How to transform the one-time seasonal shoppers into loyal fans

How to Transform the One-Time Seasonal Shoppers into Loyal Fans

Good news! Canadians are doing more of their holiday shopping on the web.

Findings from the 5th annual Online Shopping Intentions Survey commissioned by FedEx Express Canada suggest that the rise of eCommerce has changed Canadian’s approach to holiday shopping. 61 percent of the 1,522 respondents said they are planning to shop online this holiday season and 14 percent mentioned they are planning to shop online for the very first time.

It’s not a surprise to see a big surge in sales during the holiday season since more consumers are willing to open up their wallets this time around. However, the flooding tide of holiday-rushed sales results in the potential of huge missed opportunities of reactivating the one-time holiday shoppers when the season ends. It’s a challenge for many eCommerce businesses to keep the one-time shoppers coming back for more.

In this post, I will show you several sure-fire ways to convert holiday customers into loyal customers.

Tip #1: Go beyond customer expectations

Exceeding the first-time shoppers’ expectations is what will keep them coming back to your website. Make sure that your website is able to handle the holiday rush and that every transaction is frictionless.

Offer free shipping if your margin allows. Take the “pre-parcel anxiety” off your customers’ shoulders by integrating the tracking systems of your shipping providers. In this way, your customers can effortlessly track the packages till they are delivered.

Surprise them with a free small gift or sample at checkout. These small yet sweet treats may only cost you less than a dollar, but the great impression and positive word of mouth the joy produces will last long.

Tip #2. Re-engage with emails

Take advantage of the holiday traffic to create an email list about your new customers without being intrusive. A well-written welcome email can kick off a relationship nurturing process. Don’t forget to create shipping notification alerts which provide real-time delivery updates.

Send an email that offers discount/coupon for the next purchase after the order arrived. A customer behavior analytics firm SmarterHQ found that when customers are offered coupons, 37% will remain engaged after the holiday shopping season.

Create “top-of-mind” awareness by sending newsletters with informative and delightful content such as tips, how-tos related to your industry. Occasionally send out special deals and discounts to incentivize the bargain lovers.

Bonus tip!

The majority of holiday orders are not intended for the gift buyers but the gift recipients. So why not convert the gift recipients into new customers?

Include a free gift card in each package (if your average order value is high). The amount of money should be enticing enough to motivate the gift recipients to check out your website.

A staggering 81% of online shoppers want a convenient returns policy which asks for no return shipping cost. About one-third of all items ordered online are returned and this number could be even bigger when it comes to holiday gifting.

Therefore, the very first interaction between your brand and the gift recipients could occur in the exchange/return process. Simplify your refund/return process and extend return/exchange policy, you will win the gift recipients’ hearts.

Remember the best way to turn any shopper into a loyal fan is to provide a frictionless and delightful shopping experience. When you make your customers feel glad that they came into your online store, you will see orders floating down from the Santa’s sleigh all year round.