How to Engage, Reward Customers to Ensure Return Shopping

Whenever someone steps into your store, you have an opportunity to turn them into a return customer by offering a satisfying and memorable experience.

You can encourage repeat business by helping them feel like part of the family with exclusive offers and rewards.

Here are some suggestions to help set yourself up for success in the new year and beyond.

Set goals.

Establishing targets for your business is essential to growing your revenue. You can set targets by analyzing previous years and adding the desired percentage of growth.

The best way is to set monthly targets, since then you can take into account holidays such as Valentine’s Day. Setting sales goals for each employee and motivating them by offering rewards for achieving their targets can help to drive sales up.

Provide training to your employees.

These days, with a major shift to online sales, well-educated employees who have built trusting relationships with your customers can be the deciding factor motivating people to come to the store rather than buy online, so investing time in staff training is essential to grow your revenue.

Right now, many brands are conducting trainings via Zoom, so there’s no need to wait until someone offers it to you. Reach out to your distributor or the representatives of the brands that you sell the most and request training.

Focus on your customer retention strategy.

Many individual stores have good local retention and even customers that keep coming back over decades. According to studies, an established customer spends 67% more than a new customer because of trust in and loyalty to the store and salespeople — and winning a new customer costs a business 20% more than retaining an existing customer.

Create an attractive loyalty program with exclusive discounts, one that offers your customers value for their money.

An automatic system of earning and spending points can effectively engage your shoppers and encourage repeat purchasing.

For example, you can offer a loyalty card system, so that the more the customer spends, the bigger the discount they get. A loyalty card program also allows you to gather data about customers, such as email addresses and phone numbers, so that you can notify them about promos, new products and specials.

Typically, a loyalty card has a bar code or magnetic strip that’s scanned at the point of sale. You can also simply print your own loyalty cards and hand them out to customers. Award stickers for each purchase to get your customers excited about returning to collect more and earn a discount or free product when the card is filled with stickers.

You can also prepare shoppers for their next visit by offering discount coupons for upcoming holidays. This type of coupon lets you advertise way before the sales begin. For example, a month before Valentine’s Day, you can provide all customers with a discount or gift coupon that can be redeemed a week before Valentine’s Day.

Another way to bring customers back to the store is to award a money credit or certificate that must be used within a certain period. For example, for each $200 spent, you give $70 off for the next purchase over $200.

Offer free gifts with purchase.

Everybody likes a freebie with their purchase, and this is one way that you can show your customers that you care.

You can give a gift during holidays or for purchases over a certain amount. You can also just give them with every purchase if you make a deal with your supplier. Not many manufacturers offer it, but if you reach out about initiating a promo to introduce their new lube, for example, many companies are willing to provide free samples. This way, after the customer tries out and likes the product, you can be sure that they will come back to buy a bigger bottle.

Build a community.

This creates another reason to return to your store. Community events can encourage customers to visit repeatedly and make more purchases. Those events can be anything from sex education workshops and product presentations to BDSM shows, speed dating or couples’ nights. Promote events on social media and at the point of sale.

You can also encourage your customers to spend a certain amount to get a free ticket to the event. Your loyal customers who are enrolled in a bonus system can get in for free, or you can throw a free event if you need to attract more traffic. Many manufacturers support events of this kind by providing giveaways or product training for customers.

Building a community boosts trust in your brand and connects your customers to one another. You can create a community both in your physical location and online.

Work your social media.

This serves a few different purposes: connecting with customers, telling your brand story and providing an easy way for customers to find out about new products, ongoing promos, and discounts.

To strengthen the connection between your business and your customers, it is essential to engage them via multiple channels. Even though social media platforms have a tough policy regarding 18-and-over content, you can still promote your business as couples-friendly without posting realistically-shaped products.

I would recommend focusing on sexual wellness or humor. Bring an in-store feel to the digital experience. Use live-streaming to engage with customers and increase loyalty by sharing experiential content.

Grow your online following with collaboration strategies, such as cross-promotions with manufacturers you work with to raise brand awareness for them and bring in new traffic.

You can also cooperate with influencers who have a similar audience to yours, sending them a product for review. Then, when they create a post on social media, they can mention a promo code that can be applied to purchases at your store. If a customer leaves a comment on one of your Instagram posts asking for more information about your products, respond directly in the comments section or send them a direct message to answer their questions. Personalization is key to building effective communication with your customers. To generate a satisfied and loyal customer base, you must build relationships over time.

Set yourself up for retail success in 2022 by figuring out which of these strategies are right for your store. Showing your customers that you appreciate them with free stuff and discounts is always going to make them feel special, and you’ll soon see how it pays off throughout the year.

How to Engage, Reward Customers to Ensure Return Shopping by Kate Kozlova originally appeared in XBIZ

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