In this episode of The Cart Insiders podcast, we welcome Tim Peckover, content manager at Smile.io, to discuss the absolute essentials and various strategies ecommerce businesses can employ to build long-term gain from the short-term holiday season rush.
With an expected record-breaking holiday season, online retailers should be looking at ways to take long-term advantage of a rush of new visitors to their sites. Tim gives us his expert advice on how to achieve this, as well as many other actionable insights on building loyalty in the ecommerce sector. Tim starts by explaining the importance of having retention strategies to capture new subscribers at the onset, going over various touchpoints for gathering data so that retailers are able to provide a memorable and personalized experience.
Tim dives into these engagement strategies, such as getting customers to identify with a product and your brand story so your brand becomes more of a ‘lifestyle’ choice, rather than a product. He also offers tips for using transactional messages, such as order and shipping confirmations, to promote future engagement through bonus points campaigns that offer surprisingly high conversion rates.
“The biggest thing, for me, is reminding brands and merchants to think about how they are going to turn those first-time buyers into long-term customers from the outset. So rather than just focusing on all those new acquisitions they’re getting, they should be thinking ‘right, what is the next step after that sale, what am I going to do’ … so instead of forgetting about them after the sale, you need retention strategies in place right off the bat.”
In speaking about loyalty programs, Tim explains why it’s not too late to set one up and how it can help convert holiday shoppers in the new year. Overcoming the holiday discounting dilemma many ecommerce businesses find themselves in, loyalty programs, Tim says, have a way of engaging shoppers when generous holiday season discounts no longer apply.
But when it comes to loyalty programs, it’s not a one-size-fits-all decision. Tim offers tips for identifying the right kind of loyalty programs based on customer types. He dives into methods that can be used to segment customers and subscribers into different tiers of loyalty, from one-time buyers to VIPs, as well as the most effective rewards to keep people engaged.
Main discussion points
- Preparing for the rush of new customers. Tim explains the importance of having retention strategies to capture new subscribers from the very beginning, going over various touchpoints for gathering data so that retailers are able to provide a memorable and personalized experience.
- Order and shipping confirmation messages, and ways these messages can be used to promote future engagement—especially with bonus points campaigns that result in surprisingly high conversion rates.
- Is it too late to start a loyalty program? Retailers used to expect a fully-integrated loyalty program to take weeks or months to get up and running, but that’s no longer the case. Tim tells us how to set up an affordable, holiday-ready loyalty program in minutes, using an example for Shopify users.
- Tactics to overcome the discount dilemma. We talk about ways to get customers to come back to your brand, even when your generous holiday season discounts no longer apply. Tim explains how customers can begin to identify with a product and your brand story, so your brand becomes more of a ‘lifestyle’ choice, rather than simply a vendor selling goods.
- Identifying the right kind of loyalty programs for customer types. We discuss the methods that can be used to segment your customers/subscribers into different tiers of loyalty, from one-time buyers to VIPs, as well as the most effective rewards to keep people engaged.
- We hear Tim’s ‘one thing everyone must do’ for the upcoming season, as we talk about the absolute essentials when looking to build long-term gain from the short-term mad rush.
- Finally, Tim divulges his favorite knowledge sources, including industry news, podcasts, books, newsletters, and more, as he tries to keep on top of the latest trends and innovations in the ecommerce world.