What is customer acquisition

What is Customer Acquisition?

Customer Acquisition is the attraction and retention of new customers to grow your business.

So, how do we do it and can it be done better? Are you effectively using the full resources of your business to drive B2B customer acquisition or is new customer acquisition something you leave solely to a new business department? Is your process measurable and repeatable without feeling inflexible or robotic?

Many businesses these days utilise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms to capture data on successful (and not-so successful) conversions. Once analysed, this data should help them learn what works and refine their customer acquisition.

But the data you capture is only as good as the strategy you employ. All parts of a business can contribute to increase customer acquisition – and as a result we need to approach it strategically. Everyone within a business, whether you employ three people, 300 or 3,000, needs to understand not only the importance of customer acquisitions, but their own role in that process.

Before the funnel there was…the funnel

Customer acquisition is, in sales terms, typically described as ‘top of the funnel’. It’s seen as the first step into the sales funnel that describes how a business engages with a customer to convert their interest into a sale or sign-up.

However, customer acquisition has its funnel:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

How our teams, our creative and our channels engage with prospective customers at these early stages is crucial to successful customer acquisition.

Who are you?

Awareness is the first strand of customer acquisition. If people are not aware of your brand or business, there is no chance they will become a customer.

Drawing attention can be done in a number of ways:

  • Marketing – get your brand seen exactly where your customers are. From paid social to print ads, broadcast media to blogs, emailers to webinars and more, marketing your business secures eyeballs and is the most direct way to raise awareness. It’s worth noting that tactics like emailers will require consent under GDPR – find out more here.
  • Creative assets – from branding to ad designs, the right creative is great at capturing attention wherever it is placed. Imagery and, increasingly, video offers a great way to get key messages and benefits across to prospects in a short window of time
  • PR – tell your stories. PR is one of the most cost-effective and trusted ways to raise awareness. Whatever the size of your business, there is a PR solution, from employing an in-house team to working with an agency or freelance professionals. An experienced head can help make your stories impactful and get them in front of the right people to secure coverage.
  • Sales incentives – These are an impactful way to attract attention. But it’s about more than simply slashing costs. Using data-driven strategies, you can create trackable sales incentives that measurably increase awareness and support customer acquisition.

Target relevant outlets and audiences with attention-grabbing content that quickly and details what you offer and why it is beneficial. Striking the right tone will get you noticed and begin to build awareness.

The attention question

For outbound awareness activity, you also need to bear in mind the attention span of your audience. This can differ across audiences, but as a rule of thumb recent research by media platform Teads and Lumen Research found that a single exposure to awareness content needed to command attention for 100 milliseconds to 1 second, activity further down the funnel needed to elicit linger dwell times:

  • Familiarity: 1s+
  • Favourability: 3s+
  • Consideration: 9s+
  • Purchase intent: 8s+

Find your tribe

Customer acquisition of course is not only reliant on attracting inbound engagement. Actively seeking potential customers to target is highly important.

Your initial awareness activity can, in part, help to gather potential prospects to reach out to – through thought leadership and data assets requiring data capture – – for example, downloadable reports.

If you can research your target audience you can, even under GDPR, cold-call, however, this is not always the most effective way to acquire new customers.

When considering purchasing contact lists of potential customers, take care. Not only is the suitability of these leads likely to vary wildly, but you need to seek your own specific permission to contact them – and record it correctly – to comply with GDPR. Your first contact with a cold lead must give them a clear opportunity to opt into communications with you or opt-out – and getting that wrong can be costly!

If you have a CRM platform, you can often import your prospects and streamline the qualification process – speeding up how you sort true potential customers from those who do not want or need what you offer.

Working with your marketing, social and PR teams is also essential to outbound customer acquisition. They will be able to flag individuals who engage with content but may not follow-up with further actions or contact, or those who have posted queries in either direct messages or comment sections. They can also offer you sector insight, helping you shape your offer based on customer behaviour, the current news agenda and how your brand is perceived and engaged with on social.

All this contextual data will give you the ability to refine your communications and outreach and make your customer acquisition strategy more successful.

Importantly however, when using these tactics to support customer acquisition you need to ensure that they are focused on driving action. Awareness alone is not an efficient way to drive behaviour. Crafting messaging and imagery with calls to action (CTAs) that guide and nudge prospects to the next stage effectively requires planning and teamwork.

Why you?

Once people are aware of your business, you need to answer the why question. Maybe you are the market leader, perhaps you offer the best value, and possibly (though less likely) you are the only business offering a particular product or service.

What matters is getting these messages noticed and understood in as short a time as possible – an instant if you can.

Consideration is a research phase that relies heavily on your website, blogs and initial interactions with customers through social media messages, emails or calls. But being able to serve potential customers the detail – and solutions – they need in short, snappy, engaging ways will keep them on your pages for longer and increase your chances of bringing them into the fold.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, however, so it’s important to ensure that we quality-check all the key touch points for someone in the consideration phase:

  • Is our branding consistent?
  • Is our tone of voice appropriate?
  • Is the customer journey on our website simple and efficient?
  • Is the frequency and relevance of our marketing communications correct?
  • Are we effectively presenting our worth to potential customers?

If a prospect interacts with one or more of these touchpoints and finds something ‘off’ or that raises a red flag, we will most likely lose that acquisition opportunity. Get it right and prospects will be ready for the conversion phase, when your sales team will begin drilling down into how your business can help new customers meet their challenges and goals.

Making it happen

When customers are ready to pass on to the sales team, they are entering the buying phase. Building a relationship at this point is key. Offering products or services that quickly and comprehensively solve a prospect’s biggest pain points is crucial but, in the end, some things never change.

People buy from people. If your team approaches their work with honesty, integrity, kindness and enthusiasm and takes time to listen to the challenges a prospect wants to address before offering a solution, they are more likely to successfully bring a new customer on board.

Whatever your business, B2C or B2B, what customers need from you, how well you can provide that and how good they feel throughout the process will ultimately determine whether a prospect becomes a customer.

Data-driven customer acquisition

Love2shop Business employs an expert team of engagement and acquisition professionals to help you build an efficient, reliable customer acquisition strategy.

Using our suite of incentivisation products, our innovative engagement platform and decades of experience, Love2shop Business can support your acquisition goals and your customer acquisition goals. Visit business.love2shop.co.uk to learn more.

What is customer acquisition

Customer Acquisition Strategy

For any business to succeed, it’s important to have a good level of acquisition from your customers. With the right steps in place, employers will be able to boost all kinds of marketing schemes to their full potential.

So, what exactly is ‘customer acquisition’? Well, in simple terms, it’s all about bringing in new customers – and keeping them! This level of attraction and retention takes time to grow. But when it does, customers remain loyal to your brand for life.

Let’s take a look at what a customer acquisition strategy is, different examples of them, and how to choose ones that work for your business.

What is a customer acquisition strategy?

A customer acquisition strategy is a method that involves persuading people to invest in your business. This might include buying your products, using your services, or choosing your brand name over competitors.

Customer acquisition and retention strategies present a solid process for attracting the right kind of people to your business. You’ll probably have organic customers visiting your site. But it’s the returning customers who’ll help develop and grow your business.

That’s why it’s important to invest in the best customer acquisition strategy for you. In the end, it’ll help establish repeat purchases, maintain customer loyalty, and grow steady revenue over time.

