Now that the holiday season of 2016 is behind us, the new year presents retailers with a great opportunity to take stock of the past year's events and plan for the year ahead. However, in addition to planning strategies to gain new customers in the next year, marketers shouldn't overlook a key opportunity in 2017: ensuring retailer customer loyalty.
According to a report from RJMetrics, customers acquired during the holidays have a 13 percent lower lifetime value. But it doesn't have to be this way. Marketers can take some proactive steps in the post-holiday period from January through March to boost retailer customer loyalty in the new year and make one-time customers into repeat customers.
It may be tempting to think of customer loyalty as no big deal, especially if you're a small or medium-sized retail business. After all, as long as sales increase every year, why does it matter where the deals come from? In fact, only 32 percent of executives say retaining existing customers is a priority, according to Forbes. However, repeat customers are actually much more valuable than one-time customers, spending on average five times more per transaction, a study performed by Adobe explained. In addition, that same report revealed just 8 percent of a store's customer base can make up to 40 percent of its revenue, which is why cultivating loyal, repeat customers is so crucial. So how can you turn a holiday shopper into a year-round shopper?
It's almost certain the majority of purchases made in December are gifts for other people, which is why retargeting first-time buyers with items that were purchased for other people isn't always a wise use of your marketing budget. Instead, MarketingLand suggests marketers request more self-reported information from purchasers. For instance, ask whether something was a gift and offering suggestions about related products so you can tweak your messaging accordingly.
Of course, it's not just new customers you want to retain. Repeat customers themselves are often holiday shoppers, so keep your base as engaged as possible at the start of a new year. Offering post-holiday deals to newsletter subscribers, incentives for leaving reviews for new customers, and of course, energizing regular social media followers with rewards for likes, shares, comments and retweets in the new year is a great way to keep customers engaged who are already familiar with your brand.
Though there's much for marketers to consider in the new year, it's important to boost retailer customer loyalty in this period. The weeks following the busy holiday period provide a unique opportunity to connect with your customers and keep your brand in mind.