3 Ways to Build a Customer Relationship to Last Beyond the Holiday Season
The holiday season is a notoriously busy time for brands. eMarketer predicts that the holiday season sales in the US will hit a whopping $1,297 billion in 2022. However, once the season passes and the tinsel is back in storage, most businesses will see their sales numbers slow. It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of losing customers through the metaphorical net until the next holiday season, here are our top 3 ways to build a customer relationship to last beyond the holiday season.
Polish The Customer Experience
In the increasingly occupied eCommerce space, first impressions are everything. Therefore, it’s critical for your customer to have a seamless and positive experience from start to beyond. We won’t use the word finish because, as we’re about to elaborate on, there is no end to the customer journey.
From the initial moment when customers land on your home page, whether it be on mobile or desktop, ensure the layout is clean, and visually appealing and allows them to easily navigate what they are interested in. This includes FAQ pages, clear navigation bars, menus, and search bar options. This is also a great opportunity to add a customer service live chat box on your website, so any questions customers may have can be answered immediately, reducing the number of abandoned carts. This also adds a personal touch allowing customers to feel like they have a personal shop assistant right by their side. Another great way to achieve this personal touch is to recommend relevant products to your customer. You can use their purchase history, items in their cart, or even product listings they’ve clicked on before to make suitable suggestions. One of the easiest ways to do this is to incorporate an “other products you may like” or “pair it with” section below the initial product listing. For example, a clothing brand could recommend a matching bag, shoes, jewelry, or clothing item under their product. This can also be tactically placed at the checkout with options to “enhance” their order. It’s also an effective way to increase the average order value.
This polished experience must extend beyond just the checkout. From communicating every step of their order’s status, offering package protection, asking for feedback, and ensuring they are happy with their purchase and experience, all go a long way in making your customer feel valued and appreciated. In addition, in the case of any negative feedback, shipping hiccups, or incidents, the customer service team needs to be equipped to resolve these issues as quickly and hassle-free as possible. For example, Corso Green Shipping Protection has a team on standby to resolve lost, damaged, or stolen packages within 24 hours. Customers understand that these things happen, but the value lies in how quickly and efficiently the brand will resolve them.
Launch a Customer Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a brilliant way to keep those first-time holiday shoppers returning time and time. Of course, their first customer experience must be flawless, but adding a loyalty program adds to that warming experience by making customers feel appreciated. In fact, with a loyalty program in place, 20-30% of customers will make a repeat purchase. Particularly with the increase in website traffic during the holiday season, this is a great way to create loyal and returning customers all while increasing their average order value.
The most popular programs include accumulating points with every purchase and these points can lead to discounts, gifts, free shipping, and exclusive access to events, sales, etc. Again, it allows customers to feel part of your brand’s inner circle and increase customer retention.
Stay In Touch
The best way to remain at the forefront of your customer's minds is to communicate with them and stay in touch. To achieve this, you will need to maintain an active social presence and email marketing strategy. With both the social and email presence, it’s important to not come across as too pushy with sales. To build brand loyalty and trust, you can provide helpful and relevant information such as suggested products to enhance their original order, new releases, offers, events, tutorials, or even articles that could relate to your target audience. The key here is to make your brand feel like that helpful in-store assistant that makes the customer feel warmly welcomed, appreciated, and feel like they can stop by any time. For example, a month or two after their initial purchase, you can email them with a “how to care for” product guide or even cross-sell products that would complement their previous purchase. It’s a subtle reminder to the customer that your brand cares beyond the checkout and values their custom.
In conclusion, an experience that feels seamless, positive, and enjoyable from start to finish are all key to building a long-lasting relationship with your customer that keeps them returning beyond the holiday season. In addition, it’s crucial to reward customers for their loyalty and provide them with helpful, friendly, and frequent communications to stay on the top of their minds.