Learn how to use Shopify store credits according to seasonality throughout the year.
Marketing, as you know, has to be a consistent effort.
Seasonality is a key factor to consider when planning your marketing campaigns. Ecommerce seasonality refers to the variations in consumer purchasing patterns based on seasons, special days, festivals, etc.
Sales can be high or low at certain times of the year and you have to focus on all these trends.
But your Shopify website has a lot of elements, and each one has to be a part of your marketing plan.
For example, say you have elements such as store credits, loyalty program, wishlist, recently viewed products, etc. All these marketing strategies have …
It’s hard to keep up. And so, we’ve put together this article focusing on Shopify store credit strategies to make marketing easy for you.
Learn all about store credits, strategies and how you can easily incorporate it within your larger Shopify marketing plan by using our actionable calendar and ideas throughout the year.
Store credits are like reward points or loyalty points. They are a form of currency that retail stores give to customers. Shopify store credits can be used to make purchases from the retail store that has issued them. Store credits can be redeemed either in-store or online and frequently take the shape of real cards or digital codes.
Store credits are similar to loyalty points and reward points. Customers receive store credits from eCommerce brands for a variety of factors:
- Instead of giving cash back when a customer returns an item, retail stores give store credits instead
- Store credits are offered by brands as rewards for good behavior. For instance, for likes and shares on social media
- When customers create a customer account on the website
- Customers’ birthday
- For every purchase
Before we get into the key shopping dates and trends, it’s essential to learn the basics of how to maximize store credits use. Customers are always wondering how to earn more reward points. If you follow these best practices, you can ensure high ROI from your Shopify store credits.
Customers prefer convenience and ease when they shop online. Hence, pay attention to how you design the user experience on your website. Make it easy for customers to locate the store credits tab. One way to do so is to make store credits a part of the customer account page.
The Shopify customer account page has all the features of your retail store in one place, making it easy for customers to find information. In addition, this also gives customers an overview of their transactions, store credits, etc., which helps boost sales.
For example, say a customer has accumulated a significant amount of store credits and is on the lookout for products. The customer account page also has the wishlist section. All that the customer needs to do is go to the wishlist and buy the product using store credits.
Customers may not always know how to use eCommerce store credits or the many ways in which they can use it. And so, you will have to first, create many ways in which they can use credit points, and second, tell them about it.
For example, in your Shopify customer account page, you will also have other feature tabs such as ‘wishlist’ or ‘recently viewed products’. Create offers such as, ‘Use store credits to purchase wishlist items and get 5% off.’ This will also make it easy for customers to earn more store credits.
Think about level-based store credits programs—silver, gold and platinum, for instance. Tiered shopify store credits programs help increase engagement. Members of tier-based store credit programs receive better rewards, incentives, privileges, and more store credits as they advance to higher levels. It almost becomes like a game, where customers buy more, earn more points, and use more store credits.
Read about gamification of store credits and reward programs in this article.
For eCommerce brands, sales are not really consistent. There are a lot of fluctuations, and the reason is seasonal shopping trends. In this section, we look into a few such trends that affect eCommerce sales, and eCommerce reward program marketing strategies you could apply during these times of the year.
Here’s a calendar you could consider for your Shopify eCommerce reward program.
|MONTH||EVENTS||THINGS CUSTOMERS BUY|
|January||New Year’s Day||Warm winter clothing
New year gifts
TVs (before super bowl)
St. Patrick’s Day (USA)
|July||4th of July
|Tech and appliances
Tax-free day (USA)
|September||Labor Day (USA)
Festive Season (Asia)
Clothing and footwear
|Clothing and footwear
Holiday and travel gear
January 1, the beginning of the new year, is a good way to remind customers of store credits they accumulated in the last year. The idea is to motivate customers to use eCommerce store credits and earn more in the new year.
Here are some ideas:
- Campaigns around using store credits to buy New Year gifts for friends, family, or business acquaintances
- Send customers messages via your different marketing channels to remind them of the store credits amount
- Gives customers ideas on how to use store credits
V-Day is on the 14th of February, and it’s a good opportunity to boost the use of store credits. Customers are eager to purchase the best products for gifting. But many of them are on a budget. That’s where store credits come into play, allowing customers to purchase high-value gifts using their store credits.
