Congratulations are in order. You’ve put in a lot of work over the holidays and you’ve reaped the rewards. This holiday season likely brought a wave of customers to your store — familiar shoppers and some new faces. Many of these new buyers were likely parents, children, spouses, or friends of your regular audience who came to your shop searching for the perfect gift.
Although they may have been unfamiliar with your products in the past, you now have a chance to turn them into long-time fans.
And who knows? The next holiday season could have their friends and family buying even more gifts from your eCommerce shop, further increasing your customer base.
However, the question remains: What can you do to hang onto your newfound clientele? In this post, we’ll share some tips on retaining new customers following the holiday season.
Write new content
Now that you’ve got a new customer base, you want to give them content that keeps them around. So don’t be shy! Give them a warm welcome by writing fresh blog posts or sharing videos directly catered to their needs. While your existing customers may understand specific terminology or techniques in your industry, more recent ones may not.
Let’s say you own an online coffee roastery. While coffee lovers understand the difference between types of roasts, brewing techniques, and harvest locations, a newbie to the coffee world may feel overwhelmed by all the choices.
To cater to these customers, consider writing a blog post about ways to brew your coffee (Three Ways to Brew Your Coffee this Winter Season) or an article about coffee bean location (Arabic Coffee vs. Colombian Coffee — What’s the Difference?).
JoeCoffee, for example, developed guides for brewing their coffee using common methods. Each one includes photos, recommended brew types, and detailed instructions.
Or you could make a short video titled, “How to Brew a Cup of Coffee Properly.” Discuss the temperature of the water along with the type of coffee machine or pot they should use. Resources like this will help them dip their toes into the coffee industry.
Create display ads
You can create display ads to get back in front of the new customers you discovered this season. To reach new customers with relevant messaging, you need to identify who they are. There are several ways to create unique audiences for this purpose, but we’re going to tackle two.
Find new subscribers from your email marketing tool.
- Create a list in your email marketing tool of new subscribers who joined between certain dates during the holidays and made at least one purchase.
- Export this list to CSV.
- Use the CSV to create a customer list in Google.
Keep in mind that working with customer lists and Customer Match in Google can be a bit cumbersome. The process is relatively advanced, but it may be worth it if you expect lots of new shoppers during the holidays.
Create a Google remarketing audience
- Set up a Google remarketing audience at the start of the holiday season and fill it with everyone who makes a purchase.
- Close the audience to new members at the end of the holiday season.
- Your list will reveal all the people who purchased during this period.
While useful, the downside to this method is that you can’t single out first-time customers.
Display ad tips
Make sure that the ads you’ve created directly target new customers. Refrain from using words that only experienced users or returning customers would know. For example, let’s say you run an online wine brand and describe a wine as “An opulent aged wine with a sweet tannin finish.”
While it sounds enticing to experienced sommeliers, it may not have the same impact for someone who’s just learning about wine. So instead, describe the wine in simpler terms like “A delicious red wine with a smooth finish that will leave you wanting more.”
Use email marketing
Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to reach out to new customers — and MailPoet’s First Purchase Email feature makes it even more simple. Start by sending out personalized thank you notes to new customers, giving them a warm welcome to your store. Then, in this email, make recommendations to encourage purchases. You may also decide to include coupon codes for future sales.
New customers may be unaware of their purchased product’s noteworthy features, or they might not understand how to use it. Include a quick guide highlighting some standout aspects of the product and how to get the most out of it.
Then, set up an email series to send periodic messages that include tips, product recommendations, or sales alerts.
You’ll need to take the first step in creating a rapport with your new customers, and rewarding them is an easy way to start on the right foot:
- Offer discounts for referrals: New shoppers can quickly turn into loyal advocates for your brand. For example, you can offer customers a 10% discount for them and a friend when they refer someone to your shop and make a purchase. As a result, not only have you landed a new customer, but you’ve furthered your relationship with an existing one.
- Send seasonal greetings: Let customers know you’re thinking of them by sending seasonal greetings. After a brief message, give them an early look at the season’s newest items.
- Invite customers to enroll in your loyalty program: A loyalty program is an excellent incentive for people to come back to your store. Create a simple tier-based program where customers reach new levels based on their purchases and interactions with your store.
Deliver excellent customer service
To keep customers coming back, you need to make them feel like you’ve rolled out the red carpet every time they visit your store. Here are four ways you can do this:
- Be available for questions: Be available to chat with your customers in real-time. Enable chat boxes to pop up during their shopping experience that allow them to ask any questions they have. The Live Chat extension will help you stay in touch with customers across various chat platforms. In addition, consider creating automated answers for FAQs to give speedy responses.
- Make returns/exchanges easy: Make returns or exchanges a breeze with the Returns and Warranty requests extension. Instead of contacting you or another employee, the entire process will happen seamlessly through their user account.
- Include a thank-you note: While you should include thank you notes for every purchase, they’re crucial for new customers. You might even throw in a small freebie to show your appreciation. Surprises will help you make a great first impression, and customers will feel motivated to purchase again.
- Ask for feedback: People love to share their opinion. Give your customers a platform and ask for their input on a recent purchase.
Win over your new customers
Whether you’re appealing to new shoppers or welcoming returning ones, it takes effort to retain customers. Once the holiday season has passed, don’t let the holiday cheer go with it. Instead, continue showing shoppers that you care and appreciate their patronage.
Start implementing the above tips now to retain customers year-round and grow your online store.