Blog Article

6 Loyalty Strategies to Boost Sales Before and After the Holidays

Author: Paystone

Many businesses, particularly retailers, rely on the spike in shopping during the holiday season to bring in a large portion of their annual revenue. But with consumer spending down this year, due to the Pandemic, this can be a risky strategy especially if holiday sales are lower than projected.

Returning to growth through customer loyalty.

This is where loyalty programs can provide some benefits. If this year has proved anything for small businesses, it’s how valuable loyal customers are and how important it is to engage with customers consistently throughout the year.

While many of us associate rewards programs with big corporations like Starbucks and Aeroplan, recently loyalty programs for small to medium-sized businesses have begun to emerge. Offering similar advantages but with a relatively low financial and time investment, many smaller brands have begun using these programs to stay competitive and bring customers back more frequently.

How can loyalty programs help holiday sales?

Loyalty programs are beneficial all year round, but during the holidays, they are a great way to entice shoppers to make their purchases with you. In fact, over 54% of shoppers make their decisions on where to shop based on if the store has a loyalty program or not.

These loyalty strategies will help drive more sales during the holidays and year-round:

1. Create special offers just for loyalty members 

With member-only offers, people feel like their getting more value from being a member. Millennials are one demographic in particular that appreciates these tactics. In fact, 73% of Millennials join loyalty programs in order to take advantage of the perks and rewards during the holiday shopping season, so you can bet these shoppers are on the lookout for special offers.

Why does it work?

75% of consumers say they sift through their inboxes looking for relevant discounts — but you can make it easy for them. Sending your customers emails or texts about exclusive offers will make them more likely to open your offer because they know it’s just for them. Not only will this encourage members to do their holiday shopping with you, but the exclusivity factor may prompt more customers to sign up for your program.


2. Make your offers time-sensitive 

Set up a one-week time period for bonus points or discounted items. Most loyalty programs offer built-in text messaging or email tools that make it easy to let your members know about weekly specials.

Why does it work?
These types of offers create buying urgency and encourage your customers to act fast on items they’re interested in. By rotating your offers each week with new products, you’ll give shoppers more holiday gift ideas and opportunities to buy from you multiple times throughout the season.


3. Pick a special day for loyalty members 

To bring in more customers no matter the season, choose a day of the week to consistently reward your loyalty members. For example, send your members emails or text messages to remind them that every Wednesday they can get a discount when they show their loyalty card.

Why does it work?
Over 90% of shoppers use a coupon or discount code throughout the year so it’s a no-brainer that your customers would want to take advantage of your weekly loyalty perks. The key is to communicate with them so that they stay up-to-date and engaged.


4. Giveaway bonus points for use after the holidays

Did you know that 65% of program members spend more to maximize their loyalty rewards? Consider offering extra points on certain items or giving customers a specific number of bonus points when they purchase over a certain dollar amount.

Why does it work?

Offering bonus points during the holidays encourages customers to make bigger purchases to get those extra points. This tactic will also bring customers in during the slower periods after the holidays to use all those points they accumulated during the months prior.


5. Reward with gift cards

56% of consumers who join loyalty programs at small businesses say that their favourite way to be rewarded is with gift cards. Offering customers a free $5 gift card when they spend a certain amount is a great way to bring those customers back again.

Why does it work?

Most of us love the idea of getting something for free. In fact, research has shown that shoppers have a stronger reaction to the word “free” then to a percentage discount (although they may actually represent the same discount). By making your gift cards valid for a limited time period after December, you’ll be able to increase your post-holiday sales as well.


6. Engage your customers when it's most important

Engaging your customers throughout the year will help you turn casual customers into regulars. Making sure your offers and communications are relevant and meaningful is key to growing your loyal customer base. Sometimes, the perfect time to send an offer isn’t dependent on the time of year but on the specific customer.

While you may not be able to manually send personalized communications to every customer, a loyalty program will allow you to set up automatic communications that send based on your member’s behaviour.

Why does it work?

Think about how much more likely you are to open an email if it’s addressed to you.

Now consider how much more meaningful offering discounts or extra points on a customers’ birthday is vs a random promotion. When you interact with your customers in ways that are personalized and relevant, it builds a stronger relationship between them and your brand.

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