As a gift shop owner, you probably already know the importance of customer loyalty problems—and you might already have one in place! But do you know how to bring you program to the next level? Below, we’re looking at a few ideas for successful loyalty programs that focus on the customer.
Buy “x” get one free
Everyone loves a “free item.” Consider starting a loyalty program that uses punch cards or a similar system to give customers the chance to shop (five or ten times, for example) before getting an item of their choice from your store. As a gift shop, this will prompt your customers to return to you specifically—and not your neighbors down the street—whenever they’re searching for a souvenir on their next trip.
Handy customer card
Give your customers a handy card that they can keep in their wallet and use to get great deals on their next vacation. A sturdy card won’t be forgotten about at home—and you can trust that your loyal customers will come back time and time again to take advantage of whatever specials you load onto their card. You can even use the card as a means of racking up store points, which can go toward their next purchase, a unique attraction in your area, or something else.
Coupons that last
A big deterrent for gift shops looking to hand out coupons is, of course, the infrequent nature of customers—since they can only visit during their vacations, they might not return for months, a year or more. However, you can hand out custom coupons with select purchases that don’t have a finite (or close) expiration date. Instead of giving coupons for specific items, offer them for classic store staples like a t-shirt, hat or toy that you know you’ll always have on hand. These coupons will encourage your customers to come back in two, six or 12 months from now in order to cash in on their coupons.
Local restaurant partnerships
If you have a great local restaurant nearby, consider partnering with them to get customers in the door and keep them coming back. See about running a “spend ‘x’ on dinner, get a free gift” special or similar deals. If vacationers have a favorite spot they like to eat at while on trips, you can take advantage of that and drum up business at the same time.
If you run a gift shop within your restaurant, there are even more opportunities for loyalty programs. Have guests sign up for an email club which entitles them to a free gift or appetizer after spending a certain amount.
Who wouldn’t love a birthday surprise when they’re not even on vacation? If your guest’s birthday falls out of season, send them a special offer to use on their next visit (or, better yet, an actual surprise gift!). This is an easy way to let your customers know you care and continue their loyalty to your shop.
As you can see, most of your customers are likely tourists—so they might need a program that works a little differently to better suit their needs. But rest assured that once you find the right program, you and your customers will be reaping the benefits!