After the boom of the November and December gifting season, winter is traditionally a slower month for eCommerce retailers. While it’s certainly hard to match the attention and excitement of the holidays, the first month of the new year presents an opportunity of a different kind. 

You put a lot of effort into your holiday campaigns and as a result, likely built a ton of marketing momentum. You probably also reached a number of new customers, both the people who ordered from you and the people who received your products as gifts. This is a solid foundation on which to build your strongest year of sales yet. Don’t take it for granted!

Although it can feel like you’ve been firing on all cylinders these past few months, winter is not the ideal time to kick back and take a long vacation. Instead, take a deep breath, hunker down and create a plan for how you’ll make the most of all the ground you gained during the holiday season. We call it “keeping the decorations up.” Here are six ways to do it.

Set up automations to keep the conversation going 

You have the names and email addresses of all the people who purchased from you during the holidays, not to mention the data on what they bought. Put it to good use by using automations to stay in touch. 

During the first weeks of winter send a review request asking customers to share feedback and photos of their purchases. For those who abandoned their carts, send ‘going out of stock’ messages reminding them of their last chance to buy low-inventory items. For holiday shoppers who were first-time customers, you might send them into a welcome sequence that shares more about your company over the course of several emails to build brand loyalty. 

Another way to build trust and loyalty is to send automated post-holiday communications about returns and exchanges. By proactively letting customers know what their options are and how to use them before they have to ask, you’ll cement a positive brand experience and ease the strain on your customer support team in the process. 

Use retargeting ads to reconnect with holiday buyers

Image by Nicky from Pixabay

Email isn’t the only channel you can use to reconnect with holiday customers. Use retargeting ads on display networks and social media to target people who visited your site but didn’t buy, offering a discount code to entice them to complete the sale.  

For those who did make a purchase, use retargeting to show complementary items or other products they may like based on their browsing and checkout history. 

Target giftees

One of the best marketing outcomes of the holiday season is getting to introduce your brand to a whole new segment of potential customers: the people who received gifts from your company. This is a unique opportunity because you already have a strong indicator that they’re a good fit to connect with your brand–after all, their loved one believed your product would make the perfect gift for them. 

Use your order database to follow up with giftees by sending them your 2021 catalog along with a welcome note or invite to join your email list. For some transactions in your database, you’ll be able to tell exactly who the giftee is because the order included options like a gift receipt or card. On others, you can figure it out by filtering orders where the billing address is different from the shipping address. 

Leverage positive reviews

Gathering product reviews should be one of your core marketing goals in 2021, as shoppers trust them 12 times more than other marketing materials. Together with organic reviews, your post-holiday automated review request emails should leave you with a nice accumulation of positive customer feedback and user-generated content like product photos. There are endless ways to leverage these as part of your marketing strategy. 

Add five-star reviews to the product pages of your website. Turn customer quotes into shareable social media assets. Include product reviews in your abandoned cart emails to build trust and encourage the sale. Incorporate them into your Google Product listings and other paid campaigns. 

As you plan for the remainder of 2021, find ways to make review gathering an ongoing part of your strategy. For example, offer incentives like a one-time discount when a customer completes their post-purchase review. 

Offer loyalty rewards 

Your loyal customers are your most valuable audience segment. According to a study by Adobe, 40% of a typical eCommerce brand’s revenue comes from returning customers. Those repeat customers make up a mere 8% of all visitors. What’s more, repeat buyers are much more likely to convert–up to nine times more likely, in fact, than first-time buyers. 

This means you can boost your 2021 revenue in an exponential way by doing two things: 1) maximizing the lifetime value of your repeat customers, and 2) winning as many repeat customers as possible. 

Give your one-time purchasers a reason to come back and shop again by offering a loyalty program that rewards them with points, discounts or other goodies. Treat your most loyal customers like the valuable audience members they are by offering frequent VIP exclusives, like generous discounts, early access to sales, etc. 

Build excitement about what’s ahead

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

We’ve all experienced the winter slump—that deflating lull when the excitement of the holidays has died down but we still have several more months of winter to face. The slump isn’t just a personal experience; it extends to brands, too. 

Fend off the post-holiday brand blues with marketing communications that give your customers something to look forward to: the new releases they can expect this year, the events that are coming up on the calendar, or advance notice of your next big sale. 

Build a Strategy for 2021 Marketing Success

Ready to make 2021 your best year yet? Get a jump start with Springbot. Springbot is an all-in-one eCommerce marketing platform that consolidates your email marketing, social media, paid advertising, web campaigns, text message marketing, and more in one convenient dashboard. Our intuitive Social Calendar makes it easy to map out your every campaign, while handy automation tools save you time and win more conversions. 

Request your free Springbot demo now to see how easy it is to plan, execute and measure integrated marketing campaigns. 

Posted by Contributor