How to build and maintain customer loyalty beyond holiday sales
Customer RetentionJan 14, 2022

How to build and maintain customer loyalty beyond holiday sales

Whether your eCommerce business had a decent holiday season or an exceptional one, you’re probably wondering what to do next.

Should you build on your holiday momentum and come up with new ways to keep your customers hungry for more?

Or should you wait to touch base again as you and your team shift gears to focus on the next holiday?

As we’ll discuss in this article, there are lots of great ways your brand can tackle the post-holiday period. And we’ll show you how they all tie back to building and maintaining customer loyalty.

Our Top 5 Tips to Help You Build and Maintain Customer Loyalty Beyond the Holiday Season

Customer loyalty is the ultimate goal for eCommerce brands. It ensures that your hard-to-capture customers continue purchasing from your store instead of from your competition. 

So if your holiday sales were so juicy they helped acquire some new customers, kudos! But now your post-holiday efforts have to show them why your brand deserves their repeated business. 

These five strategies will help your store keep business booming long after the holiday season and right into the next one:

1. Keep in Touch with Email Marketing and Social Media

While everyone could use a nice break after the holidays, taking too long of a hiatus could leave your customers forgetting your brand even exists. 

Worse, your competitors may lure them away in the meantime.

To avoid that from happening, take some time off after the holidays, but make sure to get right back into the swing of things soon after. 

Regularly communicate with your customers, both through email and social media. This helps your brand stay top-of-mind with them and allows you to maintain a positive, engaged relationship.

When you reach out, make providing value and helping customers a top priority. This includes everything from sending your latest offers (more on this next) to sharing blog posts about problems they need help solving. 

Strive to pique their curiosities or try your hand at a new trend, so they’re always excited to see what you share next.  

Initiating these little conversations keeps your customers interested in your brand and engaged with your products, which both prove your value to them. 

Follow that up with great incentives in your loyalty program (more on this later), and you’ll have no trouble building and maintaining customer loyalty all year.

Here’s another way to do just that:

2. Celebrate the Next Batch of Holidays with Shiny New Offers

Just because the big retail holiday season is over doesn’t mean there isn’t anything else on the calendar to celebrate.

In fact, there are loads of holidays just around the corner! And each presents your eCommerce brand with new ways to reach out to potential and existing customers alike.

After New Year’s, you’ll have Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter to prepare for. Then you can celebrate the start of spring, Father’s Day, and tons of new holidays along the way (May the Fourth, anyone?!).

In our Ultimate eCommerce Holiday Calendar, we shared a complete list of over 40 holidays worth celebrating as an eCommerce brand.

Start early, and you’ll be able to create seasonal promotions that are just as fun and engaging as your holiday ones were. Depending on your target customer, they might even be more lucrative for your brand.

So think about the holidays your audience digs most. Then craft campaigns to celebrate with your customers during these times.

You can use seasonal promo codes and email themes to get them in the spirit. Or do them a favor by reminding them to find the perfect gift in time for Mother’s Day (a hard-to-remember date because it changes every year).

Plus, when your customers see your brand acknowledging and celebrating holidays like International Women’s Day, Pride Month, and Veteran’s Day, they’ll feel seen, heard, and appreciated. And that’s a major boost for customer loyalty. 

3. Create Engagement and Boost Sales With Your Loyalty Program

The new customer loyalty in eCommerce is all about creating an interactive and personalized shopping experience, as we discussed in that linked guide.

But the keyword here is gamification.

This turns shopping and enrolling in your brand’s loyalty program into an exciting game. 

Customers rack up points for completing tasks (i.e., making a purchase, following your brand on social media, etc.) as they work their way toward reaching the next tier. 

Once they hit a certain threshold, they can redeem their points for sweet perks (like free shipping!) and feel rewarded for their hard work.

These incentives ultimately drive customers to make more purchases, up their average order value, and stay loyal to your brand -- a total win-win-win for you.

So if you don’t already have a loyalty and rewards program, this is your first step. Create one now and start promoting it so you can begin building and fanning the flames of your customer loyalty.

