Halloween is a great time to build a more emotional connection with your customers. Use this opportunity to be fun, creative and personal, and watch as shoppers stream into your store.
Halloween is the beginning of what will hopefully be one of your busiest times of the year. This means it’s a great chance for you to connect with your customers on a more personal level. A few cleverly Halloween-themed promotions, some creative marketing and a bit of fun will show your customers who you are and why they should keep visiting your store instead of anywhere else.
“Show customers that you not only carry the products that they need, but that you also know how to have a good time,” says Shopify’s Abby Heugel. “The next time they’re debating where to go, they’ll remember the little touches — the decorations, the candy, the fun — which set you apart from the competition.”
Research by Harvard Business Review (HBR) looked at multiple brands in various different business and retail categories and found that the secret to customer value is actually pretty simple: When you form emotional connections with your customers, you go way beyond customer satisfaction and build real loyalty.
DID YOU KNOW?
An emotional connection matters more than customer satisfaction, according to HBR:
“On a lifetime value basis, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers.”
Emotionally connected customers:
- Buy more of your products and use more of your services
- Visit your store more often
- Are less price-sensitive
- Pay more attention to any messages you send them
- Follow your advice
- Recommend you to more people.
5 Ways to give your shoppers the best Halloween experience in your store
Halloween is a great time to add an element of fun to your customers’ shopping experience. It’s fun, it involves kids and adults, and it gives you an opportunity to get your community involved.
According to HBR’s research, there are ‘emotional motivators’ that we all share – specific things that are important to people. These include a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure.
If you can tap into these, you’ll immediately start creating a bond with your customers that goes beyond the retailer/shopper relationship.
The real secret to success though is that you don’t need to give shoppers more to buy – you need to give them more to do while they’re in your store. You need to make your store an experience. Here are five tips on how to grow your sales this Halloween :
- Add Halloween elements to your store’s décor
Festive decorations aren’t just ‘what’s always been done’. The mood created by spooky hints at your checkout, down the aisles and inside the bathrooms can be powerful. They also give your customers a memorable experience, even if they forget what they actually bought at your store.
You can take this a step further by adding a touch of Halloween online as well. Customers who haven’t seen your store yet will be drawn in by the themed visuals on your online platforms, including your company website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“Be sure to tag with searchable ‘Halloween hash tags’ that can create buzz, increase customer engagement, and generate sales.” – Rohit Arora, CEO and co-founder, Biz2Credit; Official Member, Forbes Finance Council
Add popular Halloween symbols like jack-o-lanterns, bats, mummies or Frankenstein to your branding to make it more memorable. Depending on your budget, you can add Halloween elements to your store’s signage, or even print themed shopping bags or menus.
- Run a costume contest and promote it on social media
Engagement is the name of the game. If you want customers to buy from you now and throughout the festive season, they need to love your brand. Social media is a great way to build a community around your store, and Halloween is the perfect time to get everyone involved.
Who doesn’t like to dress up for Halloween? Both kids and adults can join in the fun when you launch a costume contest and open voting for the best dressed. Encourage customers to post their photos on your business’s social media pages and to tag themselves. Throw in prizes for the best costumes. Get everyone involved.
Rope your staff in as well. Encourage them to wear costumes at the store and challenge customers to beat them. This will boost staff morale and make interacting with customers more fun than regular days in your store.
- Create promotions around themed products
So, you don’t sell sweets or cinnamon chai lattes – that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit creative around the products on your shelves that lend themselves to a particular Halloween theme.
Offer bundled products at a discounted rate and advertise these promotions in your window displays and through your staff. For example, if you sell cosmetics, offer a discount when customers buy three of the same brand of nail polish or lipstick with Halloween themed names in different colours.
If you run a grocery retail store, you might offer a bundle that includes two-kg bags of pap, 2L bottles of milk and a pumpkin carving kit. If you own a butchery, think of how much fun you can have with some creative word play, such as “Meat your mate this Halloween! Buy 1kg of beef mince and get 20% off beef sausages to complement each other at the next braai.”
- Include a goodie bag with purchases
Something as small as a free chocolate bar or lollipop can make a child’s day and their parents will remember – because the kid probably won’t stop talking about the experience.
Prepare small treats in a bag and give one to each customer who spends over a certain amount. Adults like sweets too, and it’s the thought that counts.
Not only will customers tell other people about their experience, but it’s a great way to add a little more value to what your business has to offer.
- Incentivise frequent visitors
During Halloween, it’s estimated that 87% of shoppers make multiple trips to the shops while searching for costumes to wear to themed parties or for their kids to wear to school. Internationally, over 50% of these shoppers buy their costumes from physical bricks and mortar stores. In South Africa, this is probably even higher.
In fact, 70% of customers would change where they shop to maximise the benefits they get, according to a study by Bond. Incentivise your customers to stay by giving them benefits that matter to them.
“Give people a reason to be there, and they will shop,” says Ken Nisch, chairman of JGA, a firm that designs retail spaces. His message is simple: customers walk into stores to buy things, but if you want them to spend more and come back, it can’t be the only reason why they’re there.
When customers associate a shopping trip to your store with a pleasant experience, they are more likely to return and encourage others to also pay you a visit as well.
When customers walk out of your store smiling and having enjoyed a real experience, they’ll be back. More than that, they’ll tell everyone they know to visit your store as well.
Research conducted by Nielson reveals that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising, which means that the word-of-mouth marketing you earn through savvy Halloween editions to your store could be the golden opportunity you’ve been looking for to grow your customer base and basket spend.
DO YOU WANT TO BOOST CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND DRIVE LOYALTY?
Talk to Sureswipe about a cost-effective Loyalty programme. We can assist in customer retention through a platform that helps you communicate directly with customers through email and SMS. Call 0860 200 111 or fill in your details here and we’ll call you.