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How to Turn Seasonal One-Time Shoppers into Year-Round Customers

Each year during the holidays, people flock to your online store. They shop and their purchase numbers boost your bottom line. Seasonal shoppers are both a blessing and curse though because after New Years they’re gone. 

For an ecommerce business, this represents a considerable amount of lost business. After all – those customers shopped with you once – imagine how much they could improve your numbers if they shopped for the other 11 months of the year.

So, what’s the missing link? How do you take these customers and make them your year-round go-tos?

Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

5 Tips to Make Your Seasonal Customers Last All Year

Don’t lose those seasonal shoppers to the obscurity of the web. Sink the hook with these five tips:

1. Create an Incentive


The best way to make your first-time Holiday customers come back is to give them an incentive to do just that.

Here’s an example from the world of department stores:

Right now, gift cards are the top requested item on people’s holiday shopping lists. Department stores know this, and many of them take advantage of it by providing deals for the recipient and the gift-giver. As in, “buy a $50 gift card and get 10% off your next order.” When you create an incentive that encourages people to visit your store after the holidays, the chance that they will and complete a purchase is much higher.

Don’t forget to invest in your retargeting efforts, as well. If you’re a guitar store, for example, “gift” your holiday shoppers with a coupon for accessories that’s good throughout January through target ads.


2. Be Memorable

Spend some time enhancing your online (and offline) presence before the holiday season rolls around.

Now is a great time to reconsider your packaging and how you’re actively working to surprise and delight your customers. For example, consider giving items such as branded stickers, magnets, and pins to your customers in the box when they receive their order, include hand-written personalized thank-you notes, provide a coupon toward their next purchase, or even a free gift with purchase (ie. a small item that’s dead stock or of low cost.)

These small touches can really make a difference in customers remembering and valuing your business. 


3. Stay Top of Mind

Frank Ocean

It’s easy to get tunnel vision this time of year, but don’t get caught up in only sharing your own content. In addition to promoting your own products and offerings, share exciting and on-brand material from other sources that your customers are likely to enjoy. Not only does this keep your previous customers engaged, but it ensures they look forward to seeing your content in their feeds and will stay engaged after the holiday season passes. This is a great way to turn seasonal shoppers into evangelists of not only your brand, but your curated content.

4. Exceed Expectations

Exceed Expectations

You already know one thing for sure: that the nearness of the holidays means your sales will ramp up. Customers know that, too, and now is the time to exceed their expectations when they come to you. Here are just a few of the things you can offer to go above and beyond:

  • Free shipping
  • Stellar customer service
  • Streamlined site design for a simple UX

If you have the budget for it, hire some temporary support people around the holidays. If not, do your best to keep your phone on you and make it a personal goal to provide stellar customer service. You might also want to look at integrating live chat on your site to ensure that needs and question are met promptly. Yet another one of the many ways you can turn seasonal shoppers into lifelong fans.

This is important – Social Media Today reports that 52% of customers expect companies to respond to their customer service inquiries within an hour.

5. Retarget Effectively

You already know you want to bring those who over holiday season visited your site, abandoned their cart, or most importantly, made a purchase. The question is once the holiday rush is over, how do you catch their attention to ensure they come back to your store and make another purchase? The first step is combing over Facebook ad strategy to come up with a fresh approach to your retargeting.

Here are a few tactics to employ when refining your ad strategy for the post-holiday season:

  • New Product Announcements. If you’ve added a new product to your store, let shoppers know by creating a new product announcement ad.
  • New Sales. Advertise sales or deals you intend to offer after the holiday season with these dynamic ads.
  • “We Miss You” Discounts. Bring one-time customers back with individualized coupons. Ideal for drawing in shoppers without requiring you to run a complete sale, these are helpful for keeping the holiday rush going after New Year’s.
  • Grab Customer Attention. Create unique ads that cut through the noise by catering to their niche. Make sure these ads are different than what people typically see in their feed. Your goal here is to drive awareness and develop a relationship.

Get into the nitty-gritty of holiday shopper behavior, download our detailed guide here. 

Get the Most From Seasonal Shoppers

seasonal shoppers

The holiday season is a valuable time for ecommerce businesses. What separates the businesses who see continued growth vs. those that stagnate is what they do in the down season after holidays. Take your busiest months of the season to the next level with these five tricks to turn one-time shoppers into year-round brand evangelists. When you do this successfully, you boost your brand’s bottom line and create long-lasting relationships with your most valuable customers.


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