How loyalty programs can solve seasonality
Loyalty allows you to make the most of both on- and offseason sales cycles.
The summer sales season for U.S. brands and UK brands is just around the corner, while Australian businesses begin to prepare for their winter sales cycle. Seasonality is key to how your business operates, whether you are a sunscreen company preparing for summer fun or a skiwear brand getting ready for winter. Maximizing on-season sales is crucial for season-dependent brands. How can you manage off-season sales?
Loyalty programmes help brands to overcome seasonality and get the most out of their off-season. Brands can use loyalty programs to keep shoppers engaged in slower months and prevent them from shopping at a competitor. You can also use them to encourage higher-value customers to spend more on your brand during peak season. According to Yotpo’s Report on Brand Loyalty 2022, loyalty programs are responsible for 60% of global shoppers being more loyal to a brand. Brand loyalty is a direct communication channel with your top customers, higher CLTV and lower churn rates compared to other brands.
Loyalty programs can be used across all industries. Respondents from Australia, the UK and the U.S. want to join loyalty programs offered in multiple categories by brands, such as Food & Beverage and Beauty.
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Here’s how loyalty solves seasonality.
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Loyalty to Deal with Off-Season
Many brands find the off-season to be extremely stressful. One issue is fewer sales and lower consumer engagement. Customers can also look at competitors before they are next season.
Brands can use loyalty to engage shoppers regardless of season and stay top-of-mind. You can reward shoppers for signing up for email, SMS, and social followers. This will ensure that your brand remains relevant. Send out messages about promotions before the season’s official launch. You can also inform shoppers about how to earn points even if they don’t make a purchase. You can also remind your loyalty members about their points balances to trigger a purchase by using data from your program.
It’s also a great time to inform consumers about why you brand is better than your competitors. According to research from McKinsey, more that 65% of consumers have tried different shopping habits and plan to continue doing so in the future. Loyalty programs are a way for shoppers to stay loyal to your brand, even if they switch to other brands.
Loyalty members receive clear benefits from participating in a program — points and exclusive perks — and it encourages customers to discover more about your competitive advantage. Brands often reward customers for sharing educational content such as blog posts and recipes. This allows your brand to reach out to shoppers and show why you are better than your competitors, even before your next sales cycle starts.
Baked by Melissa offers non-traditional holiday cheer
To keep customers engaged, brands can use loyalty to launch surprise or delight campaigns in the off-season. Baked By Melissa is a New York City bakery that’s well-known for its delicious cupcakes. To encourage gift-giving, they have created rotating rewards for holidays not traditionally celebrated.
Their business was based on occasions. Customers began gifting cupcakes to friends for special occasions such as Friendsgiving and Mother’s Day. What was the result? An 110% increase in customer purchases YOY.
Loyalty to Maximize on-Season Profits
Loyalty programmes can also help you maximize peak season because loyalty members are often the highest-value customers of brands. Over 83% of global shoppers believe that being part of a loyalty program affects their decision to purchase again from a brand. Make sure to market effectively to your top customers during off-season.
Make sure your loyalty program is promoted before peak season begins. Non-loyalty members are reminded of the benefits by on-site banners and social campaigns as well as emails and SMS campaigns. Consider offering members instant points to increase sign-ups. New members will immediately feel motivated to shop with you and can cash in their points upon entry.
To build excitement, send VIP members previews of your upcoming launches just before the season officially begins. You can also get exclusive access to product launches before they are officially launched. VIP members will be excited about the new season even before it begins and show customers how much they appreciate their loyalty.
To increase sales and reduce your discount offers, you can offer exclusive seasonal promotions to loyalty members. Instead of offering seasonal discounts to everyone, offer them only to VIP tiers or loyalty members.
Cure relies on loyalty to keep things fresh
Cure – A plant-based and science-backed solution that maximizes shoppers’ hydration. Their sales spike in summertime due to the high temperatures. The brand also experiences an increase in sales around holidays. The brand offers timely and engaging loyalty promotions to keep shoppers interested and beat seasonal sales cycles.
Hannah Bender, Cure’s Senior Marketing Manager, stated that “we really want to think strategically about which promos we run when.” We will start the year by focusing on account sign-ups. Next, we will do a February promo…and then we’ll plug our social promo. It’s about maintaining that variety throughout the year.
Cure’s summer sales peak is when they put their loyalty efforts to work on other business goals like sign-ups for email and following social media. This way, customers can communicate with Cure even when it’s not season.