In last weeks blog Han touched on why people need to be incentivized. This week I will focus on the two best ways to incentivize your customers: financially, socially, or a combination of both. In today’s deal hunting, extreme couponing, getting more bang for your money retail environment, it is obvious that customers are looking for good deals and financial incentives to shop at your store. However, flash sales, group buying discount deals, coupon sites are not meant to generate loyalty from these new customers. Often times these customers are deal chasers, they are coming to your store because you had a deal and something they wanted but they feel no loyalty to you or your business. Financial incentives are analogous to the shotgun approach, whereas social incentives are more direct and concise like a sniper rifle.
While financial incentives are deals, coupons, percentage off cards, social incentives are things like location-based games (i.e. foursquare, gowalla, etc), a portion of the proceeds going to charity, loyalty programs, buy backs. Social incentives give your customers a more personalized incentive to shop at your store rather than just a great one-time deal. While flash sales and group buying deals are great if you are doing them properly and have the marketing capabilities to entice these customers to come back. More often then not businesses have said out of the hundreds of deals that they sell, they only have a few return customers.
As we have been encouraging since we began this series on the art of promotions, what draws people to your business is the unique experience, product, service that you have to offer and any incentive that you are offering your customer should revolve around that same principal. Giving the Foursquare mayor of your store a free appetizer every time he/she comes into your restaurant, donating a portion of the proceeds to Breast Cancer for every customer that buys a pink shirt in your clothing boutique, giving a customer a drink on the house after every third drink he buys, holding special preview parties for a new line of shoes that are coming out. All of these are simple social incentives that you can offer your customers to incentivize them to shop at your store and gain their loyalty, which is really what it is all about. After all a loyal customer is a much better investment than several single visit customers.
If you have any suggestions on great ways to incentivize your customers please feel free to email me at Jaime@incentivine.com