Holiday shoppers are a gift to small businesses as they search for perfect presents, often in places they’ve never previously frequented. How to turn those shoppers into gifts that keep on giving throughout the year, however, is the big money question.
Here are some ideas to encourage holiday customers to keep coming back after the holidays are over:
Coupons. Hand out coupons now for post-holiday use. These can be printed on gift receipts, handed out as special inserts or offered via follow-up email.
Reward programs. Be it punch cards or other digital loyalty programs, rewards programs are a great way to incentivize people to keep on coming back to your business.
Go over and above. Excellent customer service now, can bring customers back time and again. Meet and exceed shipping deadlines; offer surprise gifts with purchase; go the extra mile to make shoppers’ lives easy. Surprise and delight them, and they won’t forget you.
Reward the gift giver. Offering promotions such as bonus gift cards with every gift card purchased can get both the gift giver and recipient back in your business. Win, win.
Make returns easy. All of the good memories of good service can be completely erased with a frustrating return experience. Make it as hassle-free as possible.
Gather and give information. Ask for customers’ email addresses and home address, and ask them what kinds of updates they’d like to receive. Promote your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts. Consider offering rewards for following you, so that you can market to them all year.
Reward loyal customers. In order to show those who have been with you for a while, offer special early hours, special promotions and other perks for VIP customers.
As the proverb goes, "To keep a customer demands as much skill as to win one." These tactics will help you ensure you don’t let yours go.