The pandemic induced lockdown forced everyone to buy groceries online. A lot of brick and mortar stores shut and shifted to the online space.
Consumer interest in online grocery delivery rose by 140% in 2020. The food and beverage industry also saw a huge influx of new businesses.
This increased competition for consumer attention – to attract more customers and sell more.
That’s why brands started to look for ways to attract customers and make it easier for their customers to buy food and beverages online.
In came Flits – the best Shopify app for customer account pages, for food and beverages stores. One of the app’s add-on features – store credits – has proven to be extremely beneficial to food and beverages Shopify stores.
We’ll tell you how and how you too, can use Flits Store Credits to boost your Shopify food and beverages business growth.
How to use store credits in the food and beverage industry
1. Offer store credits when customers sign up for the newsletter
Food and beverages is a vibrant space. There are always new products being introduced. Consumers like to stay aware about all that’s new and trendy.
Brands, on the other hand, have a lot to share – new products, discounts and deals, recipes, informative articles, blogs, etc. That’s where the newsletter comes in.
With email being one of the channels with the highest open rate, most food and beverages brands have their own newsletters, which they send out via email.
If your Shopify food and beverages store has a newsletter, you can offer store credits when customers sign up for it.
Here are a few cues to make this a success:
- Tell you customers that they can earn points if they sign up for the newsletter
- Make this announcement prominent on your website
- Share this message on your thank you page
- Run special social media campaigns to get customers to sign up to your newsletter
- Promote your newsletter sign-up store credits campaign through collaborations with other brands or influencers
Offering store credits for signing up for your newsletter will not only get you more subscriptions, but it will also increase your sales. How? The customers who’ve got store credits will definitely come to your site to use the credits.
2. Offer credits to sign up for a customer account page
A customer account page holds all the details of customers – name, delivery address, contact, purchase history, store credits, etc.
It has many plus points. Customers can find all their purchase details, track orders, request returns, etc. from this page.
Food and beverages online stores can gain insightful customer data from this page and use it to personalize deals and marketing campaigns to target customers for more sales.
But a lot of times customers don’t understand the value of signing up. At times, they are hesitant as they don’t want to share their personal details.
To encourage customers to sign up for the customer account page, you can offer them store credits. That way, they get to enjoy the benefits and ease of shopping that comes with the sign-up, and you get to increase your sales.
Customers who have received store credits would make more purchases from your site. And hence, getting customers to register for a customer account page is a win-win for all.
Want to set up a customer account page on your Shopify store? You can easily do so with Flits.
3. Offer first-purchase store credits
Unlike shopping from physical stores where you can touch and see the item, shopping online is all about trust. Trust is especially hard to build when it comes to food and beverages, because quality, freshness and taste are extremely important parameters.
For 81% of customers, trust is one of the biggest concerns when shopping online. And that’s why it takes a lot of time before new customers make a purchase on your food and beverages online store.
That’s where store credits come in — you can offer store credits to shoppers who purchase from your site for the first time.
This will ensure:
- Your first-time customers will come back to your store to use the credits
- Helps you build a long-term relationship with customers
- Entice new customers to make purchases from your store
- Build trust for your customers
- Make your new customer feel good as receiving something for free has a feel-good factor attached to it
4. Offer credits to those who make repeat purchases
Next, when your new customers come back to your store, offer them store credits again. Did you know 41% of eCommerce store revenue is generated by just 8% of its customers?
That means repeat customers bring more revenue.
Psychologist Robert Cialdini talks about the social psychology of reciprocity — when you give something little to your customers, they give you back more.
In the case of food and beverages online stores, when you give some incentive to your customers, they return to your store to buy more.
Here’s a simple example to understand how this works: At some point you might have gone to your local grocery store and fallen short of cash. And the grocery store owner told you it’s on them, or that you could pay it on your next purchase.
Similarly, you can offer store credits to customers who come back to buy more from your store. And then, give them credits every time they shop from your store.
As mentioned above, a returning, repeat customer is much more valuable to your store than bringing new customers every time.
5. Offer reorder store credits
Another way to use store credits for food and beverage Shopify stores is to offer it when customers reorder the same items on your site.
This will also help you manage your inventory well, because when customers reorder items, you can assess its demand and stock your inventory accordingly.
In a nutshell, your store’s reorder rate (the amount of reorders) is also a metric for your customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.
Here’s an example from Domino’s – customers get points on every pizza they order.
6. Offer store credits towards subscriptions
Subscription models are becoming increasingly popular in the food and beverages industry. These models work well for both the customers and the brands.
For example, there are many brands that offer subscription boxes for vegetables and fruits. By ordering these, customers can get a variety of supplies delivered to their doorstep without having to order it every week.
Brands can make their subscription offerings more exciting by offering store credits. But why offer store credits to subscribers?
