Let’s think about this for a moment: When your mom starts shopping for your presents during the holiday season, is she already a frequent customer of the stores she’ll visit? Unless you’re getting socks and underwear, the answer is probably no.
Your family and friends want to get you the things you love, the things that make you who you are—and that means they’ll be stepping outside their comfort zones and visiting stores and websites they’ve never been to. Now, with that information, you can understand that new and nervous customers will be visiting your business this season, too.
The question now is, do you want to serve those customers now and count your cash after the holidays, or do you want to turn that first-time customer into a lifelong fan of your brand? We thought so. Now, how can you go about that?
Educate and Inform
The main function of your marketing should always be to educate and inform your customers, but that’s more important than ever during this time of year. The new customers seeking out gifts for their friends and family, well, they’re going to have a lot of questions for you. Get a head start by creating blogs and other content that tackles each and every one of your FAQs.
Someone at the awareness phase in the buying cycle needs a little convincing to stick around a while. You may need to put a little more effort into building some education materials—videos are always a great idea—but the outcome is an informed buyer who’s ready to trust you with their money.
Make Decisions Easy
Once buyers know what they want, they still might need a little nudge. As the hover there, ready to hand over their money, seal the deal with a discount offer or coupon. You can offer the savings in exchange for their contact information. Another way to nudge buyers over the edge is to provide a guarantee or an easy return and refund program.
These first-time buyers need a feeling of security when they’re buying for others. They need to know that their purchase will be received with open arms, and if it’s not, that they can easily exchange or return it. Give them that safety net, and they’ll take the plunge.
A special touch during the holiday season goes a long way toward increasing customer happiness. By going out of your way to provide decorative packaging, personal notes, and maybe even a free gift.
When you show these new customers that they’re special, even if you know there’s a chance they won’t come back, you give them a warm, fuzzy feeling that not even hot cocoa and a roaring fire can match.
Keep in Touch
Here’s the real kicker: keep in touch. These customers who just came to see you so they could buy a surfboard for their son or a craft kit for their daughter, they don’t expect to hear from you again. How surprised will they be when you check in a few weeks after Christmas to make sure their gift hit the target? What if you emailed to ask how their loved one liked to give and to ask if they need to make a return?
Offering options for accessories or refills helps you establish a true connection that could last throughout the year. After all, there are other reasons to give gifts. This connection, more than anything else you do this holiday season, is what will make your one-time buyer a loyal customer.
Are you ready now? If you need some help getting your marketing materials in place or want some more tips on keeping your buyers coming back for more, we’re always here to help.