How to Use the Holidays and Customer Shopping Trends to Generate Loyalty
As we are slowly approaching the Easter holidays we decided to make a “holiday special”, so that we can show you how brands can use that time to further increase customer loyalty. This week we are exploring how to fully utilize the holidays to generate loyalty, whether it be through the process of setting up and optimizing your platform (point of sales), the integration of more exclusive rewards, or appealing to a larger fanbase through a more digital approach.
Find out now by checking out the post below, and don’t forget to check out our previous blog post entries for more relevant information regarding loyalty and the journey to your own loyalty program.
Setting Up and Optimising Your Platform for the Holidays
When setting up your platform keep one thought at the core of everything, transparency. It’s the holiday season, so naturally, customers have a heightened sense of curiosity for when their online orders will arrive, how many points they may have earned with the purchase, and how to track their transactions. These questions seem very obvious at first but when actually viewing the data, it was shown that:
85% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a retailer again, and five times more likely to recommend a retailer to others, if their holiday gift purchase can be tracked in real-time throughout the delivery (Dropoff).
Customers want transparency, they want to track their goods, and even more than this they want same-day delivery. Another statistic demonstrated that:
71% of consumers are likely to recommend a retailer to others after purchasing a holiday gift and having it delivered the same day (Dropoff).
Another aspect to keep in mind is the duration of the holiday and whether it is affected by any real-time events, such as COVID for instance. From what was observed with the Easter Holidays, some schools, universities, and workplaces in different countries have implemented longer workweeks/school days and shorter holidays season, to catch up on lost work. As compensation:
54% of retailers will begin running deals earlier this year than they usually do because of the shortened time frame for holiday shopping this year (RetailMeNot).
What Loyalty Rewards do Holiday Customers Want?
The fascinating aspect of the holidays is the fact that it changes consumer behaviors related specifically to loyalty and purchasing behaviors. One of the more unique changes in behaviors observed was the fact that during the holiday’s loyalty members prefer more transactionally-oriented rewards rather than experiential rewards. In fact, the data displayed that:
For 95% of retailers, deals and discounts do more to drive sales during the holidays vs. other times of the year (RetailMeNot)
58% of retailers say that deals and discounts are more effective than traditional marketing messages in reaching holiday shoppers, with half reporting that savings websites and apps are the most effective way to increase revenue during the holiday season (RetailMeNot)
When considering the fact that for the holidays, consumers are buying gifts for family and friends with the potential to be buying multiple gifts, it makes sense why a discount code or a special promo will be more attractive for customers, it’s because at that moment they don’t desire some grandiose loyalty story, but rather just the simple and gritty coupons/codes that make sense then and there.
More evidence to support this notion was displayed below:
51% of consumers said their top factor for why they purchase at a certain retailer is whether the retailer offers the best sales and offers throughout the holiday season (RetailMeNot)
Therefore, it’s always vital to not only understand your customer and target segment but also how their behavior is affected by the holidays or other more prominent events. With this information, it will be much easier to adjust and mold the loyalty reward structure based on your customer needs.
Why Going Digital is the Way to Go → Loyalty and E-commerce
If you haven’t already caught on to the point we made last week, here is a little reminder → commerce is going digital. The future of shopping will be dominated by the brand that has the best platform with the best purchasing process and the highest loyalty integration.
“Trends predict that 30% of holiday shopping revenue will be from e-commerce.” (Salesforce)
It makes sense, customers want to be able to purchase from the privacy of their own home, especially during COVID some customers definitely wouldn’t want to risk anything by going out. This goes back to the first point made, which is to optimize your platform, whether that is a website or an app. Make sure that customers can use it easily to make a purchase, interact with your loyalty program, and track all the relevant details in that same touchpoint.
Brands can also greatly benefit from the brand-to-fan engagement that happens in the digital space, that is on social media. Incentivize loyal user behaviors by giving them rewards for talking about your brand on social media during the holidays. Increase the loyalty of existing customers and acquire new loyal customers by fully promoting your sales/deals and exclusive rewards during the holidays, using social media (Bethesda Example).
Key Takeaways (TL:DR)
Point 1: Set up and adjust your e-commerce platform based off the observed trends, offer the best service. 85% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a retailer again if their holiday gift purchase can be tracked in real-time throughout the delivery (Dropoff).
Point 2: Contradictory to previously observed research and use-cases, the holidays actually prompt users to desire more transactionally-oriented rewards (discount/deals), rather than experientially based rewards.
Point 3: It is predicted that 30% of the holiday shopping revenue comes from e-commerce, making it the perfect platform to directly integrate your loyalty program in if you haven’t already. Boost loyalty program visibility using e-commerce and social media as your fuel.
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