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It’s holiday season again and you can profit from that. As a retailer or as a brand. The holiday season is a great opportunity to grow and expand your loyalty program and to profit from the investments that you have already made in it.
Everyone, from low frequency shoppers to brand advocates, is excited to buy in these months and you want that to be with you.
That’s why we have put together these 8 great loyalty strategies that should inspire you to do so. From holiday classics to innovative smart ones.
1. Members First: especially at the holidays
Give your members first access to your sales and to your exclusives. During holiday season this privilege has even more value than through the rest of the year and members will appreciate that.
A side effect is that they will spend their budget with you before they could have spent it somewhere else. That really makes a difference. So if it would be for Black Friday, the Dutch Sinterklaas or for Christmas or New Year’s sales, allowing members a preview, early access of a reservation of their favorite gifts, it all counts for extra turnover with higher share of wallet.
Of course you inform your members on time about this privilege using email and SMS. The latter provides that little extra touch that make members feel special, compared with your regular newsletter subscribers.
Inspired by our client KLM, for which VEMT created the ‘Golf Club’, there is a special strategy in which ‘early access’ is bought with loyalty points. Then really motivated consumers are identified that literally ‘buy in’. Members can ‘buy’ early access and maybe a set of coupons with points in their balance. The value of their redemption and their commitment reinforce each other. A very effective strategy.
2. Optimize the Use of ‘The Trigger’
In behavioral psychology, theory (Thank you, B.J. Fogg) is used to design strategies with which you make sure that customers get into ‘action’ by using three elements:
- Motivation to buy (a discount, temporary double points, extra experience elements, loyalty points that about to expire, etc)
- Ability to buy (access to your webshop, store, etc and knowing that there are options to buy)
- A Trigger to get the consumer into action
Only when all three elements are present, the desired behavior will happen. Often, the trigger is the element that is missing. It’s not always simple to offer triggers, and especially triggers that are strong enough.
During the holidays though, triggers are abundantly present. You can make use of that. It starts with making sure that your customer realize that Singles day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Sinterklaas (NL only), Christmas, New Year’s, Sales period in January are events that ‘you can’t miss out on’ in your store/webshop/company. In the early holiday season, smart retailers and brands start building up messaging with and around that goal.
That is seeding the basis for the triggers that automatically follow: those days themselves, and the campaigns that you will send out by email, SMS and chatbot to your members. You’ll see that strategies that are constructed with the full awareness on all of these three elements are much more successful than regular ones.
3 Encourage Program Enrollment
Your stores and webshop will be visited by many new customers during Holiday season. That is a great moment to encourage them to enroll in your program. This is more effective when you prepare special offers to get them to sign up. The timing for new registrations is perfect, because at this moment in the year, new members will quickly earn points during consecutive holiday occasions. These new members will more easily get into that ‘oh so’ important routine behavior that differentiates members from non-members.
Another aspect is that you’ll quickly collect more data about these member profiles than at other moments in the year, allowing you to personalize offers and campaigns better, improving the chance that these new members will make their second or third purchase quickly.
Long term VEMT clients know how important it is to get to the second and third purchase quickly, since these members bring significantly more value than members that take longer do achieve this. The holiday season is perfect for this strategy.
So do not only enroll new members during the holiday season, and use the data you collect to make better offers, but make sure you follow up on that and drive second and third purchases, ensuring that loyalty members receive incentives that drive that behavior, like irresistible privileges, one-time discounts or with extra freebies with those second or third purchases.
4. Increase Reciprocity
Another strategy powered by behavioral psychology is to make use of reciprocity, the behavioral concept that makes customers feel they can do something back for the ‘more than usual’ value they receive from you (in the form of points or privileges).
When you offer them ‘more than usual’ rewards during the holidays, it’s the perfect moment to ask them for something in return, like to share more data about them, their preferences or their friends.
5. Make Points more Valuable
The holiday season has many interesting discounts. But in a (loyalty) program, you can also work ‘from the other side’. Members will recognize that great opportunity, driving them quicker to purchases.
Rather than providing discounts in price, you can temporary increase the value of the points that members have accumulated in the (recent) past, rewarding their loyalty even better. If normally points are worth 100%, than during the holiday season, or at specific days, you can value those points at 110%, 150% or maybe even as high as 200% of the regular value. Avoid making it too complex, but you can attach conditions to these levels as well; for example if a member spends more than X, then his/her points are worth 200% in the days before Christmas.
It’s a very versatile strategy: this can work in programs that redeem points for discounts on your regular stock, and in programs that let you redeem points for designated reward products or services.
6. Prize Draws. Members Only.
Prize draws that are accessible for ‘Members Only’ function as an exclusive privilege for members, appreciating their loyalty, but it is also a great moment to enroll new members (connecting with strategy 3 using a ‘trigger’ as in strategy 2).
Variations to this strategy are:
- Prize draws that provide double chances for members
- Prize draws that automatically enter loyalty members
- Prize draws that provides a chance to members based on their turnover this year
- Prize draws that provides a chance for members based on their accumulated or current balance
The PR value of the Prize Draw can help drive (social) media traffic and rumor around the brand.
7. Earning Multiples of Points
A classic strategy is to offer double or triple earnings during the holidays. This can be done for specific products or under conditions like purchasing multiple items, ordering minimal quantities or over multiple categories. A sophisticated approach is – just before the multiples points period – promoting the rewards or reward levels that your customers are close to earning in a campaign. Keeping the strategy 2 in mind, that increases motivation for your powerful trigger of temporary multiple point earning.
8. Exclusive Privileges for Members
Besides points, loyalty members appreciate privileges and convenience.
Members Only Point-of-Sale lanes, free wrapping paper (or a larger selection for members only), free shipping, longer return periods, a members only helpdesk (number), extra member coupons or samples… all these perks could be a bit too much for all-year availability, but offering them in the holiday season could justify a good business case.
Focus on perks that allow members to do their shopping faster or easier. Those will increase turnover even more.
9. Reward Invitations
Your VEMT program can reward members for inviting friends and family to the program, your store, or even an holidays event that you organize. If you don’t have a member-get-member program already running, the holidays are a great opportunity to introduce this strategy to grow your program further.
The holiday season is a great moment to get a lot of extra value out of your program. Loyalty, experiences and promotional programs can all use the described strategies to grow faster with new members, grow turnover of the existing members and to collect much more data about member behavior, creating more potential growth over the next year.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities of the holiday season and connect with the VEMT Customer Success team on time to get your strategies running quickly.