What marketing tools are used for customer acquisition strategies?

When it comes to consumer retention, there are numerous marketing tools available. It all depends on which ones work well with your customer acquisition strategy. Some of the most common marketing tools include:

  • Organic search: This relates to using search engine optimisation (SEO) to create content that attracts a specific or high audience number.
  • Paid search: This uses revenue-based methods to promote adverts or brand awareness on search engines.
  • Organic social media: This involves creating a digital brand identity on social media platforms without spending any money.
  • Paid social media: This uses financial-based methods to attain new customers or build brand awareness.
  • Email: This method shares or promotes business-related information directly to customers.
  • Referrals: This involves customers being given rewards (like incentives or gift cards) after introducing new people to the business.
  • Events: This method utilises seminars, conferences, and trade shows to present a product, service, or overall business.
  • Traditional advertisement: This involves using media platforms (like TV, radio, or print) to advertise a business.

What are examples of different types of customer acquisition strategies?

When it comes to using customer acquisition strategies, you should choose ones that work for you. This could be a singular one; or a multitude of them. Ultimately, it’s all about utilising the ones that work best for your business.

Let’s look at customer acquisition strategies examples to use in your business:

Search engine optimisation (marketing tool: organic search)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about finding ways to place your brand name at the top of search engines. SEO methods help customers search for a product or service online and decide which one to choose between relevant competitors.

To rank at the top of searches, businesses need to optimise their website. This is done by using SEO-related methods on their webpages. Keywords, headings, alt-text, and even SERPs encourage customers to click on their content – making it a strong marketing tool to promote customer acquisition.

Content marketing (marketing tool: organic search)

For most businesses, customer marketing is often used for its versatility. Whether you’re creating a new campaign or revamping an ongoing one, content marketing helps capture your customers’ attention – converting their views into pounds.

As mentioned, the type of content you create will always vary. That’s because it depends on what type of message you want to portray to acquire customers. Whether it’s a blog or a short video, each piece of content you create or promote should be perfectly relatable to your specific audience.

Blogging (marketing tool: organic search)

Many businesses will have a dedicated blog page on their website, filled with all kinds of written content. From ‘how-to’ guides to opinion pieces, blogs allow employers to portray their take on issues relating to their industry.

Blogs allow employers to develop a level of authority with their customers. They’ll read about a topic relevant to them and respect the legitimacy of the business. Most blog sites even let customers write comments or reviews – creating an open and trusting relationship between them.

Social media marketing (marketing tool: organic social media/ paid social media)

This strategy involves using social media platforms to direct customers towards a business. Generally, two ways to do this are through paid channels or going completely organic.

Social media marketing is a great way to advertise your brand name or share content from other digital platforms. And if it’s organic, you won’t need to invest a lot of money.

With social media marketing, the more you post, the higher your chances of attracting customers. Let’s all pray for that ‘viral’ moment which can really help boost your brand name.

Video marketing (marketing tool: paid search/ organic social media/ paid social media)

From TikTok to YouTube shorts, there’s no denying that video-based content is prominent in today’s world. With easy access to cheaper yet quality filming equipment, video production  has quickly become a marketing norm.

Despite that, videos still need to be relatable and accessible. As shorter videos are consumed more, you need to portray your message as efficiently as you can in those 10 seconds.

For longer videos, you may need to think about wider production aspects. Lighting, scriptwriting, editing – when these are done right, you’ll soon be able to manifest an invested and happy audience.

Email retargeting (marketing tool: email)

Emailing might seem like a long-winded (or even outdated) marketing scheme to some. But, don’t underestimate its true potential. Emailing is especially useful when it comes to tracking customer listings, interactions, and behaviour.

For example, new customers can receive emails on information about products your business sells. This will then optimise their chances of making future purchases with you. Or you can use emails to send birthday vouchers – which again, makes them buy more!

Emails can also help highlight problems, particularly when customers unsubscribe from mailing lists. Here, businesses should be thinking about ongoing issues and finding ways to amend their marketing strategy.

Sponsored content (marketing tool: paid search/ paid social media/ traditional advertising)

This strategy is all about linking paid adverts (on SERPs) to content posts (on social media platforms). In simple terms, businesses use ‘famous’ people to help advertise their products.

Sponsored ads generally have someone on board willing to help advertise your business. They’ll be able to share your brand name with their audience – helping you generate more leads and conversions.

It doesn’t really matter what type of social media platform is used, so long as the advert message is presented well. Businesses will often use ad campaigns, like sponsored search results, paid blog posts, and product mentions (or ‘shout-outs’).

Customer ambassadors (marketing tool: referrals)

Customer ambassadors are loyal consumers who offer to help promote your products or services. They can choose to voluntarily do this, or ask for a type of fee in return (i.e., like payment, creative freedom, etc.).

Employers gain free advertising, as the ambassadors help raise awareness for your brand. This saves you time and money, as they’ll do all the hard work for you!

Ambassadors may write an in-depth blog about your product, or speak about it on their social media platforms. It’s always best to reward ambassadors for their assistance. A couple of gift cards or even some free merchandise is never received badly.

Gated content (marketing tool: all)

Gated content is a marketing term used for things like guides, templates, eBooks, etc. Whilst they may not be the most cutting-edge or exciting content, they’re often crucial in certain situations.

The term ‘gated’ means only certain customers, who have given permission, can access the content. For example, they may have provided personal information, like an email address.

Gated content uses all types of strategies – from SEO to content marketing tools. The main element that makes it work is being unsearchable online. Only customers who show a good level of investment will be able to access the goods – boosting business retention and loyalty.

Product pricing (marketing tool: all)

Product pricing is a super versatile customer acquisition strategy. It attracts customers based on your position in a shared marketplace. If your numbers are attractive enough, customers will flock towards you instead of your competitors.

But, it’s not just about the price of your products or services. Customer acquisition is built from offering incentives, discounts, and promotional pricing. For example, a ‘buy one, get one free’ strategy can help grow retention and revenue.

It’s always best to utilise strategies that work for your business. This will help you understand your target audience better and improve your overall marketing procedures.

Get further help on customer acquisition strategies with love2shop

Whatever your business is, you can’t function without the steady influx of customers. And this doesn’t just mean gaining new ones; it also means investing in your loyal ones.

A great way to strengthen your customer acquisition strategies is through using gift cards and vouchers. At Love2shop, we offer a variety of rewards guaranteed to help boost your retention rates.

Whether you’re enticing new leads or rewarding loyal customers, Love2Shop has the perfect gift card for you.

Customer Acquisation Cost

What is Customer Acquisition Cost?

Every business should aim to have a steady number of loyal, content, and happy customers. But whether you’re caring for current ones or attracting new people, employers need to plan their ‘customer acquisition cost’.

This term is often chucked about within the marketing realm; but what does it actually mean? Well, customer acquisition is all about retaining loyal consumers and getting them to make future purchases with you. But, you may need to spend a few pounds to encourage and protect this relationship.

Let’s dive deeper into what a good customer acquisition cost looks like, why it’s important, and how to spend well without affecting your marketing budgets.

What is customer acquisition cost?

A customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a measure used to determine how much a business needs to spend in order to gain a new customer. CAC marketing has fast become a popular procedure, as employers utilise this data to make business decisions.

