Blog 8 min read

Build retail customer loyalty – best strategies you may not have heard before

Every retailer wants it, and the majority has some sort of plan to build customer loyalty. And to be honest, there is a lot of talking and writing about how to reach loyalty that is pretty much all the same. That’s why we decided to give you the best strategies to build customer loyalty – that you may not have heard about before!

Crucial aspects before implementing a customer loyalty strategy

Let’s begin from the very start. Before you can do anything to build customer loyalty, you have to determine what loyalty means to you as retailer. How do you define it in your business, and what do you want a loyal customer to achieve?

After that, always begin with your core target audience in mind. And the important word to focus on here is “core”. Because if you focus on a broad target audience, it won’t be as specific as you need it to be. Another thing you can do before building strategies is to take a look at your competition. How do they work with loyalty? Don’t copy what they do, just collect inspiration – and do it better!

Read more: Loyalty marketing – how and why it matters

Ask questions

When you have your core audience figured out, it’s time to actually ask them what they want and like. Do yourself a favor and don’t assume you know your target audience as well as you think. Ask them through surveys and social media! What inspires, drives, and motivates your core audience to come back. What matters to them and which core values do they care most about? The more details, the better – because this is your foundation for communication.

This is what will determine how unique you can be in your communication – and not just send out random emails to all your customers.

Collect contact information through a loyalty program

This is the entire foundation for you to be able to work with customer loyalty. Because for you to communicate in a relevant, personalized way and build loyalty – you need contact information! So basically, when you start a loyalty program, the most important function, in the beginning, is to collect email addresses and phone numbers. Simple, sure – but super important.

And for obvious reasons, you need to start collecting more and more information as you go, but don’t ask for too much information at a time. Spread it out to make it as easy as possible for the customer to give you information.

Read more: How to manage loyalty in retail

5 unique ways to build customer loyalty for retailers

Here are five strategies that you may not have thought about before, that we hope can help you!

#1. Give your customers a choice

This is closely related to personalized content. And this a way for you to influence the way you personalize the content!

For example, let’s say you are in the DYI business and want to send an email to customers who have made a purchase related to renovating the home within the last 3 months. Engage the customers in the email by asking “What’s your next project?” Then you give your customers different options:

  • Painting the walls indoors
  • Redoing the bathroom
  • Fixing the floors

Then, when a customer clicks a certain link to their next purchase, you can lead them to a page on your site that is relevant to their choice. But that’s not all! With Voyado, you can create an automation that gets triggered when a customer clicks a specific link. So say a customer clicks “painting the walls” – they will be enrolled in a flow of emails that sends the customer inspirational content about painting the walls indoor!

Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation

When working with these kinds of options, it’s super important to be a segmentation pro. Then you can do a lot of fun stuff! For example, if you sell sports goods, you can send either an email, text, or postal communication to everyone who bought something tennis-related in the last 6 months. In the communication, you can let them know that the classic Wimbledon tournament starts this week. Give the customer a link to more information about the game and where to see it and finish the email off by saying “Enjoy some world-class tennis this week – here’s our top recommendations!”

#2. Take your gamification to the next level

To really engage your customers today, you need to give them ways to earn points in other ways than just shopping from you. And the first step in introducing gamification is to make the customer want to “play with you”. Make gamification as fun as possible. Here are a few examples of what you can do:

  • Let your customers build their avatar or chose a picture on their “my pages” so the environment feels super personal
  • Create a series of emails with clues to solve a mystery of some sort. The faster a customer gives you the right answer, the more rewards points they get (sneak in a few product recommendations in each email to promote sales)
  • Give the customer reward points for writing reviews on your products
  • Work with user-generated content – set up a competition where the customer who takes the best picture or writes the best poem about your brand gets a gift card

#3. Inspirational content over money rewards

Inspirational content is what will help your customers connect with your brand and potentially build brand loyalty. So, the go-to when it comes to loyalty is to put more effort into creating inspirational content, instead of just handing out rewards.

For example, you’re in the vitamin industry and a customer has just left a natural sleep supplement in the abandoned cart. First of all, you send out an abandoned cart reminder – because if you didn’t know it already, those emails have an open rate of 50 percent, and at least 10 percent of those customers will go back and complete the purchase!

Then you use the fact that the customer wants to sleep better to enter them into an automation flow of emails, texts, or a social push that gives the customer tips on how to improve their sleep.

Read more: What is brand loyalty and how do you reach it?

Inspire the customer to get to the next level

Another way to inspire a new purchase is to let the customer know how much money they need to spend to reach the next level. And remind them of all the perks and goodies that await once they have climbed the membership ladder! This may seem simple, but it’s super effective since a lot of customers don’t keep track of how much they need to spend to reach different levels. And if they’re close, they are very likely to purchase more to reach new heights!

Watch the video “How to create or optimize a loyalty program that stands out” ➔

#4. Create a community to build customer loyalty

This is a very underestimated strategy to build your brand and customer loyalty! Create a forum for your customers to discuss different topics related to you as a brand or retailer. You can be as involved in the discussions as you like, but make sure you make it clear that it’s your brand that initiated the community on for example Facebook, so that it’s associated with you.

A good way to use the community to build the brand and sell more is to start a discussion about for example “what are your best skincare tips for the fall?” and put in some of the products your brand recommends.

#5. Don’t underestimate the power of copywriting

Let’s face it, we all enjoy fun, smart, and relevant copywriting. Many times that’s how and why we remember a brand! But a lot of retailers only use their unique tonality on social media or a few email campaigns. But we say you should take advantage of every single touchpoint with your customer! Spice up your transactional emails, automated emails, and texts. Use humor, feelings, and expressions that fit your brand, and make sure every bit of communication is positive. That’s how you make sure your brand shines through in all your communication – and that will make your customers like you even more, and come back for more!

Read more: How to improve the customer experience and the importance of it

Conclusion on how to build customer loyalty

When working to build customer loyalty, you need to clearly define what loyalty means to you and what you want to achieve. Then start setting up strategies based on your core target audience. Don’t forget to collect contact information for your customers, so you can communicate:

  • Different choices in emails
  • Inspirational content
  • Gamification campaigns
  • Invitations to join your community
  • And wow them with your awesome copy in all communication

Good luck!


More reading

Browse through all of our blog posts to find more inspiration!

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