By: Amy @IWantItNowBlog Clark
Thanksgiving is a time spent with family and friends. Individuals reflect on their lives and are thankful for what they have, as well as the opportunities they have been afforded. Thanksgiving also provides a tremendous opportunity for businesses, stores and companies to thank their customers for their business and support, throughout the past year.
The business value is clear, as there is a link between customer recognition and customer loyalty. Statistics from Gartner tell us that 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers. In other words, turning your customers into brand advocates is critical for business success.
It is pretty easy for physical stores or companies to thank their customers with plenty of options, but with more of today’s interactions and business taking place online, how do online businesses thank their customers?
Let’s look at 5 ways that online businesses can get in the Thanksgiving spirit, by thanking their customers and rewarding them for their service.
- Provide Free Shipping
Customers hate paying for shipping fees, which can even discourage purchases. From a customer’s perspective, it is an extra expense that can be avoided and creates a hassle. From your businesses perspective, by removing the shipping fee it represents an inexpensive way for your company to add value to the customer experience and demonstrate your gratitude for their continued business.
Most online companies will offer free shipping on orders of $100 or more, which is a fairly thoughtful and clever idea. For Thanksgiving, companies should offer free shipping on every order, whether it is an order of $20 or $200. No customer should be forced into spending X amount of dollars just to get free shipping. This will provide a great opportunity for businesses to thank all of their customers regardless of how much they spend and will really allow them to operate in the Thanksgiving spirit.
- Give A Personalized Gift
What better way to say thank you, and let customers know how much you appreciate them, then a free gift. Companies have access to customer’s purchasing history, so they could easily send a free gift based on their past purchase histories in the mail. The unexpected surprise is what will count. The act of taking the time to connect with their customers and send out a free gift will really demonstrate how much your business cares about their customers.
For example, if a customer was recently shopping online for a product and added it to their shopping cart, but did not end up purchasing it, then perhaps your organization wants to consider sending it to them for free, depending on the price of the item, as a way of thanking them for their continued business. The idea is a bit extreme, but it is the thought that counts. The free personal gift will leave a lasting impression on your customers, create an extremely positive brand image and will result in customers telling their friends and family all about your thoughtful business. Happy, satisfied customers will result in repeat customers, as well as spread the word about your business, which will create more business.
- Give A General Gift
Even a general gift can go a long way in saying thank you to your customers. Even by sending out a general product or gift card to all of your customers in the mail, you can still convey the thoughtful and grateful message to your customers. An email with a coupon code, a letter with an attached gift card or a free product are all clever ways of demonstrating how much you appreciate your customers. Just be sure that this reaches your customers before Thanksgiving so that the appropriate message is communicated and to ensure you catch your customers before they leave on vacation or holidays.
- Offer A Customer Appreciation Sale
By holding a customer appreciation sale on all of your businesses offerings, you can really send the appropriate message that you appreciate and value your customers. The sale is being held for them. You wanted to take the time to acknowledge their continued business and decided to hold a sale on everything in their honor. By properly communicating this message, your customers will feel extremely valued and grateful. Furthermore, this positive brand image will result in customers telling their friends and family about this experience, which will lead to future business for your online e-commerce company.
- Make A Video
Since online business cannot thank their customers face to face or in person, they can choose the next best option: an online video or advertisement. The video should focus on thanking their customers for their continued business and how much they mean to the organization. It should include employees from all throughout the company, from all different levels, saying “thank you” with big smiles. This simple action will go a long way in ensuring customers feel respected and appreciated.
A business is only profitable or in operation, if they have customers. That is why customers are the most important aspect to a successful business and it is crucial that companies take the appropriate time to ensure that their customers know how valued they are. This should really be done every day throughout the year, but Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to go beyond to really demonstrate how grateful you are to your customers and really reward them. If you don’t, your competitors will.