Businesses will invest well when it comes to targeting a specific audience or even widening the doors a little. But without a proper plan or budget, you’ll soon run out of money.

That’s where CAC comes in.

Through simple maths, you’ll be able to see how much you spend on attracting a single customer. And determine whether it’s worth continuing this way or making changes for the better.

Why are customer acquisition costs important?

The cost for customer acquisition is considered as a vital part of any business marketing procedure. It allows you to spend sufficient time and resources on marketing campaigns which truly improve one’s consumer retention rates.

Once you’ve established solid methods for attracting and retaining customers, you’ll be able to figure out how to do it better – saving you time, money, and effort in the long run.

At this point, it’ll cost you less to retain your current customers, and even less to find new ones. So, it’s all about solidifying your relationship with your consumer base. But you need to invest time in understanding your average customer acquisition cost.

Are there different types of customer acquisition costs?

Yes, there are numerous types of customer acquisition costs you may come across. These vary from marketing campaigns to individual customer preferences. But remember, you should utilise ones that truly work best for your business.

Let’s take a look at different types of customer acquisition costs:

  • Initial CAC: This is the cost for attaining a customer for the first time.
  • Renewal CAC: This is the cost for retaining a customer. (This could be done once or repeatedly over a lifespan).
  • Reactivation CAC: This is the cost for regaining a customer who may have recently left or no longer chooses to interact with the business.
  • Market CAC: This is the cost for gaining customers in a specific sector, area, or country.
  • Customer CAC: This is the cost for attracting a specific kind of customer. (This might be based on their gender, age, or professional background, or even shopping interests).
  • Product CAC: This is the cost for gaining customers for a specific product or item that a business sells.
  • End users CAC: This is the cost for attracting customers based on how many the business’s licence allows.

How to calculate customer acquisition cost

There is a simple formula used when is comes to calculating customer acquisition cost:

  • CAC = (total cost of sales and marketing) / (number of customers acquired).

Employers need to add up all the money spent on attracting new customers. This may include processes on online platforms or through phone sales. After this, they need to divide it by the number of new customers gained in a specific period (i.e., like a business quarter or annual year).

For example, a start-up business spent £500 on social media marketing in a quarterly period. During this time, they gained 50 new customers. The business has spent £10 per customer as part of their CAC process. They will need to decide if they’re happy with this progress or want to increase their efforts for the better.

How to achieve a low customer acquisition cost

There are many ways things to consider when it comes to getting a good customer acquisition cost. You may need to spend a little more to reach a wider audience. Or make cuts in order to spend a little more wisely.

Whatever the process is, it’s always best to choose a method that suits your business budget and needs. And remember, you can always amend these numbers if and when needed.

Let’s take a look at ways you can achieve a low customer acquisition cost for your business:

Boost lead conversion rates

The first step employers should take is boosting your lead conversion rates. Conversion rates are all about finding ways to convince a potential customer (or lead) into an actual one who’s interacted with your business.

A popular software which helps track this well is Google Analytics (GA). This software helps identify how often customers interact with your website. For example, clicking on certain product pages or adding things to their cart.

GA also helps check whether people interact with your business through your web pages or on mobile devices. This will help you decide which to invest more money into. Whatever the statistics show, employers can utilise the numbers to successfully convert more potential leads into long-lasting customers.

Add value to your products

The next step employers should take is adding value to their products or services. Every business will have its own way of making themselves stand out from their competitors. But the real deal-clincher is giving them a reason to choose you over others.

For example, you can add value to your products using a customer retention strategy. Offer a £10 gift card or voucher for every transaction that adds up to £100 and more. Through strategies like this, value is added to your products – along with your brand-name.

Soon, customers will see the benefits of shopping with your business; some may even start recommending your brand to others. Whatever their positive comments are, be sure to utilise these new interactions to their fullest.

Introduce a CRM system

Customer relationship management or CRM is another great method used to keep on top of your acquisition rates. This procedure helps businesses track data from new customers, see how much their spending is, and even initiate a loyalty program for you.

You can even use CRM to manage things like emailing lists and marketing campaigns. Like, dealing with promotional campaigns or seasonal emails.

Whichever methods you use, your business will soon be on its way towards retaining customers for longer periods. Not only will it strengthen your consumer relations; it’ll also help establish better relationships with newer ones.

Think about your business future

When it comes to customer acquisition costs, you need to think about the overall picture for your business – and in particular, the future.

Set aside a budget for how much you’re able to spend on CAC. Base this on your individual capabilities – don’t copy what others are doing. Think about investing in both short and long-term projects.

It’s also best to think about tracking any ‘shares’ you’ve made on social media platforms. Interactions like this will outline how wide your brand-name has spread. And shed light on what audiences you may benefit from investing in.

Is customer lifetime value the same as customer acquisition cost?

No, customer lifetime value (CLV) isn’t the same as customer acquisition cost (CAC). However, they do often go hand-in-hand.

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the number of repeat purchases one customer has made with your business. This relates to a particular period – from their first interaction, to their last.

Both CLV and CAC are equally crucial when it comes to a business’s overall efficiency, longevity, and profitability. There are several factors to consider when it comes to CLV. For example:

  • Retention rates: This is the number of loyal customers who make repeat purchases with your business. When you concentrate on CLV, you’ll be able to increase the number of buyers without having to acquire new customers.
  • Sales value: This is when you can increase the sale of individual items through add-ons or incentives. Upselling is a sure-fire way to attract new customers – keeping them satisfied and loyal to your business.
  • Purchase frequency: This is when you consider how many times customers have interacted or bought something from your business. You can send them promotional offers or even gift cards to encourage multiple sales and purchase frequency.

Get further advice on customer acquisition costs with Love2shop

Whatever your business is, you can’t function without a steady influx of customers. And this doesn’t just mean getting new ones, it also means investing in your most loyal consumers.

Tracking customer acquisition cost can easily be utilised through offering gift cards and vouchers. At Love2shop, we offer a variety of rewards guaranteed to help boost your customer retention rates.

Whether you’re enticing new leads or rewarding loyal customers, Love2shop has the perfect gift card for you.

2024 will bring uncertainty – investing in loyalty will be key to growth

We are heading into the Year of Loyalty, where businesses that invest in their employees and customers will give themselves a platform for success.

Predicting what 2024 will bring is challenging – with the prospect of a General Election and the constantly shifting sands of economic policy have created a much more uncertain future.

Last year, we knew everyone was in for a rough ride and so it proved, with businesses and employees wrestling with rising costs and interest rates. But while 2024 may not be as clearly-defined, what is certain is that loyalty will be the most influential driver.

The experience of the last 12 months – and in some ways the last three years – has created in consumers and workers a greater sense of their own value – to themselves, the places they work and the businesses and services they use.

The businesses that succeed in 2024 will be the ones that recognise how to build and maintain loyalty in a more meaningful way.

Out with the old – sales and loyalty are changing

From a consumer standpoint, traditional loyalty programmes no longer have the influence they once did. Already we have seen the biggest supermarkets adjust their loyalty programmes so that rather than focusing on accumulating points, members get instant discounts at the checkout instead.

Price remains a strong influence, but that is falling. According to data from customer experience managers Qualtrics, 61% of consumers base their loyalty to a brand on the quality of the service or product and 47% on the customer service support. Only 43% base it on low prices. So the impact of sales – with the possible exception of Black Friday – is diminishing in customers’ eyes.

