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.
At Glow Loyalty, our team knows the holidays are a precious time for most Shopify owners. So let's get started right away!
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Again, make sure the message is about the charity, not your store.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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