3 Ways Facebook Can Help You Get Repeat Shoppers

While many brands successfully attract customers during the holiday season, few build a relationship that keeps shoppers engaged throughout the year.

Retailers should take advantage of the busiest shopping season of the year to earn their customers’ loyalty and keep them coming back throughout the year.

During the summer months, while most people are enjoying their beach vacations, many retailers are already deep into planning their holiday marketing campaigns.

Now is the time to think about how to capture holiday shoppers on Facebook and entice them to come back to shop the rest of the year.

Here are three things to consider so you’ll be prepared for the holiday hustle and bustle.

Offer Incentives

Brands like Kohl’s and Bath & Body Works extend their marketing initiatives beyond the peak holiday months to build customer loyalty year-round.

Bath & Body Works engages their customers throughout the year with 20 percent off coupons, as well as free product giveaways with purchase. The retailer’s coupons have a short lifespan to encourage customers to shop now and are almost always immediately replaced with another deal.

Kohls is a master at using stackable offers to give customers multiple ways to save, thus luring them into their stores. These include:

  • Kohl’s Cash that can be used on their next shopping trip;
  • Pick-Your-Day sales for Kohl’s Charge Card holders;
  • Secret Sales, which are exclusive offers, and
  • Special deals during special hours, such as Night Owls or Early Birds.

A variety of different offers increases the likelihood that at least one of those opportunities will match up with varied customer preferences.

Collect Customer Data Everywhere

When a customer is in transaction mode, they are less likely to agree to something that’s going to keep them in line, even for a second longer.

Customers are often more likely to engage with the retail staff while they’re browsing on the sales floor, especially if the retail associate is friendly and helpful.

Collecting customer information, such as emails, while customers are shopping also helps prevent missing out on data from customers who don’t make a purchase on that particular day.

Offering them an incentive, such as a dollars-off coupon, in exchange for providing their name and email fosters good-will and could also encourage them to make a purchase that day or in the near-future.

Kirkland’s, a home decor retailer, put a great deal of emphasis on capturing their once-a-year shopper with the goal of convincing them to shop again soon, grabbing attention with a chance to win a $2,500 shopping spree.

Making the entry process simple — asking for only a name and email address — was key to the success of the program. During the holiday rush, no one has the patience to provide answers to a long list of questions, whether written or electronic.

Making it easy to enter helped Kirkland’s secure nearly 600,000 entrants into the sweepstakes (and over 335,000 customers were new to the database).

Embrace Multi-Channel Marketing

These days, the holiday shopping season begins long before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Fifty-nine percent of October holiday email campaigns contained a special holiday offer, according to the 2010 Holiday Marketer Report from Experian Marketing Services.

Retailers are beginning their holiday promotions earlier including those on Facebook and extending their relationships with customers past the holiday season. Limited Brands holds semi-annual sales, just after the holiday season, during which customers are loaded up with more coupons that they must return to the store to use.

Kirkland’s keeps shoppers enchanted online with an active Facebook and an online community, where giveaways keep customers engaged and coming back for more.

Beauty retailer Sephora engages customers with special offers that can be used in-store or online, often personalizing them based on the shopper’s preferences. In addition to email campaigns, Sephora shares special offers via Facebook and Twitter to reach customers through as many channels as possible.

Shoppers crave benefits from the brand relationship – - it’s one of the true market differentiators you can leverage.

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