These significant shifts in consumer behaviour will filter through to all businesses in 2024. Consumers post-Covid have an increasing need to feel looked out for and protected from the unexpected.

Businesses that can offer wraparound care with tangible benefits – service packages for major expenses for example – will see real growth in 2024. But those packages need to offer real value at the right price. Never have consumers been more aware of what they are actually getting when they sign up for value-added services.

Make it too complex, too expensive or pay lip-service to the problem you’re claiming to protect them against and it could be very damaging to your business.

Retention is still king for employers

We’ve seen a lot of recent articles preaching retention for 2024 and we agree, retention is vital. We actually had this as a key point for 2023 and the message has not changed.

Recruitment remains challenging for business, with significant numbers of unfilled vacancies across the economy.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show almost a million unfilled vacancies in the UK right now. So it’s obvious that retaining employees is vital to growth.

Love2shop’s own Employee Value Report, published in September, told us that despite this need to retain staff, 4.4 million UK workers are considering leaving their job as they feel undervalued, with 1.5 million ready to leave without a new role to go to.

When asked why, 41% said they felt their contribution to the business was not acknowledged, 32% cited poor pay and benefits and 29% believed that loyalty is a one-way street and they did not matter to their employer.

That indicates serious disillusionment with employers – and that could become a crisis in 2024.

What’s frustrating is that the UK workforce is not asking employers for a lot. We also found that 90% would feel more valued by receiving a spontaneous gift card at work but 47% said their employer never gifts them anything.

Small regular shows of appreciation beyond the pay packet in 2024 are the key to employee retention. Employee discount schemes can be one solution, but many are complex and not valued by employees.

Consider offering employees discounts they can apply instantly. Everyday Benefits from Love2shop for example is a card employees pre-load funds onto at a 7.5% discount. So for example, if they load £100 on, they only pay £92.50. They then have £100 on the card to spend at more than 140 partner retailers.

Businesses that get it right will be in a strong position when the economy begins to truly grow again.

AI will find its place

This year AI has been the buzzword in business and that is unlikely to stop. However, we believe it will settle down and find its place in the ecosystem in 2024.

The rapid explosion of artificial intelligence in 2023 made it seem a bit like the Wild West, with even Google struggling to keep up!

But 2024 will see more businesses employ AI strategically. Used as a support tool to improve customer experience alongside human interaction it can help businesses manage more enquiries and ease some of the teething troubles growing businesses sometimes have with fulfilment.

According to global research firm Forrester, AI will be used more surgically, particularly by digital businesses, to support customer service delivery, however it also predicts that 40% of buyers aged 25-44 will rate person-to-person interactions as their most meaningful – so if customer loyalty is your goal, invest in people.

Spreading API-ness

APIs are nothing new, but we will see them deployed more by businesses to enhance their user experience.

Businesses working with partners to deliver key employee benefits or customer rewards will move away from engineering their own in-house solutions and instead will expect suppliers to provide seamless APIs that help them to deliver global-quality brand engagement and user experience within their budget.

Critically, the most important investments businesses will make in 2024 will be around experience – the workplace experience, the customer experience, the online experience.

Integrating Love2shop into your reward and recognition systems is a great way to enhance those experiences – opening up a mammoth catalogue of brands for recipients to spend with.

You can find details of how our API integration offers safe, secure real-time integration here: https://business.love2shop.co.uk/api-for-gift-cards.

Whatever happens 2024 will be a year of significant change for business. Attitudes and behaviours may be shifting but by using new insights to focus on what’s really important businesses will thrive.

The primary focus, as ever is on quality of products and services. But invest in your workforce and your customers. Create an eco-system around your brand that people want to engage with and be a part of.

That will make your business resilient, agile and ensure you’re ready to grow whatever surprises 2024 has in store.

Sales Promotions

What is a Sales Promotion

Sales promotions can be an effective way to rapidly increase the growth rate or revenue of a business.

Having an understanding of sales promotion techniques is a great way to further boost sales, as their short-term impact can boost sales figures, ensure targets are met and increase morale among your sales team, which will drive higher performance.

No matter how successful a company is, there are always times when we need to inject some life back into sales – the right promotion strategy is key to that.

Promotional sales are also a great way to grow a customer base over the long-term. Often promotions attract loyalty as they are seen as an advantage for customers. To create a successful sales promotion, you need to understand the target audience, finances, revenue streams and team data to ensure your promotion is likely to be beneficial. To achieve this, you must first look at the various sales promotion strategies, which this blog will explore.

What is a sales promotion?

Sales promotions are a type of marketing strategy, used by businesses as short-term impact campaigns. In most situations, a sales promotion is a temporary plan to boost sales – meaning it’s not always the best way to build long-term customer loyalty – though it can help as part of a loyalty strategy.

The main purpose of a sales promotion is to generate demand for specific products, services and any other offers. The rationale behind this is usually centred around meeting a deadline, or raising awareness of a new product. As a result, sales promotions are a major factor in motivating consumer buying behaviour. When done right, they can be a significant contributor to revenue generation.

There are a variety of types of sales promotions, such as…

  • A simple way of creating customer loyalty. The majority of those who use coupons are looking to save money when they make a purchase. According to statistics, 80% of first-time customers feel motivated to make an initial purchase when offered a discount of some form. 68% of consumers say that coupons help to generate loyalty.
  • Flash sales. Extremely short in length, flash sales are an agile form of sales promotion – creating a sense of urgency for customers to buy products. Stats says flash sales lasting no more than three hours have the highest transaction rates – 14%.
  • Loyalty cards. Another customer retention solution, loyalty cards go hand-in-hand with a deeper loyalty strategy. They help build customer loyalty by encouraging repeat purchases, which, through habit, creates a strong connection to the brand and increases the likelihood of retaining their business. Returning customers spend around 67% more than new customers.
  • In this instance, it’s why a customer buys a product – they’re in with a chance to win something. Customers are more likely to continue doing with a business they view as offering them the best value for money.
  • Free shipping. Data shows 70% of customers will abandon their baskets if they believe shipping costs are too high. Even offering free shipping is an additional cost to a business, in return more sales are made due to customer happiness so overall it can be a real benefit.
  • Free trials. One of the most commonly used sales promotions, free trials can cultivate a customer base through limited access of a product at no charge. Based on a study, some companies saw an average of a 66% conversion rate as a result of free trials.

What is the point of a sale promotion?

When successfully implemented, the purpose of a sale promotion includes employing a sales strategy. There are three primary modes of sales strategies:

  • Push strategy. In definition, push strategy attempts to move products away from the business towards customer – mainly via sales. It’ll be placed in location aiming to attract the attention of customers, such as at the point of purchase.
  • Pull strategy. A reversal of push strategy, pull’s effort is to convince customers to draw products away from companies. Discounts are the usual way this is done – such as buy one get one free sales. This is one of the more commonly used strategies businesses adopt, as it’s all about making a brand name more visible to the consumer.
  • Hybrid strategy. The basis of this strategy is a combination of push and pull. The push strategy is used to direct products, whereas the pull strategy encourages consumers to buy said products.

