Black Friday 2020, along with Cyber Monday, might feel a bit different this year due to the ongoing pandemic. But one thing still holds:
This is the perfect time of year to build loyalty, not just focus on sales.
And more specifically, it’s a great time to show your loyalty to your best customers.
Amazon kicked off the holiday shopping season last month when its delayed two-day Prime Day event was held. Now, it’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s turn.
While there has been a massive shift toward e-commerce since March, most retailers have adapted quickly and met their customers where they are shopping – and that is online.
Since online shopping has soared, retailers know that consumers can easily switch to another brand with a simple click.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay top of mind this holiday shopping season, a time when every retailer out there will be offering the best deals.
Let’s look at some ways to make this Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping weekend a special one for your customers through your loyalty program.
Give Your Loyalty Members the VIP Treatment
This should go without saying, but it can make a huge impact during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, especially if you have a premium loyalty program.
Our 2020 Premium Loyalty Data Study shows that 88% of consumers are likely to choose a retailer whose premium loyalty program they belong to over a competitor with a lower price.
Premium loyalty programs offer members instant benefits available 24/7 in exchange for a membership fee. (Think instant discounts, fast, free shipping, and VIP experiences for the top 20% of your customers without requiring them to rack up points over time.)
For these members, guaranteeing fast, free shipping on every order, plus getting a discount, will go a long way in keeping your brand top of mind throughout the holiday season and beyond.
These types of benefits make the shopping experience awesome for your best customers, especially those shopping online.
Add in other perks like gift wrapping, VIP checkout, or even Scan & Go like Walmart+ offers, and you’ll create a more convenient and safer environment for in-store shoppers.
Have a more traditional free loyalty program? There are still ways to give your members a great experience.
Make them feel like VIP by offering early access to Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, sending them a gift card to launch their holiday spending, a gift with every purchase, or double points to redeem later.
Or on the flip side, consider extending your holiday sale past Cyber Monday for loyalty program members.
You can even go as far as borrowing a page from Amazon’s book and offer a shopping holiday just for members.
Whether you offer a traditional program, a premium program, or both, you always want your members to have a memorable experience, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
What are some unique benefits you can offer your loyal customers, especially to make their holiday shopping more convenient and money-saving?
Show Your Loyalty Members You Support the Causes They Care About
It’s tempting to focus your efforts on getting customers in the door (or to your website) more than ever this year. But what happens after that?
They might make a purchase from you over the holiday shopping weekend, but then they’re seeking out the lowest price elsewhere after that.
That’s why showing your customers you really know and understand them is the best way to build loyalty. You need to stay top of mind well after the holidays.
Shep Hyken, one of the industry’s foremost thought leaders in the area of customer service, along with being a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, talked about how retailers can show their loyalty to their customers.
“Listen to the Cheers theme song,” Hyken said. “You want to go where everybody knows your name.”
Hyken added: “That’s the beginning of the true connection. That’s what customers want. They want to feel recognized. There’s a trend toward personalization in the market experience. They want to feel connected and feel that these people know me and understand me.”
One way to do that is by supporting the causes your loyal customers care about.
For example, Sephora recently updated its Beauty Insider program. Now it allows members to redeem their points for a donation to the National Black Justice Coalition.
The Kroger Community Rewards program is a new feature of its Shopper’s Card program. It allows members to engage in ongoing charity organizations to the cause of their choice.
Today, nearly 70% of the U.S. population donates while each person donates to an average of 4.5 charities and, on average, 1 out of 2 is enrolled in a subscription-based (monthly) giving program. Millennials are the highest percentage with 84% donating to a cause, giving $481 annually.
If you combine showing you know your customers with a charitable component, you’re well on your way to retaining them.
What causes do your customers care about, especially around the holidays?
Encourage Customers to Sign Up for Your Loyalty Program
What about the customers who aren’t members of your loyalty program?
Well, now is the time to encourage them to opt-in.
This is, arguably, your most important shopping weekend of the year. As a retailer, you have the attention of consumers during this critical time for all brands.
Our recent 2020 Amazon Prime Day Data Study found that 46%of consumers have joined a loyalty program solely to use the discounts and perks during the holiday shopping season.
What a perfect opportunity to make sure they are aware of the program.
Your stores might be closed during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend. So, if you’re relying on e-commerce, make sure you have the following:
Banners on your home pages, product pages, and order confirmation pages talking about your loyalty program.
If your stores are open over the holiday shopping weekend, make sure there is plenty of signage, and that in-store associates are excited to talk about and offer the program to customers.
The customers that you can convert into loyalty members over the holidays are more likely to stick with you throughout the entire year. But only if you show them a lot of value through the program.
Make Black Friday and Cyber Monday About the Long Term
Convenience has been a major theme for consumers since the pandemic started. Retailers need to show loyalty to their customers who are committed to their brands.
If you don’t do a lot of this throughout the year, this is a perfect time. Emphasize your brand message and values before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Many consumers make decisions about which brands to buy from based on these types of messages that reinforce their values.
Show them you know them and give them the VIP treatment. And if they aren’t members already, encourage customers to sign up for your loyalty program.
The benefits can last year-round, for you and your customers.
How will you thank your loyal customers during the 2020 Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping weekend?