How to Turn Your Holiday Shoppers into Return Customers in Q1

The holiday season is the main revenue-generating period for many retailers. For Amazon, Q4 accounts for 33.4% of annual sales. The most wonderful time of the year is great for attracting new shoppers and converting browsers with discounts and deals, but what happens when you pack up the tinsel and the trees?

how to turn your holiday shoppers into return customers

Retail data shows that for 64% of businesses, shoppers acquired during the holiday season have a lower lifetime value than shoppers acquired throughout the year. So, while they may be great for meeting your Q4 quota, new holiday shoppers are not quite the loyal customers that brands need to succeed. Since returning customers spend 3x more than one-time customers on average, failing to bring back buyers acquired over the holidays is a major missed opportunity.

return customers

The holidays are great for brand exposure and product discovery, but you need the right tools to convert one-time shoppers before they forget about you. This post will highlight all the top strategies for turning your Q4 buyers into loyal repeat customers in the new year.

Use social proof to bring shoppers back

The most important thing to do after the holiday rush is to collect reviews and photos from your new (and returning) customers. The more authentic customer content you generate, the more social proof you’ll be able to get on your site in time for Q1. The average conversion rate of visitors who see user-generated content on site is 161% higher than those who don’t, so that content is crucial.

Requesting content from your customers is a win-win, because it will not only give you the content that will set your site apart in the new year, but the act of writing a review will also re-engage your holiday shoppers. They are more likely to come back to your site,  where they can see what their fellow shoppers’ experiences were with similar products.

Make sure to automate your content request emails to be sent soon after product delivery, so you can capture your customers’ reactions while your brand is still top of mind.

The holidays are also a time when people are naturally taking tons of photos — so use that momentum to collect customer photos of your products in addition to reviews. Since 77% of shoppers prefer customer photos to professional ones, these images are an invaluable resource to visitors on your site who might be on the fence about a particular product.

return customers

Get more data from Yotpo here.

With the high volume of shoppers at this time of year, it’s the perfect opportunity to send some of your customers product review requests and others site and service review requests. Positive site reviews improve your Google Seller Ratings and establish trust in your brand, rather than just in your products.

Try incentivizing your customers to leave reviews and photos by offering coupons, discount codes, prizes, or rewards program points in exchange for content. This will both increase content generation and give past shoppers a good reason to come back to your site and make a another purchase.

Leverage UGC to retarget holiday shoppers

In addition to incentivizing shoppers to write reviews, offer them rewards for sharing those reviews on social. This type of user-generated content reaches your customers’ followers, many of whom are likely to be a good fit for your brand as well.

You can also create campaigns on social or even via email, encouraging customers to share reviews or photos with a branded hashtag. This too will allow your authentic customer content to appear in the newsfeeds of the people most likely to be interested in your brand, and your one-time holiday shoppers will be re-engaged and reinvested in your brand by participating in the campaign.

If launching a full-blown social campaign isn’t in the cards during holiday recovery, you can get a similar effect by swapping out the creative in your social ads with UGC, like customer reviews and photos. Retarget customers who purchased products similar to the ones advertised to remind them of their experience with your brand and to bring them back to your site. The added layer of social proof makes the ads feel more like a recommendation from a peer than a branded campaign, blending almost imperceptibly into social feeds.

Not only that, but creating an ad with customer reviews or photos also saves you the resources of creating a new ad campaign and improves your results. Blenders Eyewear started using customer reviews in their Facebook Dynamic Product Ads, and they saw a 38% decrease in cost per acquisition, a 62% increase in return on ad spend, and 2X the click-through rate.

return customers

You can also use this strategy with holiday browsers who abandoned their carts, or with customers who left a few items behind. Show them the products they were looking at through the eyes of your happy customers to encourage them to return to your site and ultimately become loyal buyers.

Reach shoppers in creative ways

Retargeting your holiday shoppers with user-generated content isn’t just for social. You can use email to show past buyers products recommended for them, complete with customer ratings and reviews to create social proof.

Whether you do this in an email marketing campaign or in your content request email, it’s a great opportunity to target customers with personalized content. Be sure to show them the most relevant products based on their past purchases and on-site activity.

You can do the same for shoppers who abandon product pages or the checkout page with pop-ups on your website. Show them an exit-intent pop-up with recommended products to catch their attention and remind them of the products they were interested in. This is also a great place to use customer content: showing reviews alongside the recommended products helps to establish trust and eliminate purchase doubt for your shoppers.

Creatively retargeting shoppers in this way makes it easier for them to navigate to the items they were looking for and makes them feel that your brand understands and anticipates their needs.

Don’t stop testing

Whether you’re sending content request emails, creating ads with UGC, or optimizing conversion on site with pop-ups, consistently tracking your efforts is key. Spend time analyzing the strategies that worked — as well as those that didn’t — to isolate the elements that lead to success.

Once you’ve figured out what gets results, keep iterating to improve. Run A/B tests even when you think you’ve found a winning strategy to avoid conversion plateaus.

Top Takeaways

The dip after the holiday rush doesn’t have to spill over into the new year. Your seasonal  shoppers can become lifetime loyal customers if you:

  1. Collect and leverage their reviews and photos to re-engage them.
  2. Use incentives to generate more content.
  3. Retarget them with ads featuring user-generated content.
  4. Use recommended products, combined with ratings and reviews, in email and on-site conversion optimization campaigns.
  5. Test these strategies and analyze the results to continuously improve

About the Author

Michelle is the Blog Manager at Yotpo, the leading customer content marketing platform for commerce brands.

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