extend a mutually beneficial offer through social channels that rewards existing customers for sharing your offer with their friends.
- Share real customer experiences with online followers to create excitement about the promotions you’re offering this season.
- Plan an event such as an educational webinar on holiday baking tips, for example, or host a festive in-store activity. If you anticipate a large crowd, throw more than one event. This way, customers won’t feel overwhelmed and you’ll be able to engage them one-on-one.
3. Earn The Privilege Of Connecting Between Visits
To keep those good holiday vibes flowing throughout the season and beyond, be judicious in the way you connect with customers between visits.
This includes avoiding the temptation to send frequent messages about your latest promotions. Instead, provide original content that customers will find valuable. This can include secret recipes, insider tips and product sneak peeks.
Also, you’ll increase the likelihood of responses if you segment your email list based on customer interests and past purchases and then present them with compelling, customized offers.
These tips will not only enable you to create stronger ties to your customers, they’ll also boost loyalty. And according to 82 percent of business-to-consumer small-business owners, loyalty is the number-one way to grow your business.
Read more articles on holiday sales.
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