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How to Convert Gift Shoppers into Returning Customers

By Bethany Llewellyn • Thursday Dec 9th, 2021

Throughout the holiday season, eCommerce retailers can acquire up to 59% more customers.

This is down to a combination of non-regular shoppers hunting for Christmas presents and a whole host of key sales dates attracting price-conscious shoppers.

With a CRO strategy in place throughout the Q4 period, you’ll have gathered data from users throughout the buyer's journey. 

From converted shoppers through to new newsletter subscriber emails, many of these contacts have the potential to become long-term customers.

Now it’s important to focus on retaining these customers and offering them a reason to return once the holiday season is over.

We don’t want all of your Q4 marketing efforts to go to waste, so we’ve put together some simple tips for your Q1 strategy to ensure you make the most of your customer data and work to convert new visitors into returning customers.

How can customer retention grow your eCommerce business?

​​Whether through display ads, PPC or social, you’ve invested money and resources into attracting new customers to your site and converting them in Q4.

Now with Q1 just around the corner, you can turn your attention towards how to re-engage and transform these new customers into repeat purchasers. 

With your existing customer base, you’ve already done the hard work. They already recognise your brand and have bought into it, so maintaining and building relationships with this group can create a valuable cycle of repeat purchases for your store.

Customers who continue to return to your site to buy more are also committed to your brand and often build larger baskets, helping to boost your AOV and drive even more revenue for your site. 

Not only is it simpler to retain customers than acquire new ones, but it’s also cheaper, with customer acquisition costing up to five times more than retention.  

So, if the key to eCommerce growth is customer retention, what is the key to customer retention?

Strategies to retain Christmas customers

Below we’ve outlined some strategies all retailers could implement to help retain and re-engage new Christmas customers for a successful start to 2022.

1. Create a retargeting email campaign

With your Q4 data capture strategies, you’ll have acquired a whole host of new newsletter subscribers. 

These visitors have subscribed because they want to hear more about your products and discounts, so Q1 presents the perfect time to launch a retargeting email campaign.

When it comes to your email campaigns, tailored content generates a higher click-through rate and increases customer engagement.

You can use targeted messaging to remind your customers to return to your site to complete a purchase, reinforce your brand values or showcase new stock, depending on a subscriber’s position in the sales funnel.

Personalising your emails also improves overall customer retention and increases brand loyalty from your new subscribers, converting them into returning customers.

2. Focus on customer loyalty

There’s a chance that a lot of your Q4 newsletter sign-ups may have only been around to make the most of your festive offers, so developing a rapport at this stage is vital.

Having a customer loyalty strategy ready to go will ensure you make your customers feel valued all year round, strengthening your relationship.

That doesn’t mean you have to throw around vouchers or incentives like there’s no tomorrow - there are various other strategies you can use to drive conversions without relying solely on discounts.

If you’re stuck on ideas, a simple yet effective way to make your customer feel special is a personalised touch on emails, a birthday discount or an anniversary email, all of which acknowledge your customers.

The stronger your relationship is with your customers, the more likely they are to return to your site and share with their friends - win-win.

3. Use segmentation to personalise your content

Personalised content on your eCommerce site can hugely increase your average order value, reduce bounce rates and improve customer experience.

You can segment your visitors based on their attributes, ranging from their age or location to time spent on specific product pages.

But when it comes to existing customers, you already have data on their past purchases and buying behaviour, so you can create truly personalised experiences that inspire purchases and are tailored to their preferences.

Using personalisation tools such as intelligently triggered Behavioural Overlays or Product Recommendations, you can show the right products, messages and incentives to your customers at the right time.

This gives you the opportunity to re-engage your new customers, showing you have more to offer than just your seasonal discounts.

4. Utilise social media

Your social media platforms can be a powerful tool when it comes to retaining your new customers.

Social media is the place where you can build a voice and brand that your customers come to know and love.

Use your social channels to keep customers up to date with your latest products or launches and create content that adds value to their overall experience and impression of your brand. 

Creating an omnichannel experience across your platforms will improve your retention rates as your newer subscribers will be more engaged and bought into your brand.

Invest in your customer retention strategy

Customer retention is a driving factor to help your eCommerce business to flourish.

It’s important for you to engage your new customers and subscribers to show them the value your business can offer beyond seasonal discounts and promotions.

With the use of these retention strategies, you can build a relationship with your customers and improve the overall customer experience while also achieving your KPIs.

If you would like to speak to one of our Strategy Managers to see how Salesfire’s tools can help engage and retain your customers, email us at [email protected] or book a free demo.