Here are ideas for V-Day promotions with Shopify store credits:
- Persuade customers to spend more by promoting ‘buy one, get one’ if they use store credits to make the purchase
- Reach out to customers who have been inactive for a long time. For example, ‘we miss you. Here is our way of showing we love you—free 500 store credits. Offer only on V-day’
- Grow your loyalty program sign-ups by offering store credits to those who join the program on V-day
The summer holiday season is another time when consumers tend to shop a lot—for vacations, travels, etc. And hence, a good time to promote your eCommerce reward programs. Promoting summer products such as hats, summer clothes, sunscreens, cosmetics, bags, etc. is easy and hence you could tie in store credits with these products.
- If you don’t have relevant products in your inventory, partner up with brands that have. This also helps improve customer engagement
- Don’t ignore the post-purchase customer experience. Create a thank you message and entice customers to shop more with the store credits they earned from their summer shopping.
School reopening is a high-sale time for retail stores that sell related products such as school bags, lunch boxes, uniforms, books, and stationery.
How do you maximize your sales?
By offering double or more store credits on the purchase of these above listed items. This promotion works in your favor in multiple ways.
- Customers become more happy with double store credits and tend to buy more
- You can get rid of your inventory from the last year because this offer will increase sales
- Customers would buy more during this time or in the near future with the accumulated store credits
Another way to use Shopify store credits during this shopping season is to cross-sell and offer more credit points when customers convert on a cross-sell.
For example, if a customer buys a lunch box, recommend water bottles and school bags to them. And if they buy those products, offer more credit points.
Emotional marketing works wonders, and Mother’s Day is an opportunity you can use to create special store credit campaigns. Motivate customers to send gifts directly to their mothers. This way, you not only boost Mother’s Day sales but also grow your contact lists.
Here are some ideas:
- Create time sensitive offers. Start much before Mother’s Day so that customers purchase gifts in time. For example, ‘Order a gift for your mother before this date and get free store credits for your next purchase’.
- Offer store credits instead of cash back. Encourage customers to spend more by rewarding them with store credits if they shop over a certain amount.
- Offer bonus store credits on classic Mother’s Day gifting items such as flowers, chocolates, greeting cards, jewelry, etc.
- Target new customers by offering extra store credits to first-time purchases who are buying Mother’s Day gifts.
Halloween isn’t really a shopping event, but it’s an event when customers tend to buy costumes, candies, and spooky decor. This is also a time when retailers offer discounts on unsold inventory items.
Here are ideas that work for eCommerce businesses:
- Connect your store credits campaign with social media platforms. As Halloween is highly associated with visual content, use the opportunity to increase your social media followers and vice versa reward program sign-ups from your existing social followers
- Offer double store credits on unsold items in your inventory to increase sales
Black Friday Cyber Monday sees the highest number of customers shopping online—last year 76% of consumers shopped online during BFCM. Customers shop more during this time because of the discounts and price benefits. Now, if you add store credit benefits, you can maximize your sales.
According to psychologist Daniel Kahneman, human beings make two types of decisions—snap decisions made on impulse and logical decisions. Adding store credits to BFCM sales can drive both these types of purchase decisions.
Here’s what you can do:
- Assign different store credits for different products
- This plays with the customer psychology — they feel like they’re earning points for buying every product
- While some customers might hesitate to buy high-value items, almost all customers might be willing to buy low-value items if they can earn credits for those purchases
Read how you can combine store credits with your BFCM advertisement strategy in this article.
The wedding season differs from one country to the other. Whatever time of the year it is in for you, it’s one of the best times to create store credit strategies, depending on the type of your products and services.
Here are some marketing strategies to run around the wedding season:
- Promote loyalty and reward points on bridal wear, party wear and wedding outfits
- Offer more credit points on luxury items such as bags and accessories
- Create a wedding gifting section on your site and offer store credits
- Create a strategy around the wishlist section—for example, allow the bride and groom to share their wishlists so friends can buy those items as gifts and offer double store credits on those purchases
Now you have a calendar ready specifically for your Shopify store credit or Shopify reward program.
With this calendar, even if you miss out on one event, you can get a head start on the others for the following months.
But to help you set up all the eCommerce features such as wishlist, reorder, recently viewed products, and store credits, you will require a Shopify customer account page app.
You need a customer account app that will hold all the marketing features in one place and give customers an easy and enjoyable shopping experience.