How to Keep 41% of Your Holiday Customers From Leaving

By Rob Zaleski
Dec 12, 2017
holiday customer retention

During the holiday season, e-commerce sellers see a ton of new customers, many of whom they will never see again. This means holiday customer retention could be a key to successfully competing in the marketplace next year. But there’s just one problem: 41% of US consumers said they ditched a company because of “poor personalization and lack of trust.” If you’re not personalizing subsequent offers to your new customers’ interests, you could lose them!

How to nail holiday customer retention in 3 easy steps

1. Segment your list based on purchase history

Don’t create an off-putting experience for new customers by adding them to a generic list with generic messaging and generic offers (more on that below). Use what information you have about them to create segmented customer lists for your email marketing efforts, and increase the possibility of holiday customer retention. Why? Studies have shown that segmented lists improve clicks by 101% over non-segmented lists.

For example, does your website offer the ability to mark something as a gift? Recognizing this and helping customers find more gifts for other occasions is a great start to segmenting (and shows you’re paying attention). Was your customer a high-ticket or multi-item buyer, or did they pick up a single item? This should change the way you communicate to them, and the types of offers you can recommend to them. Court those high spenders as VIP customers and maybe try to get them on a rewards or loyalty program. For single-item buyers, encourage them to buy more or more often by using discounts and recommended items.

2. Offer personalized product recommendations

Another way to improve holiday customer retention is to offer product recommendations based on recent orders. This can be done through multiple touchpoints such as on packing slips, confirmation emails, automated emails, and marketing emails.

It doesn’t typically do you any good to recommend the same item a customer already purchased. So generic product offers should be avoided. Offering customer complimentary items, however, can vastly improve conversions and shows them you’re taking their previous behavior into account. Remember that 41% stat I opened with? People want you to use what you know about them to personalize your offers, so go for it!

Conversely, there are situations where it might make sense to recommend an item already purchased by a customer, such as in the case of perishable items or products that have a tendency to run out. Using a typical product lifecycle can help you perfectly time your product recommendations emails. Your customers might even thank you for reminding them to refill or buy more!

ShippingEasy offers Product Recommendations emails as part of our Customer Marketing add-on. Using product recommendations, you can set specific products to be suggested to customers, or create campaigns that fire off after a predetermined period of time. Take a look at the video below to see how easy we make it to set up our Product Recommendations feature.

Note: our Product Recommendations/Product Reviews features currently integrate with some stores and carts, but not all yet.

3. Invite new customers to be part of your community

People love to feel like they belong. When a customer first purchases from you, you have a unique opportunity to welcome them to be more than just a random person who purchased a product from an online store.

Set up a welcome email campaign for all new customers inviting them to join any loyalty programs you may be running, follow and engage with you on social, or attend any in-person/in-store events you may have. Put a human face and feeling on the experience to create a relationship, rather than a transaction.

The holiday season is crucial not just because it brings more business, but because it gives you the opportunity to extend that business all throughout the year. Want to make your customer communications and email marketing a breeze?

Sign up for ShippingEasy and test drive our Customer Marketing add-on, FREE for 30 days!

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Rob Zaleski

Head of Brand at ShippingEasy
I'm a digital content and social media nerd with a passion for telling stories, helping connect people, and finding joy in the details.

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