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December 14, 2021

5 Tips To Turn Holiday Gifters Into Customers

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Flexport Editorial Team

December 14, 2021

This blog post was originally published by Deliverr, which is now Flexport. The content has been adjusted to fit the Flexport brand voice and tone, but all other information remains unchanged. With the merging of Deliverr’s services (DTC fulfillment, B2B distribution, and Last Mile delivery) into Flexport’s existing international freight and technology services, we’re now able to provide merchants with true end-to-end logistics solutions spanning from the factory floor to the customer’s door.

So you've been pushing holiday bundles, gift packs, and promotions to encourage holiday shopping and you racked up a ton of sales, right? Amazing! But wait... you've acquired a customer who may have never actually experienced your product because they bought it for someone else. How do you turn these one-time purchasers (AKA “gifters”) into repeat buyers? 

Creating a memorable and positive shopping experience is the best way to ensure that your shopper will buy again—either for themselves or as another gifting opportunity. After the holiday shopping marathon ends and buyers can reflect on their purchases, make sure your brand stands out and has the potential to turn these holiday gifters into loyal customers. Consider these 5 tips below to make it happen:

1. Craft a Strong Welcome Email

Holiday shoppers are visiting countless websites and making multiple purchases this year. It pays to reach out to make them feel noticed and appreciated, especially if they’re shopping with your brand for the first time. A strong welcome email that describes your brand, mission, and commitment to customer service can give shoppers insight that they might otherwise overlook during the busy shopping season. 

Since holiday shoppers are overwhelmed with options when it comes to choosing where to make their online purchases, it’s important to show your commitment to their shopping experience from the start. A welcome email should not only introduce your brand, but also give any relevant shipping information, links to customer service, and highlight satisfaction guarantees. Communicating that you are committed to their seamless shopping experience is important for making a solid first impression. Below is an example of a welcome email that is short and sweet from FreshBooks:

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It’s important to consider the high-stress shopping associated with the holidays. From finding the right gifts to ensuring they will arrive on time, shoppers have a lot to juggle. The email chain that begins with the first purchase should be concise and give the buyer exactly what they need. Confirmation emails give shoppers peace of mind while helping them to anticipate delivery times. Notifying shoppers of when their item has shipped with more accurate shipping details also highlights your brand’s commitment to seeing the purchase through from start to finish. These communications keep the customer in the know so they don’t have to second guess their purchase (or your brand).

2. Perfect Your Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program encourages shoppers to purchase more frequently with the incentive of earning discounts or cash back based on the initial purchase amount. Oftentimes, these exclusive deals are redeemable within a certain time frame. 

Loyalty programs are an effective way to connect with customers after their initial purchase. Whether the buyer was purchasing something for themselves or as a gift, the incentives of the program can set your brand apart from others. There are many options for loyalty programs that can fit your particular brand, such as offering enrollment into the program at checkout or automatically enrolling buyers upon their first purchase. Below is a great example of a loyalty program from Ulta Beauty

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Offering rewards that can be redeemed immediately to first-time holiday shoppers is a great way to encourage them to return to your site for additional items. To take it one step further,  incentivize repeat shopping through exclusive codes or credits that can be applied after the new year to build brand loyalty. 

3. Utilize a Post-Purchase Survey

Sending an email for feedback on a buyer’s purchase is a great way to find out more about first-time shoppers. While getting reviews for products is important, you might also get information on whether they were buying for another person or themselves. Additionally, you can inquire about how the buyer found out about your products which helps to inform future marketing efforts. 

Gifters also offer valuable information since they are not only seeking the perfect gift, but also have to ensure it arrives on time. Your survey should zero in on their satisfaction with the shipping speed, product quality, and customer service experience when placing the order or dealing with inquiries. Making sure a first-time purchase is a success increases the likelihood that the buyer returns. By going straight to the source to gain information on first impressions, you can find ways to make your brand more welcoming in the future.

4. Don’t Forget Gratitude and Exclusivity

Buyers love to feel that their purchase was appreciated and a thank you email is a great way to show gratitude and build brand resonance. A personalized message encourages a shopper to open an email and engage with the content. This “thank you” offer can be especially effective if the buyer saw another product that sparked their interest, but didn’t make it to the final cart for purchase. For gifters who had a mission during the holidays to buy for others, this deal may entice them to purchase something for themselves. Below is a great example from a shop called BFoxDesigns on Etsy

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Along with a new customer feeling valued, try offering “exclusive” deals as a way to show appreciation. Offering discounts on similar products, special offers on new products, free shipping, or early shopping can help create a sense of connection with your brand. Even if they aren’t ready to shop now, these special offers help to nurture the buyer/seller relationship. 

5. Deploy Post-Purchase Marketing After the Holidays

Armed with information from surveys, post-purchase marketing can be tailored to first-time buyers. If the buyer was a gifter, try offering additional discounts or promotions in an email that encourages them to find something for themselves in the new year. Include your social media handles within the email to encourage new shoppers to follow your brand. Allowing them to connect with you on social channels enables them access to the latest products,  promotions, and discounts your brand has to offer.

Moreover, consider personalizing emails with names, including product suggestions, or highlighting new items to create personal touch points with gifters. Creating reminders about post-holiday sales, discount codes, and fast shipping can be enough to incentivize additional purchases. 

Where To Go From Here

Just because holiday shopping comes to an end, don’t forget about new buyers who have been introduced to your brand this season. Gifters should feel connected with your company through the customer service, messages, and support they receive during their shopping experience. 

In short, it’s important not to miss out on opportunities to engage with these first-time buyers. Whether they become a fan of your brand for themselves or just as a great gift-giving experience, nurture these initial interactions to increase your brand awareness and customer loyalty into the new year.

The contents of this blog are made available for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any legal, business, or financial decisions. We do not guarantee, represent, or warrant the accuracy or reliability of any of the contents of this blog because they are based on Flexport’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions, about which there can be no assurance due to various anticipated and unanticipated events that may occur. This blog has been prepared to the best of Flexport’s knowledge and research; however, the information presented in this blog herein may not reflect the most current regulatory or industry developments. Neither Flexport nor its advisors or affiliates shall be liable for any losses that arise in any way due to the reliance on the contents contained in this blog.

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Flexport Editorial Team

December 14, 2021

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