Because here’s how it helps:
- Customers can get more for their money
- It offers customers a new value proposition
- Repeat customers generate 40% of a store’s revenue
- Stores can increase their average order value
- Stores can predict their monthly revenue
- It can help stores reduce retention spending
- It’s convenient for customers to buy a subscription rather than place orders every time
- Customers and brands develop a long-term relationship
- Customers who earn points are less likely to switch to your competitor brands
7. Store credits for reviews and ratings
For eCommerce stores, reviews and ratings dropped by customers are social proof. The more positive reviews and good ratings that your store has, the more new customers you can attract.
But most people have a habit of sharing a review only when they have a negative experience. We tend to write bad reviews freely, while we rarely care to write a review when we have a positive experience.
So, in order to gather positive reviews, you will have to offer an incentive to your customers. That’s where store credits come in.
You can offer store credits to customers in return for sharing a review or ratings. 95% of customers read reviews before purchasing from a new brand. This means, if you put efforts into collecting reviews, it can help you attract new customers and increase your Shopify store revenue.
8. Offer store credits for referrals
92% of people trust recommendations from family and friends more than advertisements and promotional messages.
In the food and beverages eCommerce space, with so many new brands popping up everyday, it can get difficult for customers to tell the good from the bad, and fact from fiction without trying out items.
That’s where referrals come in the picture. Referrals help to build trust in new customers.
While referrals mostly happen organically and naturally, there are certain things that you as a Shopify food and beverages store marketer can do.
Do this: offer store credits to your customers who share referrals and bring your new customers.
But there’s a catch. You have to create a foolproof model to share store credits. Here’s how you can do that:
- Offer store credits to your existing customers when their referrals make a purchase from your store
- Offer the new (referred) customers store credits for their first-purchase
- You can make the referrals program exciting by offering variable credits – For example, refer 1 friend and earn 20 credits. Refer 2 friends and earn 50 credits
9. Offer store credits when customers share user generated content
Did you know Instagram-worthy food items (those that look attractive) are higher on customer preference compared to items that look average?
We all have that one friend who doesn’t allow us to eat our food without photographing it and uploading on social media. Don’t we?
You can leverage this customer preference with the help of store credits. Offer store credits to customers who share content such as photos and videos of your products on their social media accounts.
Do this: Let customers know through your website, email, or social media campaigns that they can earn store credits when they share images or videos of your products on social media. That way, you can easily boost user generated content.
For example, a customer buys a beverage from your store, makes a mocktail and shares the image. It’s a great opportunity for you to use this user generated content. You can use it in different ways – on your website, on your social media page, in promotional communication, etc.
11. When customers submit feedback
Let’s give you a simple example. You’ve gone to a mall where you see a couple of restaurants. You choose to go to restaurant ‘A’ but as you’re about to enter, you notice from the glass doors, there’s not a single customer in that restaurant. Next door, there’s restaurant ‘B’ that has many customers. What do you do? You decide not to go to restaurant ‘A’, instead go to ‘B’.
We humans tend to trust social proof a lot. When someone else does something, we feel more confident in doing the same.
The food and beverage industry is highly dependent on reviews, social proof, and feedback. With new cuisines and food stuff being introduced every day, you will need customers to share their feedback.
Their feedback can help you assess customer preference and make your products better. Moreover, customer tastes and preferences are always evolving, and if you want to beat your competitors, you have to have a pulse on the trends.
That’s where store credits can help you. Offer store credits when customers share feedback. That way, you can collect data from the feedback and you make sure those customers will come back to your store to use the store credits.
12. When you upsell and cross-sell to customers
It’s possible that your customers browse your site for a specific item but it’s unavailable at that moment. Or, that you don’t stock it at all. But, you have alternatives.
What should you do? You could offer alternatives and recommend similar products. That’s what upselling and cross-selling is all about.
Upselling is when you recommend an alternative product of a higher value as well as of a better quality to your customers.
Cross-selling is when you recommend a complementing product to your customers. For example, when a customer adds bread to their cart, you could recommend jam, cheese and butter to them.
If customers buy through your upsell and cross-sell campaigns, you can offer them store credits. That way, you’re increasing your average order value and giving them something more in return. Besides, you’re making sure these customers return to your site to buy more by using the store credits.
Here’s an example: Chick-Fil-A-One. They give 10 points for every $ spent to customers. And once the customers reach 1000 points, they become eligible to join the silver membership tier. By upselling and cross-selling, you’re boosting customer spends, giving them more credit points, and hence, bringing them closer to more value from buying from you.
Over to you
Now you know there are so many ways in which you can use store credits for your food and beverages Shopify store! But store credits work best when you make them visible.
One way to make them easily visible is to combine store credits with your customer account page. The number of people who prefer to sign up for customer account pages on eCommerce sites has gone up. And hence, it is the best place to add store credits.
Flits handles all your customer account page and store credits tasks for you so you can be at ease and focus on the more strategic aspects of your Shopify food and beverage business.