Loyalty program essentials to delight your customers this holiday season

The holiday season is just around the corner. Retail sales are expected to surpass $1.02 trillion for the 2022 holiday season. In this busiest shopping season, brands look forward to their loyalty program to capture sales opportunities.

A loyalty program gives brands an advantage with existing loyal customers for the holiday surge. Customers expect offers, discounts, and unique rewards. Below are some essential shifts brands should consider riding the holiday wave:

Holiday focus #1 – Consistency in omni channel marketing

Customers chase offers and rewards on different platforms. Brands with existing loyalty programs must focus on unifying the experience across channels. Creating and implementing a holiday promotional calendar is a good tactic to engage customers strongly.

Last year, Disney’s 25 days of Christmas program garnered increased social media engagement. Disney gave coupon codes in their social media posts daily and asked loyalty program members to redeem them online.

The omnichannel approach can land marketers with increased sales from multiple platforms. 7/10 customers would love to buy from brands with shopping options available in-store, online stores, and on social media platforms.

Holiday focus #2 – Unlocking multi-dimensional loyalty 

Holiday season is primetime for referrals. Customers shop more for friends and families looking for gifts and coupons. Introducing festive-specific referral campaigns allows brands to match customer expectations and attract new audiences. In addition, it inspires social loyalty, advocacy loyalty, and transactional loyalty for existing loyalty program members.

To boost brand advocacy, brands can deliver personalized rewards & referral bonuses instead of extra discounts and cashback. Though discounts are essential for holiday sales, brands should limit deep discounting to ensure good ROI.

Learn how to boost holiday season revenue here

Holiday focus #3 – Segmented & Personalized Communication

There are specific segments of customers who buy more than others. The holiday season presents a limited time opportunity for targeting customers with offers and promotions best suited according to their taste. This is where deep data analytics works incredibly well. It enables brands to segment customers in actionable clusters.

Coolhorse used the Zinrelo loyalty platform and introduced holiday offers for its members. They achieved amazing results like 14% more redemption of points and 98% customer retention. With strongly engaged customers, Coolhorse successfully increased revenue during the holiday season.

Personalized communication evokes an emotional connection with customers. 91% of customers are likely to buy from brands with personalized recommendations and offers. With customer segmentation, it becomes easier to personalize the offers, rewards, and communication for the holiday season.

Holiday focus #4 – Bring customization and gamification

Holiday season is supposed to be fun, exciting, and easy for customers. By customizing the rewards and offers according to festivals like Halloween, Christmas, or New Year, brands can include holiday season vibes in engaging ways. Gamification can help in this regard. Nearly 60% of gen-z and millennials play games at least once weekly, presenting a good opportunity for brands to leverage.

At the same time, customers crave excitement while earning rewards. Launching a Halloween-themed spin wheel or Christmas-themed lucky card can increase customer engagement for the holiday season.

Along with adjusting your loyalty program, there are numerous small changes essential to make your customers stay connected and relate with them on different occasions. It can be changing the UI of the loyalty program to a Halloween theme or Christmas theme or sending customized push notifications. These small tactics help your loyalty program stand out and be of relevance during different occasions.

Holiday bonus tactics/hacks

  • Use branded and festive hashtags to share loyalty campaigns on social media.
  • Rewarding users to create and share branded content on social media generates awareness for your loyalty campaigns and offers.
  • Surprising customers a couple of days before the festival with extra points or rewards can encourage them to buy more. For example, Sephora’s holiday reward card gives $15 and $20 off on purchases of $50 for members of the top two tiers. This acts as a catalyst for boosting sales during the festive season.
  • Be a part of your customer’s lifestyle. Deliver experiential rewards that help your customers celebrate their festivals. Adding social cause to loyalty programs also helps to encourage sales.
  • Holiday season is the best time to partner with brands that your customers prefer. To raise the perceived value of rewards, partner with brands that your customers prefer. For example, Southwest Airlines offers holiday bonuses to its partners. Loyalty program members can earn up to 3,000 points by spending on partner brands.
  • Give reward updates in festive-themed push notifications, as 61% of marketers use them during the holiday season to boost customer engagement.
  • Holiday tactics aim to make your brand relatable and emotionally contextual during the holiday season. Brands that do not shift their loyalty programs according to customer expectations often feel left out and lose topical moments. Conversely, brands that focus on loyalty programs holistically enjoy the benefit of increased sales throughout the year.