Setting your objectives

Sales promotion objectives typically aim to persuade customers to make a purchase, be that a product or a service. There are some factors to consider when thinking about implementing a sales promotion. We need to think about how much it’ll cost and if the cost/benefit ratio makes it worth it in the long run.

We saw a real life example of this in 2021. Alcoholic beverage firm BrewDog offered customers the chance to win solid gold cans only available in multi-packs – encouraging customers to buy them in place of products sold on an individual basis. The sales promotion was popular at first, boosting the brand’s revenue as customers wanted to win the cans, which the firm claimed were worth £15,000 each.

However, that popularity quickly went into reverse after it came to light that the golden cans weren’t actually made of solid gold, in fact they were gold-plated brass. Customers vented their anger on social media to the point is impacted the profits of the business. In order to remedy the situation, BrewDog CEO James Watt spent £500k of his own money to appease the 50 winners.

There’s also the question of does a sales promotion fits in with a company’s image? For example, a retailer selling luxury goods may find that reputation at risk if they hold too many sales promotions – as it may shift customer perception by making them look cheap.

Another element to consider is whether sales promotions continue to attract customers after they finish. We need to consider whether we are developing short-term loyalty from customers only interested in bargains. If, as soon as the sales promotion is over, their attention is diverted to another business offering them a better deal the value of the promotion needs to be reviewed. Data suggests that customers whose first transaction with a brand involved a discount of some kind are 50% less likely to return for an additional order.

Benefits of sales promotion

Advantages of sales promotions can offer a wealth of prosperity for businesses such as:

  • New leads. As well as boosting initial sales, new customers can be attracted by what a sales promotion offers them in terms of a discounted price.
  • New product awareness. Raising awareness of a new product perfectly coincides with the launch of a sales promotion, as it’ll expose the product to both new and old customers.
  • Selling surplus stock. A multi-buy sales promotion, or a clearance sale, can be used to sell overstock – leaving inventory open for new product launches.
  • Current customers are rewarded. To retain pre-existing customers is essential, the key for long-term success for any business, so rewarding them is a sensible strategy.
  • Last-minute revenue. If a business is just shy of meeting a target, a sales promotion is a great way to boost profits in a quick manner.

Disadvantages of sales promotion

However, sales promotions can also have a negative impact on businesses:

  • Devalued brand. By running sales promotions too often, businesses are at risk of devaluing their brand by appearing to lose any semblance of exclusivity.
  • Potential complications post-sales promotion. If customers are used to sales, they’ll become less engaged when products return to full-price.
  • Sales promotions lose impact. If they’re being used too often, a sales promotion won’t feel special for customers.
  • Reduce customer loyal. Pre-existing customer will feel ignored if sales promotions are only used to target new customers, resulting in the potential of losing their loyalty.
  • Conditions customers. Some customers will wait until there’s a sales promotion to buy products, making a smaller overall impact on your revenue.

Flexible promotion solutions

Motivating sales team to deliver the best sales promotions has never been easier thanks to our range of Love2shop products, which can be spent at some of the high street’s biggest names. Our Love2shop Gift Card has over 90 retailers, It’s the UK’s best-selling gift card, and can be exchanged a single store e-gift card for the likes of Amazon, ASOS, and Primark.

There’s also our Love2shop Contactless Digital Mastercard, which can be spent at over 120 online retailers – TK Maxx, John Lewis, The Range, and B&M being some of the choices available. After purchase, they’re instantly sent to the recipient’s email inbox. It can also be added to our mobile wallets, capable of being used in-store. Call us today on 0330 333 1201 to speak to an expert member of our team.

Get set for the ‘Golden Quarter’ – 18 ways SMEs can drive sales this Christmas

Springboard for success or harbinger of doom – not a warning from an am-dram Christmas panto, a focus on the importance of the Golden Quarter to small and medium-sized businesses.

October, November and December are critical for businesses of all sizes and sectors. Strong sales can help you hit the ground running in January and drive revenue. A weak performance can make the rest of the year a hard slog.

Jonas Bergström, head of product strategy and marketing at Extenda Retail, puts it like this: “The Golden Quarter is a time where retailers can make a majority of their yearly profits if they prepare.

“Hence, a successful pre-Christmas period can make or break the difference between the company having a successful or unsuccessful year.”

It’s a bit long for a Christmas card, but it’s a good point.

We’ve pulled together some useful advice for SME retailers and B2B businesses to help drive sales at this key time of year and set themselves up for a great 12 months.

A festive feast for all

It’s not just retailers who are looking for golden opportunities in the run up to the festive season. Businesses of all shapes and sizes across multiple sectors can also benefit from the surge in trading activity at this time of the year.

B2B businesses don’t get a free pass at Christmas either. The festive period is a time to remind loyal clients that they matter to you, with gifts and attention helping to reinforce relationships and help keep them on-board into the New Year.

With summer drawing to a close (yes, we know it barely opened), now is the time to start planning your festive marketing strategy. Competition up to the end of the calendar year will be fierce, so it’s vital to stand out from your competitors, particularly if you’re an SME.

Going for gold

For decades Love2shop Business has worked with around 150,000 businesses of all sizes to help them maximise the impact of their customer incentives programmes.

Our Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty offers an invaluable blueprint for any business looking to refresh its existing customer loyalty strategy or design one from scratch.

It’s a rich resource for small and medium-sized businesses looking for tips and advice on how to maintain and grow their loyal customer base.

One of the key insights it offers comes from a study by Bain & Company in partnership with Earl Sasser of the Harvard Business School. They found that even a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of between 25% and 95%.

Imagine increasing sales by that much during the Golden Quarter!

It’s not too late to make the Christmas connection

In the guide, Love2shop also details the importance of building customer loyalty, illustrating the value of customer recruitment and retention.

It found incentives inspire loyalty in up to 93% of consumers, returning customers spend 67% more than new ones and more than 70% will recommend a brand with a good loyalty programme.

According to the guide: “Simply put, customer loyalty is when a business creates within a customer a strong connection. Through engagement with its customer (reward schemes, customer service), product quality and brand values, it can earn favour over its rivals.”

Small and medium-sized businesses may only now be looking at this, while larger rivals may have been operating a loyalty and retention strategy for some time. But even if you start now, you can see benefits through the Golden Quarter and, by continuing through the year, you can increase those benefits over time.

Here are some great ideas to fill your customers with Christmas cheer – and none of them include singing!

