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26 stats that make the case for loyalty marketing in the seasonal sales

Loyalty marketing, seasonal sales.

Navigating the peak period can be tricky. There are endless channels to consider, discount-hungry customers to satisfy and competitors to beat.

This year, the seasonal sales have an added layer of complexity – the pandemic. But, despite slowing down much of the world, 2020 has accelerated ecommerce growth. It has shone the light on the convenience of shopping online with some brands seeing a 300% growth in online traffic

Every year, retention and loyalty play a bigger role in the success of the seasonal sales for merchants like you. While the peak period has traditionally been seen as a prime time to acquire new customers, our research shows that honing in on retention will significantly improve your ROI. Shoppers want to engage with brands they know and trust. Even more so as individuals look for security through an unsettled 2020.

To help you make a case for loyalty marketing, here’s a list of 26 statistics to prove why it should be a vital part of your 2020 holiday marketing strategy. 

Download The Seasonal Sales Marketing Guide

The state of ecommerce in 2020 ?

  • The pandemic has accelerated ecommerce growth by four to six years (Forbes, 2020)
  • Total online spending in May 2020 hit $82.5 billion, up 77% year-over-year (Forbes, 2020)
  • Ecommerce shopping levels during COVID-19 (April to May) were 7% higher than those retailers saw over the 2019 holiday season (Adobe, 2020)
  • By the end of May, online orders had more than doubled year-over-year in North America and were up 50% in Europe (OECD, 2020)
  • 38% of consumers say they are now more comfortable with digital technology than before lockdown (Wunderman Thompson, 2020)
  • 43% of consumers now feel more positive and comfortable about shopping online (Wunderman Thompson, 2020)
  • 77% of shoppers expect they will continue to purchase more online once lockdown is over (Raconteur, 2020)
  • During May, online retail sales of home and garden products increased by +163% (Raconteur, 2020)
  • 46% of merchants said throughout April that their sales increased (Klaviyo, 2020)

This year, ecommerce is on the up – despite the pandemic putting a pin in other areas of everyday life. For consumers, shopping online has become normal. So much so, that individuals are willing to carry on shopping digitally post-pandemic. 

So what does this mean for the biggest event of the ecommerce calendar? 

Predictions for 2020’s holiday season ?

  • 53% of customers say they will be looking for deals and discounts as the discount days approach (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 36% of consumers say they are waiting for the sales period to make particular purchases (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 75% of US shoppers who plan to shop this season said they would shop online more than they did in previous seasons (Google, 2020)
  • Only 31% of shoppers intend to visit physical stores to make seasonal purchases this year (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 95% of Shopify brands expect customers to make more purchases online this year, instead of in-store (Shopify Plus, 2020)
  • 90% of merchants using Shopify predict that customers will be expecting deep discounts during Black Friday Cyber Monday (Shopify Plus, 2020)
  • 77% of Shopify brands plan to run promotions over the Black Friday Cyber Monday period (Shopify Plus, 2020)

Brand discovery ?

  • 39% of shoppers will spend more time browsing social media for deals this year (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • Only 25% said they won’t be opening emails from retail brands during the seasonal sales (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 91% of merchants will be spending their seasonal marketing budget on email marketing (Shopify Plus, 2020)
  • Over half (51%) of shoppers say they are more likely to use Google (or another, similar search engine) to find discounts and deals over the peak period this year (LoyaltyLion, 2020)

Customer loyalty in the seasonal sales ?

  • Nearly 40% of shoppers have discovered new brands during the pandemic and 83% said they would continue shopping with them in the future (Dotdigital, 2020)
  • 52% of consumers will prioritize brands where they have points and rewards waiting in their account (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 48% of seasonal shoppers said they will buy from brands they already know and trust during the discount period (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 36% of seasonal shoppers say they will look for deals with brands that share their values this year (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 38% of consumers will actively recommend products and brands to friends and family over the seasonal sales this year (LoyaltyLion, 2020)
  • 33% said they will take the time to leave product reviews over the peak period this year (LoyaltyLion, 2020)

The benefits of loyalty marketing this holiday season 

In a turbulent year, investing in loyalty marketing and retention will be your ticket to long-term security. During the peak of the pandemic, consumers were more willing to take the risk and try new brands. And as we move into the peak period, more will be looking to return to the brands they’ve already purchased from. 

Here are the biggest benefits of focusing on loyalty marketing this holiday season.

1. Generates revenue well into 2021

Loyal customers spend 67% more than new customers. Plus, members of loyalty programs generate between 12-18% more incremental revenue growth per year than non-members.

Over the seasonal sales this year, focus on building customer loyalty to bolster revenue growth now and into 2021. 

Retention tactics – like loyalty programs and re-engagement emails – give shoppers the motivation to return and spend with you again. This is because they let you give value beyond the purely transactional. 

You can then invest in new year campaigns that encourage these new customers to return and spend, even when you don’t have a sale on. Ultimately increasing their customer lifetime value and giving you a longer-lasting source of revenue.

2. Sets you apart from the competition

Over the peak period, discounts are rife. By joining in you may find yourself getting caught in a race to the bottom. Ultimately, leading you to price your products so low that you come across as cheap and lower quality. 

Investing in strategies that build customer loyalty show seasonal shoppers why you’re leagues above the competition. You can give added value, outside of low prices, that show you’re worth buying from.

Start by giving your repeat customers value with every shop. You could gift them a desirable, free reward if they spend a certain amount. Or invite them to a members-only event if they rack up a certain number of loyalty points.

3. Build your advocates to increase acquisition

People trust people. With the surge of sales messaging over the peak season, shoppers will become blind to advertising messages. 

As 92% of shoppers trust recommendations from friends and family, use loyalty-building strategies to turn your existing customers into brand advocates. 

You could gift shoppers points every time they refer a friend to your brand. Or, give them bonus points when they leave a product or store review. This will help you generate more social proof that shows you’re a brand with trusting and investing in.

Building advocacy and loyalty like this will also pay dividends after the seasonal sales too. The more brand fans you create now, the more advocates you can lean on over quieter periods to acquire new customers. 

Now that you’ve learned the importance and benefits of focusing on customer loyalty over the holiday season, you need to put these learnings into practice. For more on how to achieve this, check out our Peak 2020 pack

Peak 2020 Pack

About the author

Mollie Woolnough-Rai

Mollie is a Senior Content Marketing Executive at LoyaltyLion. After graduating from UCL in 2016, she has worked both in-house and at marketing agencies providing expertise in content for both B2B and B2C clients. At LoyaltyLion, Mollie manages our content, making sure our readers get the best quality resources about customer loyalty and retention.

Special thanks to our friends at LoyaltyLion for their insights on this topic.
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