Some industries report it costs five times more to attract a new customer to your brand than to keep existing shoppers happy.
As more and more businesses go online, customer options are increasing. Gaining their loyalty has never been so important.
Here we share five top tips on how to create customer advocacy and keep shoppers coming back to you time and time again.
With so many digital channels to consider, it’s easy to follow the crowd, focusing on the most popular channels rather than the channels your customers are most likely to use.
Take a moment to think about your target audience – who they are, what channels they visit most and how they like to shop. There’s no point having an in-depth Twitter strategy if all your shoppers are on Instagram and TikTok.
Try and coincide with major events and create a marketing calendar with regular updates to see if this can boost any quick wins for your business to push out promotions or certain products. But remember it only takes one click to ‘unfollow’, so make sure you’re also engaging your customers with advice and interesting anecdotes.
Email marketing gives you more options to be creative with a longer word-count and ownership over the content that goes directly to a shopper’s inbox.
Don’t waste this opportunity to create a brand identity: share blog posts and information on upcoming events and, if possible, use an email marketing platform, like MailChimp or HubSpot, that allows you to segment your customer data and tailor your communications – just make sure you’re GDPR compliant.
It’s easy to fall into a promotions trap where shoppers become savvy and wait for quarterly sales or hunt out voucher codes before shopping with you.
Of course, these are tried and tested methods to shift excess stock and ramp up sales during quiet periods, but as we enter challenging economic times we need to think wisely before doing anything that may impact the bottom line.
Think beyond the typical promotions cycle in terms of providing discounts.
For instance, a number of brands have begun rewarding customers for being sustainable, such as L’Occitane, which offers customers a 10% discount for bringing product packaging back into store.
- Reward program
From points cards through to digital stamps and gamification apps, customer loyalty schemes are not new. , giving customers the odd freebie in exchange for valuable data about their shopping habits. This data can help you craft your business strategy and marketing initiatives for the better – just remember to follow GDPR guidelines.
There’s no need to overthink it either. Points-based loyalty programs and stamp cards (buy 10 coffees get your 11th free) can also assist in creating customer advocacy.
If you’re keen to be a little more creative, why not try gamification offers? Think challenges and leader boards. Also try offering customers unique experiences over material things, such as an hour-long barista lesson once they’ve purchased 250 coffees or more.
Just remember, simplicity is key and stick to your area of expertise.
- Elite shoppers
The idea of providing your “elite” shoppers with added value is a good idea. You want to keep big spenders coming back time and time again. But, in certain sectors, some customers probably aren’t going to be fussed about collecting loyalty points to get a discount further down the line so you’ll need to think outside the box.
Luxury car brands are the experts at this with the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin both offering their most loyal customers exclusive access to new cars, accompanying merchandise and even experiences money can’t buy.
Of course, it doesn’t need to be as extravagant as a half-million Euro sports car but providing a VIP treatment can go a long way towards keeping your customers happy – and happy shoppers make recommendations to their valuable networks.
- Exclusive events
Physical events are probably not at the top of your priority list at the moment, but virtual events can still be effective at building a community and growing that relationship with your most loyal customers. Check out ‘How to run a successful virtual event’ if you’re considering running your own.