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How Personalization Transforms Holiday Customers Into Lifetime Clients

Blog title design reading: How Personalization Transforms Holiday Customers Into Lifetime Clients
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When the holiday season commences, the latest sales and offers from retailers often quickly follow. Each year, retail brands use promotions as their North Star during the crucial golden quarter for a myriad of reasons: clearing inventory, competing with peers, and comping year-over-year sales performance, to name a few. These discounts aren’t necessarily intended to acquire new customers, but they often do.

Retailers are excited to welcome new customers each holiday season, but it’s often a challenge to keep these customers purchasing after December when discounts wane. The challenge is exacerbated this year due to the current macroeconomic climate, driving more consumers to be price conscious and cut down their non-essential spending

Although building loyalty with new customers will be more difficult this December, it can still be done using personalization-focused marketing strategies that drive re-engagement.

Understand Customer Preferences

Ensuring a positive brand experience during the initial shopping trip is only the first step toward lasting customer lifetime value. It’s the follow-up communications that are critical for building a connection with customers. 

New customers are more inclined to repurchase from brands that are able to meet and predict their needs. Using polls in marketing communications to collect zero-party data is a great way to not only learn about your customers unique needs, but also use this information for tailoring future communications according to their preferences.

Below, Inkredible Retail uses polling during the holiday season to help customers shop for their gift list.

Email mockup including a poll for customers to choose what category they want to gift.

Once the poll collects the valuable zero-party data, Inkredible Retail can send customers more information related to the selected poll choice. Since consumer spending patterns are expected to differ from past years this holiday season, polling can also be used to identify preferred spend ranges to help customers save time searching for the perfect gift.

Emphasize Product Value

Although consumers are expected to be more price-conscious due to inflation, many are still seeking the best value for their money and realize the lowest priced alternative isn’t always the best. Maximize a customer’s perceived value of a product by highlighting its key attributes and differentiators. 

In addition, feature ratings and reviews alongside products in retargeting messaging tovalidate quality and give customers confidence in purchasing. Consumers are spending more time researching quality before purchasing, so delivering this value to them proactively enables brands to get credit with customers in a way that keeps them coming back.

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Highlight Payment Flexibility

Over the past few years, buy now pay later (BNPL) payment options have grown in popularity among retailers and consumers alike, and they’re predicted to double in the next five years. The flexibility these pay-over-time options offer will continue to appeal to consumers as inflation rises and disposable incomes are reduced. Increased awareness of these payment options drive not only short-term purchasing, but also long-term loyalty as they’ve become a deciding factor for some consumers when it comes to choosing a retailer.

Make big-ticket purchases more affordable by highlighting the BNPL payment breakdown calculation in marketing communications. This transparency surrounding payments, as opposed to a more generalized advertising of BNPL, can enable customers to see that an item’s pricing plan is lower than expected and fit into their budgets. 

Here, the InkPay payment schedule is displayed alongside personalized apparel and shoe offerings. With the option of installments, Inkredible Retail expands the number of customers they can appeal to.

Mock up of a personalized push notification including BNPL options

Showcase Brand Value and Community Initiatives

Consumers have more options when shopping than ever before. When assessing the trade-off between price and brand value, 82% of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for products or brands that are aligned with their values. As interest in values-driven consumption continues to increase, retailers can highlight how a consumer’s loyalty to the brand is directly tied to its impact. This way, customers not only feel good about their purchases,  but also more connected to the brand itself.

In the example below, Inkredible Cause sends a personalized year-in-review email to show customers the impact they made by partnering with the brand. Along with money raised and personal goal completion, other stats such as events participation are recognized to motivate engagement.

Mock up email with a personalized year-in-review summary

Keep Communications Relevant

66% of consumers expect brands to understand their needs, and nearly 70% of them are more likely to be loyal if the brand builds a personal relationship with them. A retailer's ability to deliver personalized experiences authentically and consistently enables them to create true connections with their customers. Ensure every marketing touchpoint is delivering meaningful value that leaves customers feeling more inclined to engage with your brand each time they get an update. 

Since there is only one opportunity to make a first impression, it’s important for retailers to ensure new customer communication journeys are optimized before a customer makes a first purchase. Since it’s easy for marketers to forget about these experiences after they have been configured, create a habit of periodically analyzing each to identify key opportunities for enhancements.


Despite inflation headwinds and fears of a looming recession, retailers have an opportunity to drive customer retention and loyalty during the holiday season and after the new year. Increasing customer-centric personalization across key touchpoints emphasizes transparency, affordability and brand value, giving consumers a reason to purchase again without a discount. Ultimately, the combined effects of these interactions will connect customers more deeply to the brand, creating lasting loyalty.

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