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How to Impact Customers During the Holiday Season and Build Long-term Loyalty 

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday receive significant attention during the holiday shopping season, one big point is missing for many retailers: This is the best time of year to show that you’ve been listening to your customers.

Building loyalty during the holidays is often an afterthought for brands looking to spark sales with great deals. Consumers are bombarded with ads for deals during the holiday season and many retailers aren’t thinking about loyalty as much.

Price is often a determining factor of where people shop during the holidays, but there are certain tactics a retailer can implement to drive sales during peak times that will generate loyalty far beyond the holiday season.


Impact Your Loyalty Program Members During the Holiday Season

Acquiring new members who may be trying your brand for the first time is critical because the first impression is paramount. Offering a free gift during the holiday season for joining your loyalty program is a great incentive for your customer acquisition efforts. It doesn’t need to be expensive but a thoughtful reminder can go a long way with building brand loyalty/

For existing members, value added benefits can help differentiate your brand. Benefits such as:

Free gift wrapping: This goes above and beyond and will create memorable loyalty moments.

Double Points Promotions: Create an incentive to shop with one brand over another.

Personalization: Personalize customer offers based on their prior purchase history. When an email is not personalized, 52% of consumers will find somewhere else to go.


Make Holiday Shopping Truly Experiential

Brands that offer unique experiential events during the holiday season are ahead of their competitors in gaining and maintaining customer loyalty throughout the year.

While competing on price may be difficult for some brands, creating unique and compelling experiences elevates loyalty moments.

Loyalty program members want that feeling of exclusivity, which triggers that emotional response to the benefit. Experiences lead to emotional loyalty, which helps bridge the gap between transactional and true loyalty.

Transactional benefits make consumers feel smart; experiential benefits make them feel special.

Here some examples:

Host an in-store event. In 2018, Walmart hosted several in-store holiday events to increase customer engagement.

Sephora provides customers with a great in-store experience.

Lululemon offers customers various opportunities to enjoy themselves in the company’s first experiential store in Chicago. The 20,000-square-foot store includes two fitness studios, meditations spaces, workspaces, and a restaurant.


Emotional Ties Lead to Sustainable Customer Loyalty

The point that emotional connections trigger long-term customer loyalty can’t be overstated.

Two-thirds of U.S. consumers spend more with the brands they love, which underscores the importance of creating emotional bonds with your customers.

Sixty-one percent consumers make purchasing decisions based on the quality of the product or service, but emotional connections and trust retailers build with customers comes in second — ahead of price.

Creating loyalty moments that build lasting emotional ties is what brands aspire to, especially during the busy holiday season.

What are you doing to make your brand stand out and create lasting customer loyalty this holiday season?

Michael Iannucci

Michael Iannucci is our Executive Vice President, Business Development & Client Management. He has over 15 years of experience at top loyalty marketing and subscription commerce companies, where he held leadership positions in sales, business development, and account management.

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ebbo™ is an all-in-one loyalty company. With our data driven strategy, full-service approach, and the unwavering support of the people behind the platform, our dedicated team will work with you to understand your loyalty goals, innovate solutions and help you build customer engagement on repeat.

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