For eCommerce stores, the influx of shoppers during this holiday season is something to be merry about. With seasonal shopping, the traffic increases with the shoppers’ intent to spend more money online. But, what do you do when there’s a sudden surge in traffic?

A study has revealed that less than one-third of shoppers won’t order for the second time within the course of a year. This means that more than 78% of customers won’t come back to your site after their first purchase.

With the fact that it’s much more expensive to acquire new customers by 500% compared to retaining new ones, it’s crucial that during this holiday season or any important seasons, your online store is leveraging on the rush of multiplied seasonal shoppers by building customer retention and loyalty a priority.

To employ a good retention and loyalty strategy in place during any seasonal shopping, we’ve curated easy and actionable 9 tips to help you increase your profitability by turning seasonal shoppers into loyal and year-round customers who spend three-times more than one-time buyers.

Our 9 tips are segmented into three parts: Nurturing, Delighting, and Reigniting. Ready to drive repeat purchases? Let’s start!

Nurture Relationships with Email

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful marketing media. Notwithstanding, it is affordable, convenient, and easy to use compared to other platforms. In fact, its response rate is better than direct mail by 5 times and that of banner ads by 25 times.

To build an actionable and highly effective email marketing campaign work for your seasonal shoppers, here are some best practices on how you can use email as a retention and loyalty program:

1 – Begin with an Incentivized Thank You Email

Typically sent within a day or two after an order completion, a thank you email is one of the email best practices that produce high open rate soaring as high as 42% and an average of 10% conversion rates. It’s effortless to schedule a triggered thank you email because you can automate this process using MailBot.  

Mailbot email automation

However, just sending a thank you note won’t do much of the trick. Be sure to incentivize your seasonal shoppers to visit your site again and make a purchase using a discount coupon. If you want to maximize your profitability, instead of using a discount rate at 10%, offer a 15% discount. It has been found out that using the increments of 15% to your discounts can yield more than triple conversion rates. Add a sense of urgency to your discount coupon by setting expiration dates like a 24-hour offer only.

2 – Send Order Progress with Product Upsells/Cross-sells

Instead of just plainly sending an email notifying an order’s progress, you can easily add more value to your order progress email by recommending cross-sell or upsell products.

More savvy marketers use a shopper’s behavior and purchase history to suggest products that are similar or complementary to a customer’s recent order. You can already establish a relationship with your customers by offering them what they can possibly be interested in.

3 – Ask for a Feedback

The best time to ask for a feedback is when your shoppers have already had the chance to use the product they’ve purchased. Normally, you can set it up a feedback email 5 days or a week after the order has been received.

When you ask for a feedback, you are telling your customers that their opinions matter to you. Customers will stay loyal if they feel valued and that there’s a way for them to voice out their experiences. You can also showcase feedbacks and reviews on your website to act as social proofs to influence shoppers in conforming based on the choices made by others.  For example, Lazada sends out a product review email and later on displays the product review on its site’s product page.

how to retain customers

To nudge your shoppers in responding to your feedback survey and plus, it’s time-consuming to write reviews, you could motivate them by giving discounts for future purchase or entering them into a raffle draw.

4 – Email early access to new promos or exclusive deals

The use of exclusivity is a strong motivator to keep a customer from coming back to your online store. If, for example, you have a big sale coming up, try to exclusively announce it to your seasonal shoppers first to stir their interest.

Letting them have an early access to new promotions, introductory products or seasonal deals will forge your relationship with your seasonal shoppers. It’s a way for you to make them feel valued and letting them know the perks of continuing their relationship with your online store.

Delight Customers with Customer Experience

A single bad customer experience will definitely hamper your seasonal shoppers in continuing a year-round relationship or let alone in making another purchase from your online store. Especially that there are lots of competitors around, why would they continue buying from one with an awful customer experience?

This is why your online store should take customer experience a priority if you want to turn your seasonal customers into long-term buyers. In fact, an analysis found out that there’s a tremendously high degree of correlation between customer experience and loyalty. Aside from making your shoppers satisfied and loyal, it’s also a way to keep ahead of your competition by being the top choice, if not the only choice of your target market. Here’s how to make your customer experience a retention strategy:

5 – Take On-site Personalization a Priority

The one size fits all mindset in the eCommerce industry has shifted because of the increasingly prevalent customers’ expectations for an individualized experience. So, transition your website to deliver a personalized shopping experience to your visitors to add value when they are browsing products on your website.

