How to Extend Customer Loyalty Beyond The Holidays and Into 2018

The holidays are a strange time for many e-commerce companies.


You have a huge influx of new buyers purchasing gifts for family and friends — which is great! But at the same time, you know these new customers are probably just one-offs. In fact, roughly 80% of first-time holiday buyers will never make a second purchase from your brand.

Because they’re buying a gift for someone else, holiday customers may not return to your website after they make their first purchase. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Instead, you just have to change up your marketing tactics after the holidays are over.

Don’t let a one-time holiday buyer make a purchase and then slip away forever. With the right e-commerce marketing strategy, you can actually entice them to buy again — converting them into your newest loyal customer.

Are they your target audience?

During the holidays, your targeted ad strategy may bring in some unusual traffic to your website and convert it. However, many of these new holiday buyers might not be a great fit for your brand long-term. For example, someone buying a gift for a friend’s child may not have children of their own. And so, they won’t respond to your many emails offering deals on a new toy or children’s clothing.


It’s up to you as a B2C marketer to better understand these customers and what they really want. During the purchase process, you should gather as much information as possible about your new buyers — including demographics, age, location, what they purchased, and more. Use that information to learn whether holiday buyers fit your usual customer profile, or are completely different and therefore not a great fit.

If they’re not at all close to your ideal e-commerce customer, it’s completely OK to let them go. However, if they are a good fit for your business, create a segment of “new holiday buyers” that you can start to market to.

Keep buyers engaged post-holidays

Now that you’ve cleaned up your list and understand who could be valuable to your brand going forward, it’s time to engage them. Hopefully, you’ve already executed a solid welcome campaign after their first purchase. Now that it’s a few weeks after the holidays, you can move onto your next offer — a discount on their second purchase. It’s almost like you’re saying thanks for becoming a new customer by offering a coupon.


It may seem unimaginative, but this tactic really works. Simply by offering them a coupon, you increase the possibility that the buyer will come back and buy themselves something from your site, rather than as a gift. They already know your products and may have eyed an item on your site for themselves while shopping for gifts. A coupon could be the offer that pushes them over the edge to buy.

There are a few other tactics you can try, in case the second purchase coupon fails to convert. You can also offer:

  • Personalized marketing with product recommendations
  • A loyalty program that includes rewards for every purchase
  • A gift card in exchange for feedback about your brand in a survey
  • Retargeting ads on social channels for specific products

If the buyer continues to be unresponsive, don’t be afraid to experiment a little. These customers are low risk, and so you can send that campaign you’ve always wanted to try out and see if it sparks a response. There are no wrong answers when it comes to re-engaging holiday buyers — just give it a shot.

Becoming a loyal customer

If you’re able to successfully engage holiday buyers and drive a second purchase, you’re in great shape. Customers who make a second purchase are twice as likely to make a third purchase, a fourth, and so on. If you’re able to convince a one-time holiday buyer to buy, you’re on your way to turning them into a loyal customer.

Simply keep working to market to them throughout the customer lifecycle — send out personalized offers based on their interests, engage them across multiple channels, and don’t forget to take their feedback into account. The more information you have about these buyers, the better you’ll be able to offer them relevant marketing that they’re likely to respond to. With the right combination of marketing tactics, you can turn these valuable new customers into loyal and long-term customers.  

Avoid the Post-Holiday Sales Slump!

The holidays have come and gone but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your sales momentum. With a strong customer retention strategy for 2018, you can start the year off on the right foot!

Webinar: Power Through the Post-Holiday Slump


Join us January 23rd at 11AM PST (2PM EST) for a session on customer retention strategies for 2018. We’ll show you how to leverage your new holiday leads and customers into repeat purchases and loyal customers for increased ROI and lifetime value.

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