To take your loyalty and rewards program a step further, consider ways to sweeten the pot. Surprise customers with double point Tuesdays, for example, or point multipliers on their birthday. You’ll find sales, engagement, and loyalty increase accordingly.

Don’t forget: loyalty programs are only as good as their rewards. So think about incentives your customers actually want. 

Test out a few options to see whether exclusive discount codes or first-dibs on new product launches entice shoppers more than free samples or next-day shipping, for instance. You can also send out surveys to hear what your customers value most.

4. Provide a Personalized Shopping Experience

The best eCommerce brands have mastered the art of the tailored shopping experience, and you should too.

Personalized shopping means it’s super easy for customers to reorder their favorite products. Cross-sells and upsells feel intuitive and natural, as if you can literally read your customers’ minds.

And, most importantly, it’s a breeze for shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds.

All these steps show your customers that you value their limited shopping time and care about their shopping experience (more on this next). Both of those breed loyal customers who are excited to return and shop again.

To ace this step:

Make sure your product taxonomy is on point. Product taxonomy refers to how you organize the products in your eCommerce store. 

If not done correctly, shoppers will get frustrated that they can’t find what they’re looking for fast enough. Then they may leave your store and head over to your competitor.

Remember, customers shouldn’t have to dig around to find something they love or want to order again. So check out that guide to discover a few tips to give them exactly what they want (and more!).

Always include personalized upsells and cross-sells, which show shoppers related products they’re likely to be interested in.

If you skip this step, your customers won’t know about all the other great products you have to offer, and your average order values will suffer.

These points both tie into our final tip:

5. Make Your Shopping Experiences More Enjoyable

On top of creating a personalized shopping experience, it’s also crucial for your brand to consider and improve the overall buying journey for customers.

Shoppers shouldn’t have to deal with long page load times, blurry product images, or vague product descriptions. So optimizing your store’s mechanics is a must.

Make sure shoppers can see customer reviews and user-generated content (UGC). These trustworthy testimonials help shoppers learn more about your products and subtly nudge them to make a purchase. 

Think about reviews this way: Would you ever buy something without reading a glowing review about it first?

Probably not. And that’s the same sentiment your customers share. So add top-rated review management software to your store ASAP.

Consider interactive Shopify apps too. Apps that let your customers spin-the-wheel-for-a-prize or unlock a special discount are another fun way to interact with and reward them at the same time.

The more fun and engaging you can make it for customers, the more they’ll play along and shop, which can catapult your sales and customer loyalty.

Eliminate costly mistakes, which can cause people to abandon their carts without making a purchase. When that happens, you won’t get the chance to build or grow customer loyalty because you won’t have a customer to begin with.

Here are the biggest mistakes eCommerce brands unknowingly make (and you can prevent):

  1. Adding unexpected costs at checkout. This is the number one reason why cart abandonment happens. As people add items to their cart, be upfront about what it’s going to cost, so there are no surprises (or a lost customer) later.

2. Forcing shoppers to create an account. Let customers check out as a guest for a speedier process, and you’ll see an uptick in sales. To eventually convert “guest” shoppers into customers with an account, follow up their order with details about your enticing loyalty program. Give them a special bonus for signing up, and they’ll be more likely to do so.

3. Having a slow, long, or complicated checkout process. Aim for a simple, quick checkout process, or you’ll lose shoppers before the finish line. 

4. Technical difficulties that require customers to enter their information more than once during the checkout process. These are a surefire way to scare them off. That’s why it’s so important to routinely audit your checkout process to see how to improve things.

Psst! You can learn more about all the mistakes that lead to cart abandonment (+ how to fix them) by visiting that guide next.

Ready To Boost Your Customer Loyalty Beyond the Holiday Season?

You now have five splendid tips to build on and maintain your customer loyalty well after your holiday sales end. Now all you have to do is create a game plan for tackling each step with your team.

We suggest starting with a loyalty and rewards program, if you don’t already have one. That’s the fastest way to maximize customer loyalty and engagement. 

Accomplish the rest, and we know you’ll see a huge difference in your sales and customer loyalty in no time!

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