30 ways to capture, convert, and retain holiday shoppers with customer loyalty marketing

September 30, 2021 | 5 minute read
Scott Ankers
Senior Principal Product Manager, Loyalty Strategy and Growth
Text Size 100%:

Most retail and consumer goods businesses give extra attention to the Nov-Dec holiday shopping window every year. This is, of course, well-deserved attention as the National Retail Federation reports that 20% of annual retail sales occur in the final two months of the year. What’s given less attention, however, is how to use the holiday surge to position your business for long-term success.

How can businesses wow current customers around the holidays, and separately, convert new customers into future loyal customers of their own? Luckily, for customer loyalty marketers with existing engagement-based loyalty programs, their toolkit is full of diversified and innovative levers to create winning strategies.

Engagement-based loyalty provides unique marketing opportunities to capture, convert, and retain holiday shoppers. The impact of engagement-based loyalty is huge; Oracle CrowdTwist retail and consumer goods clients have seen up to +10% Average Order Value and +25% Annual Spend amongst loyalty members who complete at least one incentivized non-purchase engagement vs. like loyalty members who solely purchase.

Achieving success with engaging customer loyalty marketing during and after the holidays takes thoughtful planning. To help you get started, Oracle has pulled together a list of loyalty engagement strategies to:

  • Capture a greater share of your existing customers’ holiday attention with pre-holiday planning.
  • Convert on your potential buyers’ attention during the prime holiday shopping window.
  • Retain new and existing customers with post-holiday engagement & incentives.

Plan to capture the intention and attention of holiday shoppers

The months leading up to November are an opportunity to understand current customers’ seasonal planning, inspire customers to include specific products on their shopping lists, and plan targeted campaigns against likely shoppers to secure their seasonal spend. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your pre-holiday planning:

Incentivize customers to share holiday shopping plans

  • Survey to glean holiday plans including categories of interest & planned shopping dates.
  • Share previews of curated gift lists and capture engagement.
  • Offer campaign previews and secure advance opt-ins.

Expand customer awareness of holiday trends

  • Poll to learn and display holiday trends that inspire.
  • Quiz to inform customers of seasonal member-only advantages.
  • Tease early access and drop dates exclusive for loyal customers.

Plan loyalty campaigns to complement planned promotions

  • Target on-the-cusp of next-tier members teasing a full year of new benefits, and make the achievement easy with just one incremental purchase.
  • Use point gifts to top off members encouraging redemption.
  • Drive loyalty enrollment of gift receivers with a packaging insert, QR enrollment weblink, and associated bonus campaigns.

Increase conversion and satisfaction of likely-to-buy holiday shoppers

Holiday season groundwork is complete; now, how can engagement-based loyalty be utilized to maximize holiday window potential? Below are opportunities to re-engage holiday planners, compete on a level playing field with major competitors, and leave holiday shoppers with a positive impression.

Utilize and refresh customer-offered holiday insight

  • Execute targeted campaigns with tailored content and bonuses based on pre-holiday plans.
  • Re-engage to learn the updated status of holiday shopping and offer solutions to match current needs.
  • Surprise shoppers with a complementary reward after their holiday purchase (e.g., printable gift tag).

Democratize tier-aligned benefits to reduce purchase barriers in a highly competitive period

  • Consider free shipping for all customers to divert attention from major competitors.
  • Sweeten benefits for top customers (e.g., exclusive gift wrap, earliest access) to offset any democratized benefit.
  • Offer early access/back-in-stock alerts first to loyalty members.

Resource and plan for elevated customer service to wow your loyal customers

  • Scale teams to meet demand and complement with loyalty training.
  • Create emotional recognition opportunities (e.g., first purchase complementary gift or a holiday treat for an in-store visit).
  • Draft loyalty-aligned appeasement plans considerate of member status.

Boost retention and repeat sales of new customers after the holidays

What strategies can be employed throughout the lesser-focused post-holiday period to retain and grow existing customers while simultaneously nurturing relationships with new acquisitions? In the post-holiday daze, engagement-based loyalty is a great opportunity to serve meaningful non-transactional content to grow satisfaction among out-of-purchase-cycle customers. Jumpstart 2022 with unexpected boosts and capitalize on the positive equity of your happy customers!

Lead with content that deepens product satisfaction

  • Incentivize engagement with content that builds product satisfaction (e.g., how to guides, tips and tricks, maintenance recommendations).
  • Drive end-user enrollment and product registration to capture communication consent.
  • Tailor welcome series based on acquisition insight like item received or next-best action gleaned from prior new customer behavior.

Kickstart 2022 with a loyalty boost

  • Use segmented bonus campaigns to reach new customer cohorts (e.g., ladder campaigns offering greater incentivizes the earlier customers engage).
  • Offer next reward or tier boosts to jumpstart the year.
  • Distribute 2021 recaps with thank you rewards/offers.

Use a satisfied customer base to build brand advocacy

  • Offer tiered bonuses for different review types (text only, text + photo, etc.).
  • Survey customer NPS and react accordingly.
  • Further incentivize new customer referrals from new registrants who show early high engagement behavior.

And finally, don't underestimate the importance of customers making returns. In many cases, these customers are existing loyal customers or friends of loyal customers. Returners are also ample upsell targets who have made an effort to reach out or walk into your store. Create complementary offer strategies and customer service plans based on a variety of return scenarios, while utilizing loyalty program benefits as a complementary component to any upsell or appeasement strategy.

Check out this explainer video for 2021 customer loyalty holiday insights and trends.

Want further insights on the power of engagement-based loyalty? Check out “Essential Strategies for Customer Loyalty Marketing.”

To learn more about how Oracle CrowdTwist can help you create meaningful long-term relationships with your most loyal customers, take the quick self-guided tour below.

Oracle CrowdTwist product tour

Scott Ankers

Senior Principal Product Manager, Loyalty Strategy and Growth

Scott Ankers has 10+ years of experience in loyalty, customer strategy and CRM. Prior to CrowdTwist, Scott spent 7 years at dunnhumby – a leading customer science company – where he utilized loyalty data to build lifecycle marketing programs and uncover key business insight. Currently, Scott is Senior Principal Loyalty Product Manager where he helps shape the strategic vision for Oracle CX loyalty initiatives.

Previous Post

Hide My Email Elevates Risks of Temporary Email Addresses in Email Marketing

Chad S. White | 10 min read

Next Post

The lifecycle of a customer loyalty insight

Ilana Leykekhman | 4 min read