8 Tips for Converting Holiday Shoppers Into Loyal Customers
The surge of extra foot traffic this month and next can mean golden business opportunities for your store. Every new person who comes through your door is a chance to gain a loyal customer the rest of the year. Here are some suggestions for how to convert one-time shoppers into repeat customers — whether they’re sending holiday gifts to loved ones, shipping merchandise to their small-business customers or dropping off returns to other merchants.
1. Pay Attention to First Impressions
If you hire additional help during the holidays, go one step further: Think about adding greeters. Station a seasonal employee near the front of the store to welcome customers, help direct foot traffic and promote available services they can use year-round, such as mailbox rental and dropoff returns.
Trying to gauge the benefits of hiring seasonal help? Keep in mind that a long and slow line can make a new customer drive by.
2. Make the Most of Returns
New customers bringing dropoff returns into your store are opportunities for future revenue. Grab the attention of passers-by by displaying a sign in your storefront window advertising your location as a convenient site for dropoff returns.
Then, when customers stop in to drop off returns, tell them about other services you provide and include a list with their receipt. If your store offers passport photos, upsell by asking whether they have any trips coming up. Tell small-business owners about mailbox rentals, printing services or specialty shipping that sets you apart from your competition.
3. Optimize Your Layout
To the savvy customer, even your floor plan can be a selling point. Make your store organized and easy to navigate. Pay attention to where you place your displays. Are your best-sellers arranged to be visible and easily accessible to holiday shoppers?
Plus, take advantage of busy holiday traffic. Customers waiting in line will be looking for something to occupy themselves. As holiday business ramps up and lines lengthen, increase your revenue by displaying little impulse buys — gum, greeting cards, wrapping paper — in racks along customers’ line of sight. It’s the lower price-point items like these that convert customers more successfully; higher price-point items that take more scrutiny and lead to comparison shopping are often passed over.
4. Post Store Signage
Display attractive and legible signs throughout your store so customers can quickly scan their shipping options or see where to find products. Make sure to display various add-ons and extra services you offer. You can order FedEx posters and mobiles on FASCnet.com.
5. Replenish Your Inventory
Customers can’t buy what’s not on the shelves, so keep an eye on merchandise that needs to be restocked — another task to hand over to your seasonal greeter. Also, check to make sure your items are ticketed or display a sign clearly stating the prices.
6. Provide Exemplary Service
The holiday season might be the only time you see some one-time shoppers, so take every opportunity to win them over with great customer service. Call them by name, help them understand their shipping options and suggest other services you offer. Be careful not to pressure them into a purchase, however — that can have the opposite effect.
7. Offer Discounts for the New Year
As a holiday gift — and a way to help customers get in the habit of returning to your store — consider printing up some coupons. Whether it’s a “buy one, get one free” deal with some of your impulse buys, a one-time complimentary packing offer or a limited-time discounted rate on mailbox rental, you can create customer goodwill and increase the odds of a return visit.
8. Get in Their Social Circle
Your conversion rate can be affected even after your customers leave your store. While good experiences will likely bring customers back, bad experiences shared within social circles can deter their friends and family from becoming loyal patrons.
With the right groundwork, you can turn a December customer into someone you’ll be seeing year-round. Now that’s merry news indeed.