Article

Angela Southall
Angela Southall 2 February 2017

Valentine's Day: The Perfect Time To Reward Your Customer's Love

Being introduced to a brand by a friend, makes you much more likely to recommend that brand too. So Valentine's Day could be time to show your customers some love.

We’ve just approaching the silly seasons for many gift retailers.  I’m referring to Valentine’s Day followed by Mothering Sunday then Easter just 3 weeks later in the UK this year.  It’s very common for businesses to follow a retail calendar with peaks and troughs in sale volume throughout their season and for many businesses February 14th and Mother's Day spark two big spikes of activity which can make or break their numbers.

Companies that focus on physical gifts, flowers, food gifts, health and beauty, jewellery and even some fashion and accessories brands can gather sales momentum from these two key calendar events.

Being the platform supporting some of the most successful referral programmes in the UK means Mention Me has interesting data at our finger-tips about shopping, customer acquisition, and referral behaviour.  About 30% of our clients are impacted by gift purchase motivation, and we’re noticing an interesting shopping dynamic starting to form with these clients.

To see how it's working let’s compare two business:  one with a refer-a-friend programme and one without.  

For the business with a thriving referral channel Valentine’s Day starts a cascade of events:  For each 100 gifts bought, up to 50 shoppers share a referral offer at the same time.  These referred customers have an amazing seasonal stimulus just around the corner in the form of Mothering Sunday.  

Having a referral reward means these newly introduced customers are much more likely to shop with the brand.  A virtuous circle is formed. Delighted Valentine’s customers refer their friends, introducing new customers (boost #1). When those friends purchase the original customer gets a reward to incentivise them to another purchase (boost #2). So Valentine's purchasers introduce Mother's Day purchasers, who spur the Valentine's purchasers to return for Mother's Day.

After Sunday March 6th there is a trail of extra orders produced as the final group of incentivised shoppers make their purchases.  

This is the basic phenomenon.  Some of our smartest clients are amplifying this even more with special promotion points, bespoke offers and seasonally adapted creative.

Mother-s-Day-Graph.png

The business with a referral channel benefits from a distinct uplift in acquisition.  On average adding a referral programme to the marketing mix increases new customer acquisition from 15-30%.  

For the business without a referral programme the seasonal dynamic misses out on that amplification.  A great Valentine’s Day might boost Mother’s Day - but then again it might not.  Mothering Sunday might just as likely to be spent tidying up. 

In the past few years UK retail has jumped on the opportunity of adding shopping stimulus days to the calendar: Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been the subject of much press and Amazon has tried it’s hand at creating its very own special day “Prime Day”.  But if you aren’t an incredibly influential retail giant your chances of adding new peak shopping days to your calendar are pretty tiny.

Much simpler to leverage the seasonal peaks you already have.

This post was previously published on the Mention Me Referral Marketing Blog.

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