So far, the holiday season is exceeding expectations, with overall retail spending on track to grow more than 4% year over year, and online sales for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday surging more than 20% on average, according to Forbes.
While the majority of holiday shoppers find gifts with sellers they already know, three-quarters of holiday shoppers say they’re open to trying new brands, according to Deloitte’s 2018 holiday survey. Those new customers not only boost immediate sales, but represent an opportunity to drive repeat business in 2019 and beyond. To do so, merchants must create distinctive experiences through a combination of brand storytelling, personalization, and omnichannel loyalty rewards. They should:
Win trust with transparency …
Given that fewer than half of consumers are comfortable sharing more than their name and gender with retailers, Deloitte found, it’s no surprise that the U.S. is following Europe’s GDPR lead when it comes to privacy legislation. As they attempt to woo back holiday shoppers, merchants should proceed with complete transparency. Email and SMS signups should follow double-opt-in protocols, while apps should disclose data collection and use.
… and reward sharing with personalized experiences.
Even as consumers balk at unfettered data access, 87% are willing to share some degree of information in exchange for a personalized shopping experience, according to Bond Brand Loyalty. Sellers should make the most of available data by prioritizing investment in personalization tools that deliver 1-to-1 recommendations and content in real time.
Promote loyalty perks in post-purchase transactional emails.
An overwhelming 86% of consumers said the availability of loyalty perks influences purchase, with interest growing more than 56% year over year, according to Kibo’s 2018 Consumer Trends Report. Merchants should use transactional emails to promote the availability of points on gift purchases and invite loyalty club sign ups with perks relevant to holiday shoppers, such as VIP pickup services in-store.
Bond with a brand story.
While rewards are an important driver of repeat business, consumers also hunger for a deeper connection with brands; this means that when the bustle of the season ends, distinctive, authentic voices will remain standouts. Social and environmental responsibility are top concerns, with two-thirds of shoppers willing to pay a premium for brands taking a stand, according to Deloitte.
Make loyalty mobile-first.
Whichever loyalty tactics merchants try, mobile should play a central role. Kibo data shows that 45% of Black Friday transactions were on mobile devices; as more shoppers use mobile checkout, redemption of loyalty rewards should be integrated. Mobile web and app experiences should personalize products and content based on past brand interactions, and given that email — long considered merchants’ top retention tool — is now primarily consumed on mobile devices, enabling SKU selection and even purchase within messages should be a priority to streamline return purchases.
How will you re-engage holiday shoppers?