Build Loyalty This Holiday Season

Looking ahead to this holiday season, the big question being asked by many businesses is, “how do we get customers to purchase our products and services?” In response to the current economic downturn, 35 percent of consumers say they will spend less during the holidays. They also plan to spend differently and will be more selective as they search for practical gifts, striving to fulfill needs versus wants.

Beyond concern about important end-of-the-year sales, businesses are asking, “what can we do to maintain customer loyalty during this critical time?” Solving this challenge will be imperative to riding out the anticipated recession. Start now to address this need and consider the following ideas.

  • Sustain a deep understanding of customers’ needs. Conduct shopper insight research to learn what drives their purchase decisions. Look at:
    • Cultural insights: what is happening in the world right now?
    • Consumer insights: what are your consumers’ intrinsic needs?
    • Customer/store insights: what are your customers’ goals?
    • Brand insights: what are your brand’s attributes?
    • Shopper insights: what else are they buying right now?
  • Launch new marketing initiatives that satisfy your consumers’ intrinsic needs, while meeting business objectives to increase conversion, create an irresistible shopper experience and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Offer low-cost, high quality options so that consumers feel like they have a choice when purchasing goods and services. Now more than ever, they’ll appreciate it.
  • Use sweepstakes or on-line games to give away gift cards. With dismal economic and employment news making daily headlines, customers value help with:
    • Necessities such as groceries and gasoline.
    • Opportunities to enjoy themselves and escape from their worries for a little while.
    • Experiences that enable them to build memories with family and friends.
  • Help shoppers stretch their dollars with coupons and offers that drive their purchase intent. Value is back in vogue!
  • Execute a frequency program that keeps customers coming back and rewards their loyalty. Especially during the holidays, “free” and “extra” are magical words.
  • Promote products and services using images that invoke a festive holiday mood.

When your holiday marketing efforts connect with consumers, you enhance more than short-term sales. It’s an important way to build lasting loyalty.

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