  1. Sleigh it on social media: Consumer intelligence experts at Meltwater report that, as of January 2023 over 57m people in the UK were social media users with 86.4% on at least one platform. Get your festive offers out on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter) and Threads. Maybe you can even persuade your team to do a TikTok video for major impact.
  2. Crack open your mulled drink of choice and hold an event: If you have a bricks-and-mortar location, for the price of a few bottles of wine (or soft drinks) and some nibbles you can create a real buzz with a festive-themed event. Offer discounts, special deals and spot prizes to those who attend. Give it a twist with a competition – we love a ‘best Christmas jumper’ contest ourselves!
  3. Send out holiday cheer in an email campaign: According to Statista email marketing revenues are on an upward curve. They are projected to top $10bn (£7.9bn) in 2023. If you already have a good, GDPR-compliant customer database, now is the time to make it work. Create a campaign designed to engage customers – send messages out regularly, weekly for example, and give them early warnings about upcoming festive offers, exclusive competitions and promotions and new product information. Offering loyal customers ‘special’ treatment is a great way to strengthen your relationship with them.
  4. Dish out some early Christmas presents: Everyone loves a free gift. What better way to incentivise your customers and make them feel valued than by offering them e-code rewards? Perhaps that is driven be a promotional sales offer or by making a qualifying purchase. Or perhaps you run an event where any purchase can spin a wheel and randomly have a chance to win instantly. Giving customers the feeling of getting something valuable back can create a strong connection to your brand. Love2shop can demonstrate how e-codes can be delivered to recipients swiftly via email or text.
  5. Encourage customers to share the love: When we find a brand we love – and that seems to love us back – we want to share it. Referral experts Saasquatch claim 14% of customers offered incentives to refer your business will do so. Christmas is the perfect time to reward successful referrals, with Love2shop multi-retailer gift cards one of the most successful incentives for brand referrals.
  6. Say it from the heart: People like to have their heartstrings pulled a little at Christmas – and they like to see the personality behind the brand. Create some stories around your products and people. Use social media to build a narrative around who you are and be authentic. John Lewis does this brilliantly every year with its much-anticipated festive TV ad but don’t try to be them, give your communications your own, unique voice and tone.
  7.  Something special for someone special: Key customers are not only reliable and high value to our business, as our leading loyal clients often they are the starting point for positive reviews and the word-of-mouth recommendations that attract new customers. Christmas is a great time to say thank-you to those key customers, particularly if your business is B2B. A Christmas card with a gift card inside will help them feel appreciated and reinforce their positive view of your business. Love2shop are the experts here, offering personalised Christmas cards and multi-retailer vouchers to help you send a message to those special customers.
  8. Let them into the toy factory: If your business is retail, you know that customers often find deciding what to buy for whom stressful at Christmas. Retailers such as Amazon and Boots have nailed the trick of dividing products into sections such as ‘for me’, ‘for women’, ‘for kids’ etc. Take a look at your own product range and see if you can curate a festive collection to help your customers easily find the perfect gift.
  9. Launch a Christmas countdown: This is a great one for businesses that like to engage through social media. Launch your own Christmas Advent calendar. Create a series of offers, product highlights or opportunities to win that you can post and promote each day in the run-up to Christmas. It’s a great way to get social followers to interact with your brand and even drive purchasing decisions at this golden time.
  10. Make Christmas a holiday for all: Christmas is, of course, a Christian festival but your customer base almost certainly includes people of all faiths and none – and at Christmas most people like to take part in festive fun regardless of religion. Create your Christmas messaging thoughtfully, focusing on the season of goodwill and messages of giving and joy to make everyone feels comfortable and happy to join in with your Christmas activity.
  11. Season’s greetings: People love to feel loved – and a simple thank you can go a long way. Why not send out a heartwarming message, via email and social media, thank your customers for their support throughout the year. It doesn’t even have to be in response to a purchase, so long as you have permission to contact them, a nice festive thank you message will make them feel valued. If you like you could even add a little reward too.
  12. Think about those doing Christmas on a budget: The rising cost of living has affected people across society and many of your customers may still be feeling the effects. They may have even fallen away a little, with their expendable income shrinking. Offering them discounts or cheaper ‘stocking filler’ offers tells them you remember them and may ensure they make some sort of purchase from you in the lead-up to Christmas.
  13. Give charity or community projects some cheer: Ethical positions are having an increasing influence on both consumer and client habits. More and more, they are choosing to buy from retailers or work with businesses that have an authentic position on important environmental and moral matters. Smaller businesses can find space here too. By teaming up with a local charity or good cause such as food banks, local wildlife or environmental groups for example, you can make a real contribution to issues in your area and give your customers a reason to feel positive by supporting you.
  14. Get your customers into the festive spirit: Got a physical store or office? Great, crack open the tinsel and baubles and cry ‘Yuletide for all!’ Are you digital-only? No problem, you can use fun graphics, pictures and animations such as falling snowflakes when people click on your website. Whatever you choose to do, make it inclusive and fun and remember to keep the focus on what your customers need. Fun and purpose working hand-in-hand is a strong combination if you want to encourage customer loyalty.
  15. Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, we love sustainability: As we mentioned earlier, environmental matters are something that more customers are paying attention to. Do you offer products that are sustainable sourced? If so, make sure you tell people! For example, Love2shop works with some partners to supply biodegradable gift cards made from sustainable card, allowing them to reward customers responsibly. Businesses that demonstrate authentic environmental credentials are getting noticed for it as people place importance on doing the right thing. And we should all be doing our bit to save our world anyway, don’t you think?
  16. Spread the cheer with influencers: Social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok are increasingly populated by so-called ‘influencers’. These are people with large followings who may be prepared to promote your products. While they can be a powerful marketing tool, the costs can be astronomical. For small or medium-sized businesses, focus on identifying existing customers with followers say, up to 10,000, or contacting social influencers with this kind of audience that fit with your target customers. Businesses are often surprised that these ‘microinfluencers’ are aware of their brands and keen to work with them. Don’t be afraid of starting a conversation via their DMs (direct messages).
  17.  ‘Tis the season to make things sparkle: People associate Christmas with fun and colour, take advantage by changing the way you package up your products. Can you work your branding into a Christmas theme? Or include some little surprises within the package that make it memorable, like free festive-themed gifts. Don’t underestimate the power of visual appeal. Whether in-person or from a distance, with a little thought you can create a festive customer experience to remember.
  18. Timing is everything: Whatever you decide to put in your festive marketing strategy, choose when to activate it carefully. Starting your Christmas marketing push in August may just annoy people and have the opposite effect going into the Golden Quarter. Let autumn settle in and, once Halloween has been spirited away, give the snowglobe a shake.

Remember, incentives and engagement are at the heart of all successful festive marketing ideas. Many people are in the mood to buy and are primed to receive gifts, making it a rich time for brands willing to reach out and engage with them.

Similarly, for B2B businesses, the approach to Christmas is a time when giving thanks and appreciating those clients who have supported us over the last 12 months is front and centre. How you do it is up to you. No-one knows your customers or clients better. But at Love2shop our team of experts has worked across every sector of business to provide the platform and products on which successful customer campaigns are built.

When it comes to customer recruitment and retention programmes, we’re happy to share our decades of experience to make your Golden Quarter truly shine.

Get in touch with our team today or visit business.love2shop.co.uk to find out how we can help.

Love2shop helps make customer loyalty incentives sustainable with digital and biodegradable options 

Environmental impact and sustainability have never been more important to business – and the UK’s leader in gifting and rewards Love2shop continues to strive to make customer loyalty even more eco-friendly.

Gifting – primarily through gift vouchers or cards – has long been an effective way to incentivise and reward customer loyalty. To mark Global Recycling Day, we’re looking at how Love2shop can make rewards more environmentally friendly.

Love2shop already offered a no-waste option through its contactless e-Gift Cards. But many businesses still want physical products to send to customers while reducing plastic use and contributing to pollution through distribution. The solution was a ‘board card’ made from 100% virgin fibres. It is biodegradable and can be recycled up to eight times, but works exactly the same as a traditional plastic gift card.

“Our biggest challenge was sourcing a fully biodegradable product that didn’t compromise on the ease of use, nor the quality of finish without also placing a financial burden upon the customer,” said Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Love2shop Business.