When you use on-site personalization platforms such as Personalized Recommendation, you build a unique shopping experience by suggesting recommended products based on the items they’ve viewed or added on their carts.

product recommendations

By personalizing your offers and tailor fitting your suggestions based on your customers’ specific needs and wants, online merchants can prove that they understand their shoppers. This matches their expectations which helps in driving loyalty and more frequent visits. Thus, increasing conversions and average order value.

6 – Integrate a Live Chat

Over the years, more and more eCommerce stores have been adding real-time customer support as part of their customer loyalty program. This is because a 24/7 customer service is the top-most reason on how a company can gain customer loyalty.

To enable your customer support without too much hassle from your customers, why not offer a live chat directly through their social media account? It prevents them from getting annoyed by eliminating more steps and registrations.

For example, the free Quick Facebook Chat can help you chat with your visitors’ Facebook accounts right on your website.This provides a less complicated way to provide real-time communication with customers who are on-the-go and even on their mobile devices.

facebook live chat

7 – Start a multi-tiered rewards program

20% of shoppers said that rewarding them is one of the best ways to build their loyalty with an online store. While a rewards program is a must in enhancing your retention, you might want to shift to a multi-tiering process to make your rewards program more lively and exciting.

There is a variety of ways to make tiering rewards program like earning points, miles, stars or simply the amount spent. The idea is to incentivize customers to keep on buying more in order to climb their way up to the next tier or level. The higher the tier, the better rewards the customers will get in return.

For instance, Glow Recipe’s Glow Miles is a three-tiered rewards program with different goals and actions to be accomplished by shoppers in order to qualify for a higher tier.

reward program 1

Reignite Relationships with Retargeting

While your busy devoting your time and effort looking for new customers and trying to convert them into paying shoppers, you may be overlooking the chance of selling more to your existing customers or those who have already shown interest by visiting your site. This is how retargeting does best.

Retargeting goes after your previous seasonal shoppers and displays them with relevant messages to get them back to your site and buy again. In fact, companies that have retargeting companies have seen an increase in their conversion rates by up to 400%.

You can set up a retargeting campaign to go after your seasonal shoppers by utilizing these retargeting tactics:

8 – Retarget Previous Shoppers with Facebook Ads

Facebook is such a powerful platform to go after your previous shoppers. If you have an existing list of seasonal shoppers, let’s say, all your previous holiday shoppers last year, you can easily target them on your next Facebook ad campaign by simply uploading that list and then creating a custom audience.

Once uploaded as your custom audience, Facebook will match the email list to existing Facebook profiles. This will allow you to run a highly targeted campaign to display your new holiday promotional ads to your last year’s holiday shoppers.

9 – Reduce Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a prime issue during seasonal events, especially the holiday. In the first quarter of this year alone, over 77% of shopping carts were abandoned. Setting up a retargeting campaign will help you win back these abandoning visitors.

There are multiple ways to practice cart abandonment retargeting like setting up a follow-up email directly to the abandoning users. But, more savvy marketers have already employed exit-intent technology to cleverly retarget visitors who are abandoning their carts even before they can even leave your website.

To make your exit-intent popups more enticing, present discounts or free gifts right away so that you can win over a seemingly lost sale. You can boost your checkout rate with Checkout Boost’s exit popup which allows you to display a special discount offer when it detects that the shopper is about to abandon a cart.

checkout boost

Building long-term shoppers

With the surge of seasonal shoppers during the holidays, the first rule to retain them as long-term shoppers is to keep the communication open and alive from the moment they made an order. This way you can nurture that budding relationship.

To progress your relationship, exceed their expectations by providing real-time support and personalized customer experience.

To keep your relationship burning, reignite the interest of dormant seasonal shoppers with retargeting techniques to keep them reminded that your products are available throughout the year.

holiday marketingholiday shoppingonline shoppersretain customers