4 Ways to Stay Top-of-Mind During the Hectic Holiday Season
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4 Ways to Stay Top-of-Mind During the Hectic Holiday Season

Let's not beat around the bush. It's impossible to compete with the ad budgets of big-box retailers during the winter holiday season. Still, small business owners and entrepreneurs can establish and maintain Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) throughout this hectic time of year.

This piece explores four ways Shopify retailers can build their brand and solidify it, even when your customers are stressed and busy. 

We'll cover:

  • The value of loyalty programs and how to use them during the holidays
  • Ways to celebrate your customers and boost goodwill
  • Ideas that build on your local presence or push your brick-and-mortar store
  • And the importance of delighting your customers when orders or packages go awry

At Glow Loyalty, our team knows the holidays are a precious time for most Shopify owners. So let's get started right away!

1. Make the Most of Loyalty / Rewards Programs (the "Do's and Don'ts")

Hopefully, you've been collecting client information via an opt-in customer rewards program since you opened your doors. Now is the time to put it to work!

DO use your customer loyalty program to:

  • Personalize the messages with your customer's name, and something about their last purchase
  • Offer significant discounts on your most-wanted products and "giftable" items (because budgets matter this time of year)
  • Suggest appropriate cross-sells and upgrades
  • Reach out to customers that haven't visited your shop in a while 
  • Highlight the uniqueness of your products, place priority on quality over price, or establish the value of artisan / local / handmade goods


  • Harass customers with more than a few emails in one week
  • Send emails or SMS messages on key days, like Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Eve (It's tempting but cheesy. Don't do it.)

And finally, be sure that you honor any customer's request to opt-out of your loyalty program. 

Now that you're communicating with your regular customers via your rewards program, let's think about ways to celebrate your customers and boost goodwill. 

2. Personalize & Celebrate: No Big Box Store Can do that!

Companies like Amazon, Walmart and other big-box retailers have deep pockets. But the holiday shopping experience is also rushed and anonymous. A big trip to Wally-world leaves shoppers exhausted, with a cart full of low-quality, commercial-grade [trash.]

Your small business cannot spend $10 million on national cable advertising.

But you can spend a few bucks personalizing each holiday shopping experience with:

  • Handwritten holiday cards that address your customer by name
  • Uplifting holiday emails that aren't promotional or "salesy"
  • Bonus gifts and holiday-themed goodies in your packages (this will introduce them to your other offerings, too)
  • Branded packaging and packing materials that make an impression

This is where smaller retailers can make a more personal connection. Uplift your customers' experiences with your brand. Leave them feeling appreciated and delighted with their purchase. 

This is also an excellent time of year to boost your local presence at your brick-and-mortar store too. 

3. Boost Your Presence: Make Good Use of Donations and the Media

It's no secret that donations increase during the holidays. Your customers are making donations, your competitors are making donations, and the big box stores are doing it, too. In an average non-pandemic year, about 34% of any charity's income occurs in December. 

The trick is to make meaningful donations that correlate to your brand. You can get some free media coverage, which is a bonus. (We'll talk about that more in a moment.) 

Stumped for charitable ideas? Think about these examples to get your creative juices going:

  • An artisan soap company could donate older inventory to local homeless shelters
  • A food retailer or grocer could make a large donation to a soup kitchen
  • High-end pet supplies could be donated to animal shelters or rescues

Of course, cash is king, and you could always donate funds. If your budget is tight, you can pledge to make a considerable donation and send it in a few payments over the upcoming year. Just remember to publicize your gift without making it sleazy. 

How to Publicize a Holiday Donation Without Being Sleazy (Spoiler: Make it About Them, Not You)

A little self-promotion is okay. But when you're making cash contributions or donating products to the needy, the message must be about them.

For instance, you can call the local newspapers and cable TV to witness a huge donation and provide some free media coverage. You'll need to plan it because there's a lot of this happening during the holidays. Just be sure to talk about the meaning of the charity, the people it helps, or how this organization has improved your community. 

  • Share these on social media and through your customer loyalty email lists once you have some great photos of the donation, newspaper content, and a short clip in the evening news.

Again, make sure the message is about the charity, not your store.

A Quick Note about Corporate Donations and Business Income Taxes in 2021

At the time of writing, November 2021, the IRS has temporarily enhanced the value of donations to charitable organizations that help people in need. We aren't tax experts at Glow, and we don't pretend to give tax advice. But you should talk to your CPA about making the most of your donations for income tax purposes.

So far, we've discussed customer loyalty rewards programs and email marketing. We've discussed ways to celebrate your customers with personalized messaging and uplifted packaging. Finally, let's cover the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to maintaining Top of Mind Awareness during a whirlwind of holiday shopping: delightful customer service. 

4. Delight Your Customers When Orders Go Awry

Let's face it. There are bound to be a few mishaps during the bustling holiday season. No Shopify retailer will get through the busy holiday season unscathed, whether it's a malfunctioning product, a misplaced package, or a lost order. 

Treat these mishaps as a chance to impress and delight your customers. 

Of course, every customer service situation will be unique. But you can make sure your customer service team does the following:

  • Identify themselves and the customer by name
  • Speak clearly and politely
  • Give customers a chance to vent if they are disappointed
  • Acknowledge their frustration
  • Find a solution that works, and implement it immediately

Whether your customer needs a refund, a replacement, or a repair, be sure to take responsibility for the solution and execute it. Nothing will turn off holiday shoppers faster than a rude representative who doesn't solve the problem. And nothing will impress them more than a fast, honest solution. 

And remember, you can always share some great customer service stories later through your loyalty rewards programs and email messaging.

Make Your Shopify Glow this Holiday Season

Glow is a unique loyalty / rewards program built expressly for the Shopify platform. Our team is laser-focused on making sure your loyalty program runs excellent on your Shopify site. Contact us today to make the most of this busy holiday season with Glow.


Related Reading & Resources: What is Shopify & How Does Shopify Work? Charitable Giving Increases as Holiday Season Ramps up Your Guide to Charitable Giving for the 2021 Holidays

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