“The sorts of materials that all companies deploy in gifting, engagement and incentive programmes will inevitably change over time so we wanted to be ahead of the curve.”

Love2shop worked with suppliers to create a recyclable board card that met those goals while offering the same simple yet effective incentives that businesses needed.

The product was initially tested in partnership with SunLife, the UK’s most popular provider of life insurance plans for the over-50s. With over 800,000 customers, SunLife has distributed a high volume of Love2shop Gift Cards to customers as a ‘thank you’ since becoming a partner in 2018. It was keen to find a more sustainable solution.

Jon Moore, Head of Operations, SunLife said: “As we continue to integrate new measures to develop SunLife’s approach to sustainability, our decision to use biodegradable gift cards is another positive step in introducing environmentally friendly materials into our business.”

The change has received positive feedback from customers and SunLife has now fully integrated the compostable cards into their welcome gift offering to customers.

Love2shop are the UK’s leading reward, incentive and engagement experts for business. They provide a variety of Love2shop gift cards, as well as reward platform technology to thank, retain and motivate employees and customers.

“We were delighted when we were approached by SunLife to help develop their work on sustainability,” said Frank. “We’ve enjoyed providing Love2shop customer reward gifting products to SunLife since 2018 – an ‘all-rounder’ gift that appeals to everyone – so this was a great opportunity to develop that relationship.

“The success of this product with SunLife reflects the broader business appetite for developing knowledge and expertise in the gifting sector to accommodate greater sustainability. Helping SunLife to create a more environmentally-friendly future has been an incredible achievement.

The biodegradable Love2shop Gift Cards are supplied by Swedish paper and board manufacturer Oppboga, with a metallic foil element supplied by British foil specialists Foilco.

Foilco’s metal coating technology allows for the card to carry metallic motifs and designs without affecting biodegradability or the recycling process of the Oppboga card.

The board card Love2shop Gift Cards can be recycled without separating the foil component, and will biodegrade in 12 months after use. Find out more about Love2shop at businessl2s.wpengine.com.

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Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty offers free insights to help businesses survive cost of living crisis

Businesses of all sizes need to prioritise investment in their existing customers if they want to survive the cost of living crisis. Love2shop’ Free Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty is filled with advice from the world’s leading experts on customer behaviour to help you create a successful customer retention strategy.

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty 2023 brings together insight from Love2shop, McKinsey, Mastercard and more to update you on the state of customer loyalty in 2023.

The value of loyalty

The cost of living crisis means businesses are looking more closely at how to improve customer value. Traditionally that means prospecting for new customers, but the latest research highlights how loyalty and retention make a more significant impact on revenue.

Far from just being a measure to protect earnings, our guide advises that investing in customers can bring a huge business boost. Research shows that retaining just 5% of a customer base can increase profits by up to 95%.

With the cost of acquiring a new customer five times higher than the cost of retaining existing ones, making customer loyalty cost-effective creates a real opportunity for businesses.

Download the guide now to discover how to build a strategy for customer loyalty, the true value of loyal customers and brand advocates and how to make data work to strengthen those relationships.

With rising energy and food bills causing shoppers to reduce spending and businesses reviewing budgets amid a cost of living crisis, everyone’s pockets are being squeezed to their limits. If your customers are not happy, they will be quicker than ever to explore other avenues.

Helping you get started

Our guide includes lots of research and insight to help businesses get started or improve their customer loyalty strategy.

This includes considering customer engagement technologies, such as flexible modular solutions like the Love2shop Engagement Platform. This allows your business to create campaigns driven by customer data and automate the core engagement functions you need. Being modular makes it a cost-effective way to implement a leading engagement tech solution while retaining the capacity for growth.

Share our customer expertise

“At Love2shop, we understand that customer loyalty is the cornerstone of any successful business, but it’s an evolving challenge,” said Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development for Love2shop.

“In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to not only retain customers, but to turn them into brand advocates.

“That’s why we’re delighted to offer our Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty as a free download. It aims to empower businesses with the knowledge they need to understand the true value of loyal customers, how to build lasting relationships, and how to harness data to drive customer engagement.

“It’s been proven customers may increase their spending by between 15% and 25% with businesses that have earned their loyalty.

“This guide is a testament to our commitment to innovation and our belief that by empowering business leaders with the latest insights, we can help them achieve long-term success.”

The full, comprehensive Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty 2023 can be downloaded by following this link.

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Introduction to Customer Loyalty in 2023

Consumer behaviour is changing more rapidly than ever. As we head into a challenging 2023, how can your business keep up?

As experts in customer behaviour, Love2shop have created a useful introduction to customer loyalty in 2023. Here, we’ll explain the basics: from the value of loyalty to your business to converting customers into brand advocates.

Invest in loyalty before attracting new customers

This year more than ever, making every pound work for your business will be crucial to your success. Instinctively, when businesses encounter trading headwinds like recession, they do two things – look at where savings can be made and explore how to attract new customers.

But improving customer loyalty can have a much more profound impact. The standard rule of thumb is that it costs around five times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one, but research from Bain & Company and Harvard Business School reports that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost margins by between 25% and 95%.

This is supported by best-selling marketing guide, Marketing Metrics, which states the probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than selling to a new customer.

So, investing in customer loyalty makes total business sense, allowing you to minimise your outgoings and increase your profits.

Being the cheapest doesn’t always secure customers

In a world where consumer is king and choice abounds, how can you build and inspire loyalty without creating a race to the bottom on price?

Understanding customers is crucial. Price is always a consideration but in 2023, customers expect more – get it right and you can make that work in your favour.

This year, we will continue to see the younger generation focus their attention on brands and businesses that share their ethical and moral positions. This is no longer about paying lip service to environmental or social causes by updating your social media logo, but having robust sustainability or diversity and inclusion policies – and offering meaningful support to charities and causes that matter to those customers.

And what matters to customers? Authenticity. If they’re confident you’ve taken action because you truly believe in it, that will positively influence their brand loyalty and advocacy.

Prices do still matter

While today’s consumers do weigh-up other factors, price is still important. Particularly in 2023 when customers will have less spare cash to spend.

This is where meaningful engagement can really work for your business by increasing customer loyalty.

Love2shop has recently worked with a large national builders’ merchant to create a successful loyalty programme applicable to their customer base covering sole traders up to mid-sized builders employing 100+ people.

The goal was to create a simple reward programme that customers would use to encourage greater loyalty and sustain purchasing by offering realistic benefits they would want.

Using the Love2shop Engagement Platform, our expert team was able to create a programme that rewarded customers with points for each purchase and allowed the business to serve up seasonal offers on products they wanted to drive.

The implementation of the reward programme resulted in a 91% reactivation of ‘dormant’ customers, (those with accounts who had not spent for a long time), and a 46% increase year-on-year in registered customer spending. Can you imagine the impact these increases could have on your own business?

Customer expectations are on the rise

Buyer journeys have always been important – but greater awareness of this among consumers has given them an even greater understanding of their value – something consumers will really begin to leverage this year.

Luke Ladyman, co-founder and chief operating officer at cashback website Cheddar, told Forbes that customer ‘savviness’ has reached unprecedented levels.

“Gen Z consumers are going through a very tough time, with many having not experienced a situation like this before,” he said. “This has spawned a much savvier consumer, one that is ultra-connected, engaged and pragmatic with their money.”

