Converting one time holiday buyers to long-term customers

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“Brand loyalty is one of the most difficult thing for a business to attain. 25% to 40% of the total revenues of the most stable businesses come from returning customers. Steady customers help businesses weather lean economic times; businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers,” – KissMetrics Blog

The annual holidays represent frenzied activity for commercial organizations. Consumers and customers of all persuasions indulge in heavy buying and seasonal purchases. This translates into spikes in sales that generate outsized profits for brands and businesses at the end of the calendar year. However, consumer behavior undergoes a sharp change as the holidays recede and people revert to their normal routines. Consequently, brands and businesses register fewer sales as the world settles into its normal annual routine. A strong business case can be made when we consider the possibilities of converting holiday buyers into long-term customers. Attaining this can spell significant gains in terms of commercial outcomes. We will examine some of the strategies to achieve this in the paragraphs below.

Creating a top-notch user experience can help businesses to convert holiday buyers into long-term customers. This technique allows businesses to assure consumers that they take a serious view of the customer’s interest. For instance, grocery businesses can offer customers quality paper bags to hold their merchandise. This small gesture creates a significant impression in the customer’s mind. In addition, bags made of recycled materials enable a business to gain an environment-friendly reputation, while ensuring security of the consumer’s merchandise. In a similar vein, manufacturers of attire and clothing can choose to offer their customers custom fitting sessions in an effort to win the loyalty of customers. The ensuing user experience creates a favorable impression that encourages consumers to become long-term customers. In light of the above, we may state that superior end-user experiences help businesses to create and retain loyal clienteles.

Email-driven campaigns represent an enduring value proposition for most modern businesses. Commercial organizations can devise intelligent strategies to boost business by transmitting personalized emails for individual customers. The product recommendations contained therein can incite customers’ curiosity and prompt shopping expeditions in the online realm and in the real world. Data from customer’s prior shopping sessions can be deployed to create intelligent suggestions for future sessions. Brands and businesses must ensure they offer genuine value to customers through these email-driven campaigns. We note that businesses must repeat this technique over long durations in the interests of preserving brand fidelity, expanding their imprint in the public mindscape, and creating long-term customers.

Consumer businesses can opt to create and launch campaigns that feature their fans and followers. This technique aims to create long-term customers and hinges on the marketing triumvirate of social media, online videos, and email newsletters. For instance, a quick service restaurant can design regular social media posts that feature individual customers sharing image space with a top selling product. These posts can deepen brand awareness among followers, encourage new customers to visit business premises, and create a minor celebrity status for featured customers. The marketing ‘buzz’ that emanates from this campaign can also lift sales for the restaurant brand significantly. Similarly, a coffee merchant can choose to broadcast weekly email newsletters featuring a group of customers. The experiences can be captured in images and customer quotes, thereby boosting brand potential to attract new customers. The creation of long-term customers is the common element in these marketing campaigns.

Brand engagement can be a top driver when businesses want to expand the numbers of their long-term customers. Every brand should explore the possibility of connecting to individual customers with a view to cater to their needs and requirements. For instance, an e-commerce operator may record the fact that a certain customer demographic invests heavily in artwork featuring animation characters. This information, when processed, can help create a marketing program wherein, select customers receive custom-designed merchandise featuring said artwork. These gifts can be shipped to members of said demographic, thus gaining their approval and boosting business success. We note this technique should help to multiply the numbers of long-term customers of said enterprise.

Follow-up communications transmitted to holiday buyers can help modern businesses to gain larger numbers of long-term customers. These communications can be sent via text messages, email, instant messaging platforms, etc. For instance, clients and customers of a boutique bakery business can receive updates that detail new confections being sold by the bakery. The business operator can analyze the top selling products and fashion an upselling strategy to retain the interests of his clientele. In addition, the business can market repeat editions of top-selling confections from the holidays in a bid to boost sales volumes. This strategy, when repeated throughout the calendar year, can help the bakery to gain long-term customers.

Regular conversations with customers and clients can help businesses to expand the mindshare of their brand. In keeping with this policy, a business operator can seek feedback from his or her customers and incorporate the information into business processes and products. These interactions can help customers feel special and reaffirm their faith in the offerings of a business. For instance, enterprises that have engaged busily with holiday buyers can list the top ten items of customer feedback and recommendations. They can use this information to create new products or extend the functionalities of current products. Subsequently, they can fashion marketing communications that spotlight these improvements, thereby encouraging higher engagement between a brand and its customers. We note this technique has the potential to emerge as an outstanding tool that garners significant numbers of long-term customers.

Free upgrades represent a potent tool in the marketing repertoire of a business enterprise. This technique can pleasantly surprise customers when they re-visit a business. For instance, a seller of software products can offer an extended warranty on certain products to regular and returning customers. The offer can be extended to include free virus scans of consumer laptop and desktop devices for a six-month period. Similarly, a commercial airline operator can upgrade regular fliers to business class seats during the lean travel season. These techniques enable a business to gain the goodwill of customers and enhance its mindshare in the public domain. These tactics can be refined ad practiced by individual businesses to the best of their abilities. In every case, the enterprise gains a large number of long-term customers.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the techniques that enable brands and businesses to convert holiday shoppers into long-term clients and customers. Modern commercial operators must bear in mind that the central tenet of each technique lies in offering a distinct value proposition to every customer. This can be supplemented by strategies that encourage customers to share feedback and reviews. We must note a long-term customer essentially seeks a high return on investment on his or her dollars. Therefore, businesses must innovate and drive higher levels of value creation. This enables a brand or business to stand apart from the commercial competition and effortlessly cater to customer choices. This bears special significance in light of the fact that markets are getting more competitive and brands have to establish unique signatures in these markets.

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