Lindsay MacDonald
Content Manager @ Yotpo
January 13th, 2022

How to Keep Shoppers Coming Back For More

Enticing shoppers to make their first purchase is only half the battle when it comes to driving retention.

Table Of Contents

If your brand is experiencing an influx of new shoppers, whether it’s from the holidays, a new sale, a collaboration or partnership, or just an unexpected surge in demand (nice!), it’s essential to ensure your brand has strategies in place to continuously engage those new shoppers and keep them loyal

Alternatively, if your brand is experiencing a drop-off in purchases after a seasonal or timely event, the recommendation still stands: re-engaging both past customers and new first-time shoppers will enable your brand to extend the conversation and meet your retention goals.

So, whether you’re turning the off-season back into the on-season, or you’re capitalizing on an exciting moment of high demand, we’ve compiled several strategies leveraging the ultimate retention-driving duo — SMS marketing and loyalty programs —  to incentivize shoppers to come back and buy again and again.

Check in! Confirm purchase satisfaction, ask for feedback, and encourage referrals

Re-engagement strategies start with that first, crucial follow-up communication. Remind shoppers of their previous purchase and request feedback in the form of reviews and/or star ratings. If shoppers have opted in to receive SMS messages from your brand, send the follow up message via text! Our data shows that brands collect user-generated content, including reviews and star ratings, at a 66% higher conversion rate when requests are sent via SMS rather than email.

If a shopper has already left a positive review of their purchase, text them with a link to refer a friend. Try incentivizing with a personal discount code or even a free sample to spark interest in a new product and promote cross-sells. 

Remind shoppers of available loyalty rewards

One of the most action-inspiring texts a shopper can receive after they’ve made a purchase is a reminder of an available discount, special offer, or reward balance they’ve accumulated and still have yet to use. More than 47% of consumers have said that receiving a text about their loyalty points or rewards would encourage them to make a purchase.

“Coming out of the holiday season, we always use our loyalty program,” says Shawn McIntyre, Director of Digital at tentree. “We remind customers of their loyalty points or the dollar amount they’ve accumulated coming out of the holiday months of shopping with us.”

Point reminders like these can be an ideal winback strategy. And, by leveraging personalized outreach on a customer’s preferred communication channel — like text — brands can increase shoppers’ likelihood of converting and returning to purchase again.

Home fragrance brand Homeworx leverages their tiered loyalty program with punch card campaigns to drive repeat purchases and create excitement around new product launches and promotions, increasing their average revenue per customer by 373% when customers redeemed loyalty points.

Save sales by turning returns into exchanges

While returns will always be a part of the commerce cycle, they don’t have to indicate the end of a relationship with a shopper. Rather, if a customer comes back with intent to make a return, your brand can put strategies in place to convert those returns to exchanges.

“You often see a drop off in January after Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the holiday gifting season,” says McIntyre. “Everyone opens up their packages, then you start to see returns roll in. It can be challenging, but we want to make sure we convert as many of those returns into exchanges as possible. We want to save those sales.”

Every touchpoint with your shoppers, even a return, is a chance to build trust and bolster your relationship. If you understand why a shopper needs to make a return (i.e. incorrect size or color), make sure you customize the messaging to show that you understand, and provide exactly the additional information they need to make a new informed purchase decision. So, if they’re returning because of an incorrect color, be sure to add custom messaging with all additional colors you offer for them to choose from.

In addition, try introducing shoppers to new products you’ve recently released, or products similar to their past purchases.

Build excitement around new sales and product drops

Sending new sales and exclusive offers, especially for loyalty program members, are key ways to drive continued engagement during both on and off buying cycles. 

“Before, we were using texts as a replenishment tool, but what we found is that people want to know about sales and offers,” says Dee Charlemagne, Co-Founder at AVEC. “We use a simple strategy: ‘What would I want to receive in my text inbox that wouldn’t annoy me?” 

Entice your most loyal shoppers, like members of your loyalty program, with a brand new product launch or brand partnership, and text them an exclusive offer or time-sensitive discount code to incentive immediate action. Over 40% of shoppers said a text with a countdown to when a sale or offer expires would encourage them to complete a purchase.

Tentree uses this approach to drive loyalty engagement. “We combine loyalty messaging with features on our new products, like spring arrivals. We want to incentivize those with their available rewards points,” says McIntyre. 

Send updates when it’s time to reorder

If your brand sells a product that needs to be fulfilled on a schedule, make sure to text shoppers when it’s time to re-up.

Subscriptions are yet another extension of rewards programs, says Mary Pilecki, VP & Chief Analyst at Forrester. “Subscriptions combine several loyalty tactics, including recurring revenue and brand engagement.” Texting shoppers with personalized reminders and updates about their subscriptions help them to feel as though they’re a member of a brand, rather than just a subscriber to a product. SMS messages spark that personal touch and help to build emotional loyalty that drives retention. 

If a shopper purchased a subscription service, leverage your loyalty program to engage them on additional channels. Try sending SMS campaigns that tease new products coming soon that they might be able to add to their box, or reward them for posting pictures of their boxes on social media. 

SMS & loyalty drive retention faster

With SMS marketing working together with your loyalty program, your brand can drive real business value from the emotional loyalty you build. By incentivizing shoppers to engage across the most personal channels, your brand can reduce churn, increase product adoption, provide better experiences, and ultimately, drive retention.

To learn more about how Yotpo can help you get started with SMS marketing and Loyalty, click here.

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