He added that customers in 2023 will be more alert to whether offers and incentives represent good value and those businesses that do will see a rise in customer loyalty and recruitment.

Now is the perfect time to review your customer rewards – are the discounts or rewards you issue to customers being redeemed? If not, consider a survey to find out why. Strong data will always make your campaigns better.

It may be that the discounts are not deep enough or the rewards take too long to accrue to a meaningful level. Perhaps what they get for them is not appealing?

Rewards that are simple to use and can be redeem across a range of retailers and items – such as Love2shop multi-retailer gift cards  – are the most effective way to recognise customer loyalty.

Offering rewards that are flexible and can be used to purchase what your customers really want have a stronger influence on loyalty than, for example, ladder-based reward systems where certain amounts of points trigger free gifts or third-party discounts.

Insight can help you personalise your customer reward offer. Alternatively, with the right customer loyalty strategy, or engagement platform, you can harness purchasing data to streamline the process and create even more effective engagement strategies.

Service, service, service

Anything you do to increase customer loyalty needs to be simple and intuitive. It also needs to work.

Poor service, whether online, via a customer profile or at the point of delivery, will derail loyalty fast.

Ecommerce giants such as Amazon and QVC have raised the bar on ‘fulfilment’ – delivering the product quickly and on the day it was promised. And excellence in customer service is a given.

If dealing with your business is a pleasurable experience, customers will return. And they will become brand advocates, posting reviews on your company website or sites like TrustPilot. These reviews are key to driving new customers through the door.

A simple affordable solution

So how do you build smooth, effective customer engagement into your processes if you’re a small or medium-sized business with ambitions to grow? Or a large multi-national with complex CRM systems to navigate?

The answer is modular. Love2shop’ two decades of experience in customer engagement has allowed it to create an engagement platform that only gives you what you need.

The core module is ideal for businesses starting out and looking for an affordable, off-the-shelf platform they can quickly integrate into their business. But for those looking for more advanced or bespoke functions, Love2shop Engagement Platform offers those as add-ons – so you only pay for the services your business needs.

In addition, you have access to a dedicated account management team which works with you to understand every aspect of your business, provides extra insights and solutions you might not have seen yourself and ensures  your platform delivers real results and return on investment.

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Is a Cost of Giving crisis looming for your business?

As Christmas approaches, UK businesses are facing a cost of giving crisis, whether they want to support employees through tough times or reward them for their efforts this year.

The problem: what do people really value when it comes to Christmas gifts – and what is seen as an empty gesture?

Love2shop – has more than 30 years of experience in helping employers get Christmas gifting right through good times and bad – so avoid potential pitfalls this year.


Employee gifts – give them something they appreciate

Christmas gifting in work is tricky. We may feel we know our employees and work colleagues well but according to the Motley Fool website, Brits on average throw away £32 million of Secret Santa gifts every year – which is a lot of waste!

Getting gifting wrong can also leave a sour taste, sending employees into Christmas feeling undervalued by a gift chosen with little thought.

If you’re considering offering gifts to your employees, ask yourself – do you really know what they want? Or ‘need’ for that matter.

Truth is, there is evidence at Love2shop – that recipients of gift cards are increasingly redeeming their gift cards in shops selling everyday essentials, which includes supermarkets. The ‘treat’ moment is now serving as something else.

If your employees might welcome the chance of doing an extra food shop or buying a household appliance over receiving a selection of wines, wouldn’t it be best to give them a choice?

Offering employees the flexibility to choose what they really want – or need – has a more positive impact.

Such non-cash gifts can also be given tax-free. HMRC’s Trivial Benefits allowance permitting you to give gifts up to the value of £50 for each employee with no additional tax to pay.

The Cost of Living – gifts to ease spending pressure

The cost of living and the cost of giving go hand-in-hand. As an employer you will already have seen employees beginning to struggle this autumn and winter with rising energy costs and general inflation.

To avoid embarrassment, take time to listen to how people feel. Speak to key individuals, even carry out an anonymous survey – see how people are feeling in your business and what support they would like to see.

You may find that they don’t really want the traditional bottle of bubbly or box of fancy chocolates, but something flexible, such as an exclusive festive-themed Love2shop multi-retailer Gift Card, which allows them to choose their own benefit. They can accept the gift without the risk of stigma attached to a ‘handout’ and choose to spend it on essentials like the weekly shop, new winter coats for the kids or little luxuries for the festive season.

To take things one step further, offering employees an Everyday Benefits Card is a cost-effective way to help them spend less on every shopping trip. By pre-loading funds onto the card at a 7.5% discount, they save on purchases across a range of retailers throughout the year. It’s a great way to offer longer-term support to your employees.

The Christmas party – don’t force the fun

Since Covid, the Christmas party has had a mixed return. Some people have been keen to get back to ‘normal’ while others remain more cautious – so what should you do?

Ask your workforce – there’s no point putting deposits down for a venue, food and entertainment if only a handful of people are going to turn up. Can they afford the taxi home, say? So run an internal survey to make sure you’re investing in the right treat for your staff.

If you do choose the Christmas party option, remember – similar to trivial benefits, HMRC allows employers to spend £150 per employee on an annual social event tax-free. Just remember, if you go over the threshold you have to pay tax and National Insurance on the entire spend, not just the difference and this threshold INCLUDES VAT – so don’t get caught out!

Alternatively, you may choose to go for a nice meal together. That way it’s easier to control who your group comes into contact with and to be respectful of those whose culture means they don’t drink alcohol or have specific dietary requirements. Again, this would qualify for the £150 per-head tax allowance.

Whatever you opt for, remember to consider additional expenses such as travel costs and baby-sitting. With everyone trying to balance their household budgets, travel or even hotel stays may be beyond employees’ reach this year so it’s a good idea to avoid additional expenditure for each employee.

You may decide to axe the Christmas party and offer Love2shop Gift Cards or digital e-codes instead. This gives employees the freedom to choose whether to organise a smaller get-together with work friends or offset some of the rising costs of Christmas this year. Love2shop e-Codes can also be scheduled to arrive via email at any time – even on Christmas Day – so it’s never too late to bring some festive cheer.

“Christmas gifting can be a challenge for businesses,” said Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Love2shop.

“The right course of action is complex. The ‘cost of giving’ isn’t just about how much it might cost the company in expense but how a company will be judged for its opportunity to show it cares and understands – which has a different sort of cost.

“Love2shop has more than 30 years of experience in gifting and rewarding and we’ve helped businesses get it right through recessions and recoveries. Gifting may seem more complex than ever but we have developed simple solutions so that employers can get gifting right for their workforce.

“Multi-retailer Love2shop Gift Cards and e-Gift Cards offer incredible flexibility. Employees can choose how a gift can be used – whether that remains as a treat, or goes on essential things. Similarly, gifting a pre-loaded Everyday Benefits Card which offers discounts all year-round will provide a longer-term feeling of thoughtfulness when colleagues feel valued, ensuring that your well-intentioned Christmas gift brings a smile to their faces.”

Everyday Benefits Cards and Love2shop are flexecash products. Flexecash is the prepaid card platform that issues flexecash Love2shop Cards. This facility is provided by Park Card Services who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue electronic money. FRN: 900016.

Love2shop Cards are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and as such we may need to complete an electronic identity check.

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