Yesterday on the podcast we talked about customer retention and building it in a way that helps establish trust and a willingness to mention us via word of mouth advertising. Today I wanted to look at that further and dive into some really great things we can do for our customers this Christmas that will inspire them to buy again in the future and tell their friends!
How to wow your customer’s this Christmas Season and increase long-term customer retention
‘Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%’ according to a report by Frederick F. Reichheld and Phil Schefter of Harvard Business School. This is true of all business types and industries, even if you made unique gifts in your work-from-home craft business. So creating a plan for the oncoming Christmas sales season is a great idea.
One of the areas your marketing and sales strategy should focus on is exactly how you plan to increase trust and loyalty among your customers. In other words ‘how’ you plan to wow and woo!
Not everything you need to offer costs money, so don’t worry if you are on a low budget this season or if sales have been slow, you can still pull out all the stops to create an impressive offer that will have your customers dancing when they buy your products.
10 ways to wow your website or Etsy shop customers this holiday season
Offer a gift wrap service – Choose some great paper that your supply won’t run short of if you need to reorder and some ribbon and offer this as an added extra. Yes, your customer’s will pay for this essentially, but you are saving them time and wrapping inspiration!
Offer to send parcels directly to the recipient without full invoices – Obviously customs forms need to be completed if you are sending overseas, but internally you can send parcels without invoices. So if that helps your customer save time and money, then that’s a great service to offer and a great way to increase customer retention.
Write a thank you note or a Christmas card – Remember you are creative, so you don’t need to spend vast amounts on this but pick something that speaks of your brand and go with it. I love getting thank you notes with my purchases, it shows my purchase was valued.
Offer a new year discount code in your Christmas packages – One great way to increase customer retention is to make an offer with a purchase. A new year code will see them return and spend at a later date… but make sure to make it is pertinent to your customer for extra effect!
Write a gift guide on your blog, or Facebook page that highlights your best offers for him, or for her – Gift guides are so useful, especially when, as consumers, we are finding it hard pressed to buy for certain people in our family or friendship group. Taking time out of your day by giving me ideas is certainly a way to endear you to me!
Offer expediated shipping services – Do your research and offer what works best for your business and test out the service before you introduce it, especially if it’s from a new carrier. You want to make sure that your customers get the very best service to increase customer retention.
Start a loyalty program – this isn’t possible in Etsy shops yet, but certainly most ecommerce websites, like; Shopify* and EKM Powershop have loyalty programs you can use. Loyalty programmes are great at encouraging return custom and introducing it at a time where you may be seeing more sales to your shop will not only encourage new customers to return, but make those existing customers all the more happy to shop with you.
Offer a surprise upgrade/discount, like free shipping over £50 or 10% off just because – customers like fun and they like to feel happy, so a great way to increase your customer retention this season is to offer something they didn’t know they’d get by buying from you. You can set up a coupon easily on your Etsy shop and other websites, just make sure that you are clear on the parameters of your offer financially before you put it into place.
Send a personalised email with Christmas greeting and thanks for their support – I used to send special cards and gifts to my top ten customers each year and I think it’s a great way to keep that relationship going. If you are on a low budget however, this may feel impossible. Why not try and email instead?! I am sure your regular customers will be touched to hear from you this season.
Create a quirky thank you video you can share on your website, Etsy shop or in social media – think branding and think heart-felt. We love that! Here’s a simple, but effective example from Johns Hopkins University.
The holiday season is about showing your customers that they are more than just a number on your bank balance, it’s about showing them that you care. You don’t need a big budget to stand out from the crowd doing this either, you just need to be sincere, authentic and helpful. So go into this season planning your best customer retention strategy and do it your way.
· My Craft Biz Ezine Issue 2 – preparing for the holiday season. Articles include; marketing and range planning tips, as well as what to do if your season is quiet!
What ideas do you think you will try this year? Tell me in the comments!
Thank you for reading! I hope that was helpful, or at least thought provoking?
If you have any questions or comments, please pop them in the comment section below.