Cate Barnes

Marketing Manager

Turning festive shoppers into loyal customers.

As we approach Black Friday and the festive season, Retailers attract an influx of new customers who haven't shopped with them before. This season provides a significant boost to sales as well as a fantastic opportunity to expand your loyal customer base.

An effective loyalty scheme is a valuable tool for converting one time shoppers into repeat customers. The promise of saving on a future purchase is a powerful motivator to entice customers back to your business. This is distinctly different from an immediate reward in a number of ways.

An immediate reward only promotes one individual purchase, instead of giving customers a tangible incentive to come back time and time again. When each purchase generates incentive for the next one, there is always a reason to come back to your shop. It's a perpetual cycle, promoting a long-term relationship between customer and Retailer.

"Customer Rewards is very good, there's high usage of them and it helps build a brand."

Tom Bowden, Owner - Working Class Heroes

This creates a positive reason to stay in touch, reminding them of the rewards they have built up and can use on their next purchase, keeping your business fresh in your customers' minds. If you don't have a loyalty program currently or you're searching for a scheme that effectively draws people back to your business time and time again, it's well worth getting sorted before the festive season.

Here I've put together a quick list of features and functions that distinguish an effective loyalty scheme.

  1. Offer your customers a united experience across multiple channels.
    i.e. Customers can use the scheme both online and in-store.
  2. Provide a meaningful incentive
    the reward has got to be of value to your customers in order to effectively draw people back to your business and motivate sales.
  3. Supports the growth and profitability of your business.
    This is about getting the balance right between a meaningful reward and offering something too costly that will impact your profits. You need to be able to choose the parameters of your loyalty program to ensure the balance right for your customers and your business.
  4. Respects the value of the branded goods you sell.
    Too much discounting damages the retail value of branded goods, teaching customers that a brand isn't worth full price. A good loyalty scheme attracts customers and upholds the value of the brands you work with.
  5. Keeps you fresh in your customers' minds.
    Look for a loyalty scheme that has automated updates to remind your customers of the reward waiting for them. These emails are great as a little nudge to ensure your customers are thinking of you for their next purchase.

A good loyalty program is a key player in overcoming two of retail's big challenges and building a successful retail business. The first is to reduce discounting. Discounting eats into margins and can really hamper profits and potential for long-term growth. The second challenge is to inspire loyalty, creating a solid base of repeat customers.

Motivate sales.

Although it can be a useful tool for motivating sales, too much discounting has serious downsides for independent retailers. A good loyalty scheme is a beneficial alternative, using the promise of future reward to encourage sales. Citrus-Lime's built-in loyalty scheme, Customer Rewards, is proven to actually raise the average transaction value, as people choose to use their points on high-ticket items.

Your business only.

Customers earn points each time they buy from you, which they can then use towards a future purchase Those points result in a meaningful saving for the customer, but they can only get that benefit by buying from your business. The best loyalty programs keep people coming back through your door specifically, instead of looking elsewhere.

"It's brilliant. Everyone's getting 5% of what they spend in shop on their account. That money equates to 2.5-3% of margin to us and it's all back in our door rather than anywhere else."

Dan Stringer - Owner, Ride Bikes

Engage your customers.

Staying in touch with your customers keeps you fresh in their mind. Regular email reminders of their Customer Rewards balance is an active prompt for them to start thinking about your shop. It helps to ensure you are the go-to place and remain a hub for your local customers.

Build your tribe with Customer Rewards online and in-store.

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