Australia is quickly returning to something a little closer to normal. Shops and restaurants are reopening, people are getting excited for Christmas, and consumer spending is steadily increasing.
As business as, almost, usual returns, business owners are now faced with the perennial question of how to effectively and strategically re-engage with customers. With the world of commerce changing irreversibly as a result of the last couple of years, it will remain important to re-engage with existing customers, and also continuing to look for new customers to try your business, whether it’s online or in-person or, increasingly, both.
Here are five ways businesses can re-engage with customers to continue building important relationships.
Maintain your online presence
Many businesses turned to selling online during the pandemic, both as a way to serve consumers in a contactless way and also as a way to keep their business going during lockdowns. While lockdowns have eased across Australia and consumers are returning to stores, industry data, and Square data, shows that consumer habits have somewhat changed for good.
Consumers are continuing to use online methods of shopping as it provides an easy way to quickly and immediately shop around. If anything, now is the time to keep building your online presence so that it represents your brand, while also helping further attract more customers who are falling back into the normal pace of their lives.
Incentivise customers to come back in store
Omnichannel commerce has been accelerated by the pandemic. So, while your online store is important, you cannot forget your bricks and mortar store.
Remind your customers why they choose to shop or dine in person by giving them an amazing experience when they get there. Consider creating in-store only promotions, host a reopening event, or creating a product line that customers can only experience in the flesh.
Create a loyalty program
Loyalty programs are effective because they add value to the customer experience beyond the first interaction or purchase with you. In a world of fierce competition – both online and offline now, with competing products and services frequently just a few clicks away – a loyalty program that rewards customers for ongoing patronage and engagement can go a long way.
Loyalty programs will give your customers first-class access to discounts and promotions and can also be paired with key life moments – birthdays, anniversaries and the like.
Use mobile to build an immersive customer experience
Mobile has become a huge part of a unified omnichannel experience as consumers use their phones for almost everything. Businesses can sell on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more for greater visibility.
Now that QR codes have become mainstream and widely adopted, they offer a contactless way to increase sales and extend your brand across channels. Customers can simply pull up a menu or pay for a product right from their phone.
Send thoughtful, occasional marketing messages
Email marketing, when used thoughtfully and carefully, offers a number of benefits to you and your customers. You can quickly and efficiently share information on rewards, sales, coupons, and other timely moments right to their inbox or cellphone so they’re kept in the loop. You can also send shareable pay links through marketing messages to easily connect with customers and simplify the checkout process right at their fingertips.
If your business uses gift cards, you can offer these through your marketing program to further engage with clients and build those relationships. Send your most loyal clients a small gift card thanking them for their business and encouraging them to come in and shop! Do remember, however, that the right to be in a customer’s inbox must be earned and re-earned over a long period of time. It is easy to get tempted and over-message customers, and it is the fastest way to get unsubscribes and annoyed customers. If you engage, do set up a thoughtful cadence that messages customers without overwhelming them.