How can you show your customers how much you appreciate them?
As a retail business, there are countless ways to show your customers that they are valued and appreciated. And a happy customer base helps build customer loyalty, so it’s a win-win!
In this blog, we’ll share six Customer Appreciation Day ideas you can use all year round. From special discounts to personalized gifts, these ideas will help you build strong relationships with your customers and keep them coming back for more.
What’s more, you can use your POS system to help implement these ideas, empower your staff, and track your success.
What is Customer Appreciation Day?
Traditionally, the National Customer Appreciation Day is April 18th, but you can do it whenever you like! Pick a day or week you want to dedicate to customer appreciation and run with it. The most important thing is to let your customers know the date!
It’s best to advertise it to your customers in advance, so they feel part of the process and excited about how you’ll celebrate it.
Here are our top six ideas:
- Give Away a Gift Card
- Host a VIP Event
- Offer a Bonus Loyalty Reward
- Incentivise Customer Reviews
- Engage With Visitors on Social Media
- Stay in Touch with Fans
1. Give Away a Gift Card
Gift cards aren’t only for the holiday season!
Instead of just selling gift cards, you can give away gift cards on Customer Appreciation Day. When customers make a purchase, tell them they’re in for a chance to win a gift card simply by entering their email address.
Now, you have contact details, can mindfully offer promotions, and send newsletters (if they opt-in). Select as many winners as you want for the gift card prize, depending on your store size and budget.
Tell your customers they can use the gift card for themselves, or better yet, gift it to a friend or relative. If someone receives a gift card for a store they haven’t visited, it incentivizes them to make the trip.
To take advantage of gift cards year-round, you can run similar promotions during the holiday season and beyond and build customer loyalty. Your POS system should easily process gift cards.
2. Host a VIP Event
When people receive invites to VIP events, they can’t help but feel special!
On Customer Appreciation Day, you could host an “after hours” VIP event. Find your most loyal customers and send out invites. How? Use your POS system to track customer purchases and invite them to an event such as a private sale or early access to new products.
To make customers feel special, interact with them personally, and invite them to ask questions about your new products. Ask for their feedback and make them feel part of the process.
You can establish meaningful relationships with loyal customers; when you do, they’re more likely to recommend your store to others.
3. Offer a Bonus Loyalty Reward
There are many customer loyalty program ideas, from VIP clubs to punchcards and partner programs to birthday perks. Whatever you decide to do, make it extra special on Customer Appreciation Day.
Customers who already participate in your loyalty program can get a bonus reward. For example, let’s say you use punch cards as a method to build customer loyalty. If they pull out their punch card on Customer Appreciation Day, you could complete their punches and give them their reward on the spot.
Little moments like this make customers feel special, and they’re more likely to rave about your store to their loved ones or even share the moment on social media.
Your POS system should make it simple and easy to manage customer loyalty programs.
4. Incentivize Customer Reviews
Reviews should be honest and unbiased, so we are not recommending that you try to sway customers to have a certain opinion of your business. However, there’s no harm in rewarding customers who were a pleasure to work with and left a positive review about your store!
If someone leaves a positive review about your store, or even comments on social media, reach out to them via a reply or direct message. You can tell them to come in for a special treat; of course, you can decide what that special treat should be.
When someone leaves you a negative review, you still have the chance to win them back and nurture that relationship. Make sure you publicly respond to the comment and offer to make it right. This lets customers know that their feedback is heard and taken seriously.
You can use your POS system to reach out to customers and ask for reviews. For customers who leave a review, invite them to shop with you on Customer Appreciation Day and offer a discount or reward.
5. Engage with Visitors on Social Media
Many small businesses use this tactic. At checkout, ask your customer to follow one of your business accounts on social media or post a photo on their profile tagging your business, and offer them something in return. This can be a free product, 10 percent off their entire purchase, or something along those lines.
Another idea is to take photos of your customers in-store (with their permission, of course) and tag them in what you post on social media.
For example, if you run a clothing boutique and you notice a customer looks incredible in one of your dresses, ask them if you can snap a quick photo. Most people won’t mind, and we’ve found that younger customers who’ve grown up on social media tend to appreciate the recognition!
Then, once you publish the photo to your story or timeline with the customer tagged in it, they’re much more likely to share that content, putting more eyes on your shop.
Related: 5 Ways to Build Your Small Business’ Online Presence
Finally, a more hands-off approach is simply offering to feature your customers.
All they have to do is post a photo with your business tagged in it, and you promise to share it on your profile (or repost). This works best if your business account has many followers because your customers will love getting eyes on their profiles too.
Social media engagement is free, makes shopping fun for your customers, and is a great brand awareness tactic.
6. Stay in Touch with Fans
This sounds like a no-brainer, but many small businesses are not taking full advantage of modern communication methods.
It’s more important than ever to stay in touch with customers. Most people spend an astronomical amount of time on their phones, and are constantly overstimulated. If you’re not reaching out to them, they’ll forget about you — especially because there’s likely an overwhelming amount of retailers who are reaching out to them.
Customer Appreciation Day is the perfect time to reach out!
Utilize customer emails, phone numbers, and mailing addresses to send people who haven’t visited in a while customized coupons. Or send a text invitation to a special in-store sale or after-hours event. No matter the occasion, you want to make an effort to stay connected to the people you value most.
Customer Appreciation Day Ideas for Retail: Your POS System is Your Friend
Your customers are the lifeblood of your retail store. A little appreciation goes a long way. And the best way to manage your customer appreciation ideas is with a robust POS system.
Managing customer relationships is much easier with a point of sale solution that’s designed to meet retailers’ needs.
A POS system that’s not custom to retail won’t do what you need it to, resulting in lost time, wasted money, and a lot of frustration. It’s why we recommend finding a solution that serves your specific industry.
Our software's built-in loyalty program (including the ability to assign loyalty cards to individual customers) will help you manage Customer Appreciation Day and any other promotions you want to run.
Want to know more about our solution for retail stores? Schedule a demo today! Alternatively, check out our Free Buyers' Guide: Finding the Best Retail POS System to arm yourself with all the information you need!