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Analysis

A Thankful Customer Is A Returning Customer

Turn one-time holiday customers to repeat consumers with these spot-on retention tips

Adebisi Adewusi
November 07 2018

While Black Friday brings a lot of first-time shoppers, not many stick around after receiving their discounts. Black Friday consumers are 19% less likely to make an additional purchase during the holidays than other customers, make 20% fewer purchases from the retailer over time, and churn 274% faster than customers who buy during other times of the year.

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While these statistics may seem depressing, there’s hope yet. Turn Black Friday shoppers into loyal customers with these five retention tips.

1. Provide An Excellent Experience Beginning With Their First Order

Customer Service: Yes, this plays a significant role in consumer loyalty. 86% of consumers who received a great customer experience were likely to repurchase from the same company, compared to just 13% of those who received a poor customer experience. Considering the fact that many consumers will be shopping online during Black Friday, here’s how to deliver a positive online shopping experience:

How you treat your customers during Black Friday will largely determine if they’ll shop with you again. 96% of consumers state customer service factors into which brands they’ll support.

To deliver superior customer service, provide customer service reps with a centralized knowledge base so they can resolve issues in a single interaction. Also, offer comprehensive self-service that includes FAQs, and order tracking so shoppers can conveniently serve themselves.

Personalized Experience: While 44% of consumers say they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience, it’s challenging to deliver such an experience to first-time customers. To help you ward off a cold start, use hybrid recommender systems to suggest accurate personalized product recommendations for first-time visitors and send personalized retargeted ads to consumers who leave without making a purchase.

Collect Feedback: To drive positive brand sentiment, collect customer feedback. You can send an email after a purchase or embed a pop-up survey on your website to find out what your customers think about shopping with you.  77% of customers have a more favorable view of brands that ask for and accept customer feedback and at least 11% of churn can be prevented if a company reaches out to the customer following a negative experience.

2. Keep Customers Close With Emails

Emails can help increase the lifetime value of your Black Friday customers if they are personalized and relevant. 78% of consumers say that personally relevant content from brands increases their purchase intent. Incorporate these key email campaigns to keep Black Friday customers engaged throughout their lifecycle.

Post Purchase Emails: According to a 2018 study by Return Path, post-purchase (transactional) emails generated the highest read rate (44%) and lowest delete-before-reading rate (7%) of any email campaign type. So to encourage new customers to make repeat purchases, include a personalized call to action (CTA) in your post purchase emails. Personalized CTAs perform 202% better than basic CTAs. Request feedback, a social media follow or referral. Dollar Shave Club, for instance, encourages new customers to continue shopping with the brand by asking them to refer a friend for $5 of Dollar Shave Club Credits.

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Product Recommendation Emails: Send personalized product recommendations emails to upsell, or cross-sell to first-time customers. 49% of customers bought items they did not intend to buy due to a personalized recommendation from the brand.

Replenishment Emails: If you sell anything that needs reordering, invest a portion of your creative resources into replenishment emails. Replenishment emails drive recurring revenue and have a 53.6% Click-to-Open rate. Rockin’ Wellness’ replenishment email prompts customers to purchase another month’s supply of its Total Body Nutritional Shake, while also offering free shipping.

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Email provides a unique opportunity to convert a new customer into a recurring customer. Don’t waste it. Find out more about how you can make customers look forward to your email strategy here.

3. Connect On Social Media

37% of marketers believe social media marketing is the most effective medium for customer retention and 72% of marketers mention social media as a method to develop loyal fans. Use these tips to keep Black Friday shoppers engaged.

Be Responsive: 30% of consumers will switch to a competing brand if they don’t get a response to their social media message and 65% have more brand loyalty when they do hear back. Empower your customer service teams to respond quickly on branded social media accounts and invest in social listening platforms.

Share Valuable Content:  Social media followers aren’t afraid to buy. In fact, a Sprout Social report states that 57% of users are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media. Keep Black Friday consumers engaged on your social media channels by providing them with valuable content that is not overly promotional.  To find out what kind of content to show consumers on social media, check out this post.

Appreciate Customers: Show that you appreciate Black Friday customers by featuring them (using your products) on social media. 90% of multichannel retail customers who feel valued plan to stay with the brand and 86% plan spend more with the brand.

4. Create An Emotional Connection

Emotions have the strongest impact on driving consumer loyalty. 82% of consumers always buy from a brand they have a high emotional engagement with and 81% will spend more.  Invite shoppers to join your community to nurture authentic relationships and drive customer retention. One way you can encourage new customers to join your community is through your welcome email. Under Armour’s welcome email encourages new customers to become part of their fitness community by inviting them to explore the brand’s blog.

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You can also emotionally connect with consumers and drive loyalty on Black Friday by supporting a cause. 88% of consumers are loyal to brands that support a cause and  89% of consumers are likely to switch brands to one that is associated with one, given similar price and quality.  For 2016’s Black Friday, Patagonia gave 100% of sales to charity, and the initiative attracted thousands who never purchased anything from Patagonia before.

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5. Develop An Engaging Mobile App

Mobile apps create a 50% greater chance that a customer will return to your online store within 30 days. During the Black Friday of 2017, American consumers spent over 47 million hours on shopping apps on Android phones alone, while UK consumers spent more than 6 million hours.

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While consumers will shop on mobile apps, they’re likely to uninstall after Black Friday if you don’t provide ongoing value. To keep customers loyal to your app after Black Friday, check out the following tips:

Complement In-Store Experience: Mobile app features that enable easy in-store shopping is the key to retaining users. In fact, consumers say the biggest reason they use mobile apps in-store is to find a product (12%) and pay for products when they are in the store (9%). Following consumer needs, Walmart recently introduced store maps and during Black Friday of 2016, the retail brand’s app payment feature Walmart Pay led to 80% of repeat transactions through the app.

Offer App-Only Deals: Discounts and deals are the top motivating factors for consumers when deciding whether or not to install an app. Capitalize on Black Friday traffic, and create a compelling portal with exclusive deals. Walmart’s app-exclusive deals during the 2016 Black Friday generated 70% of online traffic and saw lasting gains in app engagement weeks after the promotional period ended.

Send Relevant Notifications: Push notifications can increase app retention by 20%.  Considering the fact that 50% of consumers are likely to enable push notifications to learn about Black Friday deals, keep them onboard by delivering notifications about coupons and promotions when they are in or near your bricks-and-mortar store. Keep in mind that when it comes to mobile, one size does not fit all. Monitor your customers’ shopping behavior and use insights to develop appropriate mobile app features.

Conclusion

Hate it or love it, with the chaos, Black Friday brings opportunities that drive customer loyalty. Aside from maintaining an excellent level of customer service, optimizing communication channels, and developing an emotional connection with your customers, fast checkouts and hassle-free returns can also drive customer retention. And while much of the focus is on retaining new customers, don’t forget to create marketing strategies that’ll treat your best customers.

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Adebisi Adewusi

Adebisi Adewusi is a freelance B2B writer and a Huffington Post Contributor. When she’s not creating compelling content for businesses, you’ll find her capturing moments with her Nikon d600.

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