Staying Connected All Year Long

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You might still be in the thick of the holiday selling season, but January is right around the corner. Your busiest time of the year will be over and you can breathe a sigh of relief. But then what?

After giving your business a little TLC and taking some time to recuperate from the long hours and frenetic pace of holiday retailing, what you need to consider is how to keep your customers coming back to your store all through the coming year.


Engagement Is Key

One of the easiest ways to work toward gaining more foot traffic after the holidays is to remind those customers who received gift cards to redeem them in January. By shopping then, they won’t have to deal with crowds and can enjoy shopping with ease.

Speaking of relaxed shopping, invite your customers in to unwind from the holidays. Team up with a local salon to offer free hand massages, provide refreshments and let customers shop your newest selections for the new year.


Five Tactics for 2015

To start your first quarter off with a bang, it’s time to ramp up promotions, add excitement to your online marketing and build stronger customer relationships. Here are five surefire ways to begin:


Social media
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1. Amp up your social media presence.

Start a weekly tradition of sharing an employee’s favorite new in-store item on Facebook and Instagram. Also, Motivational Mondays, Throwback Thursdays and Flashback Fridays are very popular on Facebook and Instagram. Did you have a bad snowstorm in February 2014? Share a picture! For Pinterest, create a board filled with fun events, crafts and other activities your customers can do to beat the winter blues. Add in your own merchandise on the board with a link to your website so they can see more.

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2. Focus on customer loyalty.

If you don’t already have one, implement a customer loyalty program. During select days or weeks in your slower winter months, give a bonus punch or point to your customers when they shop. Another way to increase loyalty during the first quarter is to offer a freebie on an item with any purchase. It can be a new item or a slow-moving item. Don’t forget to promote both exciting opportunities on social media and through email.

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3. Hold unique sales.

Provide an additional special coupon for one brand new item on top of a planned sale. Your customers will be automatically drawn to your sale, but the exciting coupon will have them checking out your new items, too.

Another fun sale to consider holding in slower months is a special flash sale for one day on one item. Use email to communicate to your customers to watch your Facebook and Twitter pages for a special one-day-only sale.

4. Tap into your customers.

Your customers are your biggest brand advocates, so why not tap into them to see what they want more of in 2015? Post a question on social media, respond to every request that comes in and don’t forget to thank them for their suggestions. If they’re right on track with what you have planned, tell them.

5. Utilize email, and not just for promotions.

Ask your customers via email for reviews of your business to use on social media and your website. Add the names of all the customers who respond to a drawing, and gift the winner with a $10 gift card.

Another way to use email is to promote your social media networks. Include a link to the social network of your choice in an email and remind them to Like or follow you so they can be the first to know about all the exciting sales and events coming in 2015.

Connections Count

Bottom line? Stay connected with your customers to ensure that they stay connected with you. By implementing the above tactics and adding in your own creative and fun ideas, you can help 2015 start off with a flurry of retail activity.

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