How do you make sure shoppers keep coming back to your boutique?
Building a loyal customer base starts with great products. But recent reports from retail industry insiders show that customer expectations for their entire shopping experience are higher than ever. A successful business is no longer only about great product—it’s about a thoughtful, positive experience that seamlessly extends from your website to your packaging to your customer service team. Coupled with the fact that online retail has made shoppers more price-conscious than before, it’s harder than ever to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. Enter the loyalty program.
Loyalty programs are a great way to thank your customers for their business and make them feel valuable, essential parts of creating an experience that exceeds expectations and fosters long-term relationships. Lots of loyalty and rewards programs are discount-based, but that option might not feel viable if you’re a new business starting out or working toward specific financial goals. But, that doesn’t mean a rewards program isn’t right for you. We’ve gathered five creative and cost-effective perks that will help your customers feel valued and turn them into regular shoppers at your boutique.
When creating a new loyalty program, consider structuring it with tiers that offer different rewards based on spending. This type of program encourages customers to shop often, and might push them to make an extra purchase or two as they get close to the next tier. Include more valuable perks in each tier; you could mix and match a variety of options from the suggestions below. Make sure it’s easy for your customers to track their yearly spend and know when they’re getting close to the next tier. Sephora’s Beauty Insider is often cited as the gold standard in tiered customer loyalty programs; Madewell Insider is another successful example.
Private Shopping Events
You may have noticed that lots of loyalty programs include the word “Insider” in their names—that’s because shoppers love to feel like they’re in the know! Invites to exclusive shopping events are a great way to make customers feel valued while encouraging them to visit your boutique more often. Consider hosting quarterly after-hours shopping events (complete with music, cocktails, and small bites) especially for customers who are part of your rewards program. You might also partner with some of your favorite local designers to offer extended collections during a private event. These occasions are a great way to drive more sales, add value to your customer experience, and get some face time with your most frequent shoppers.
Everyone loves getting gifts, and that includes your shoppers! Investing some advertising dollars in small giveaway items for your loyalty program members is a great way to connect with your top customers. The gifts don’t have to be extravagant; you could order some cute canvas totes featuring your boutique logo or partner with a local bakery to create sweets that share your store colors. Give out the gifts with purchases at the start of each quarter, around the holidays, when customers reach a new loyalty tier, or during special shopping events for rewards members.
Much like private shopping events, seasonal previews can be a great way to make your top customers feel like insiders. You could send a special email to loyalty program members that allows them to shop a new collection first online, or host a preview event the night before new product hits the floor in your boutique. You could even combine a private shopping event with a seasonal preview to double down on the insider perks.
Personal Shopping Services
Personal shopping services are a great way to connect with and reward loyal customers. Personal shopping appointments are a greater investment of time and effort than some of the other rewards we’ve recommended, but they can be an amazing way to connect one-on-one with your top tier customers and make sure they know how much you value their business. Complimentary personal shopping can also be a great way to drive more sales and conduct some impromptu market research with your target audience.
How do you reward your most loyal customers? Share your best tips for a creative rewards program in the comments!