Retaining Customers Beyond the Holidays: Strategies for Continuous Engagement and Long-Term Loyalty

Nov 14, 2023

Kobie recently weighed in with Loyalty360 on the topic of retaining customer loyalty through the holiday season and beyond.

Holiday promotions have traditionally been seen as a means to boost seasonal sales. However, forward-thinking marketing and loyalty teams realize that these campaigns can offer much more. By tapping into the festive spirit, brands can cultivate year-round customer loyalty and engagement.  In light of current economic factors, such as increased price-consciousness and rising credit card rates, brands must think outside the box to create holiday campaigns that not only drive sales but also establish a foundation for sustained loyalty.

Kobie’s VP of Strategic Consulting, Chris Barnett, provided insights on the mindset of this year’s holiday shoppers, innovative ways to foster loyalty, and the role of technology in enhancing customer loyalty programs.


1. What are the latest trends in customer loyalty and rewards programs for the holiday season?

This season, many programs are evolving from generic rewards to tailored experiences and incentives, powered by data insights and delivered in engaging ways like gamification that tap into emotional motivations. There’s also heightened focus on financial outcomes, with tighter holiday campaign budgets being carefully aligned to audience insights and solid metrics to make investments work harder.


2. What types of rewards or incentives tend to resonate most with customers during the holidays?

Customers generally gravitate towards rewards that offer immediate value or create memorable experiences. It could also include rewards that can be shared with others. We also see greater customer engagement with socially conscious program elements or rewards tied to charitable contributions and sustainability during the holidays.


3. What are some creative ways to engage and reward loyal customers beyond the traditional points-based system during the holidays?

The holidays are a perfect time to engage members in fun and unconventional ways. Consider things like virtual holiday event invites, personalized gifts for VIPs, holiday-themed user content campaigns, exclusive holiday product access, or rallying members around charitable challenges. It’s about captivating members during a time when competition for their attention is fierce.


4. How can technology, such as mobile apps or AI, be leveraged to enhance holiday loyalty programs?

Mobile apps position loyalty programs beside holiday shoppers – before, during, and after purchases. That makes them the perfect platform for tactics like gamified holiday experiences, where challenges keep members engaged. Coupled with AI, these apps can deliver tailored push notifications and dynamic content, shaped by past behavior. It cuts through the holiday noise with what members really want.


5. What strategies can help Brands retain customers beyond the holiday season once the loyalty program ends?

While the holidays may be the year’s climax, it shouldn’t signal a halt to member engagement – particularly for those newly acquired during the holiday peak. Programs should plan for sustained momentum and enrich member profiles to fuel year-round initiatives. Creating a continuity of communication, paired with showcasing year-long member value through focused onboarding campaigns, should create a seamless transition into the new year.



Reach our strategy team today for more insights!