Turn New Holiday Customers Into Year-Round Patrons

By December 1, 2014Tidbits

As 2014 winds down, and you’re reaching increased sales during the holidays, it’s critical that you begin forming relationships with the customers you’ve made during the 2014 holidays.

If you want to ensure that they continue to come back, take some or all of the following steps.

Reach out to your audience

Hopefully you’ve gathered a wealth of contact information on all of your new (and returning) customers over the holidays; now is the time to put it all to work.

Through your various marketing channels, thank your new customers for shopping with you and ask them for feedback on their experiences. This will help you keep the conversation going with them and show you care about their patronage.

Follow up early in the new year with promotions, newsletters, and other marketing tactics that will help you keep your name in front of your holiday shoppers. Entice them to keep shopping with you by sending them a series of special, customized offers that cater to their shopping interests. And remember to test those offers and communication for effectiveness.

Listen to what they’ve already said

Analyze all the data you’ve gathered throughout the entire year, particularly first quarter, then compare it all to the prior years and develop a detailed, comprehensive understanding of what your audience’s behavior is telling you. This will show you which approaches have or have not worked for you.

Please your loyal customers

Use your knowledge of individual shoppers’ proven behaviors (such as website behaviors) to personalize the messages they see, both on your site and in your communications with them.

Group your customers into the smallest possible segments according to their shopping histories and create campaigns that appeal to each segment’s needs and desires. Tailor what they see on your homepage (and other site) banners to match their specific interests, and send them emails and other messages promoting the sorts of savings that keeps you in mind and them coming back.

Optimize your customers’ time

The more convenient, easy and reliable your site’s various features and processes are, the more satisfied your customers will be.

Test your checkout process repeatedly for glitches, bottlenecks, and surprises—such as shipping fees that suddenly appear at the end of the transaction. Make sure your holiday customers can store their payment and shipping data securely, and give them quick access to all of it whenever they want to make another purchase with you.

And check other critical information, such as customer service links, return and refund policies and anything else that might affect their purchase decisions.

Make them want to visit

Most businesses can’t win every battle on quality or cost, or both, you need to give your customers other reasons to return to your site.

Offer them easy-to-use expert advice; plentiful user reviews; top-notch customer service; free shipping, easy returns, and other customer-friendly policies; and additional features on your site that will differentiate you from—or at least keep you on par with—the leaders in your category.

Information may be free online, but providing your customers with easy access to the information they need will make your site a valuable destination.

By properly using the information you gather over the holidays and giving your new (and loyal) customers what they want, you can extend the holiday spirit—and its rewards—throughout 2015.
Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2014/26559/five-ways-to-turn-new-holiday-customers-into-loyal-year-round-patrons

About Holly Berry