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THE CALM AFTER THE STORM

Reading Time: 3 minutes
THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

Many of you over the last few months have invested in a click and collect or delivery service either online or via an app. While they’ve proved a lifeline in surviving the coronavirus pandemic, allowing customers to order contactless, they can also provide a valuable marketing tool that can be utilised far beyond the crisis to help retain those first-time customers and drive sales further. But are you using yours effectively?

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

Understand your customers 

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

With online and app ordering you have a wealth of information at your fingertips, from what your customers like to purchase, to how much they spend, to when they like order. Now things have calmed down and normality is returning you should find time to look at this data and use it to target customers with specific offers that will interest them, encourage them to order again and potentially spend more. Remember, you don’t have to target everyone in one go, you can choose specific groups, for example by age, location or order history.

Retain more of your customers

Run time-limited special offers for your new customers to encourage them to return. A simple e-mail saying “Did you enjoy your experience with us? Why not order again and receive 20% off?” You want to create an order history so it becomes a habit. Don’t forget your regular customers too. Why not thank them for supporting you during this challenging time and reward them with a freebie on their next purchase.

Incentivise your customers to return

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

With the competition increasingly opening up and pubs and restaurants coming back on board next month, you’re naturally going to lose some of those customers that came to you while they were closed. Don’t assume you can’t get them back though. Identify those customers that haven’t ordered in a while and send them a friendly reminder that you are still there. A simple “We haven’t seen you for a while,” message along with an incentive to order, such as 10% or 20% off their next order sent out at the start of the week, will do the trick. 

Special occasions

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

Depending on the data you gather, you may be privy to when your customers’ birthdays are so why not offer a freebie to celebrate? Or run a special offer to celebrate their year anniversary from when they first ordered with you.

Push notifications

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

Sending a message directly to customers’ phones is a great way to get an instant reaction. If, for example, you have a slow evening and you’ve got several pies left over, send out a notification for half price pies, or free chips when customers buy a pie. On your slower days, you could offer two cod and chips for a set price or run free delivery to encourage uptake. 

Rewards for regular orders

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

Loyalty schemes are a great way to encourage customers to buy from you more regularly so set up a simple system whereby customers receive a free meal on their tenth order. Or you could stagger the reward so that the value gets higher the more times they order. These could be tailored to the seasons so you might want to offer a free hot drink in winter or a cold drink in summer. 

Keep up the communication

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM - customers

Customers have enjoyed shopping locally and supporting small businesses during the pandemic so keep in touch with both new and regular customers by sending out an e-mail newsletter. Tell your customers what you’ve been up to, flagging up new menu items, maybe introducing a member of staff and letting customers know what else is going on in your area. This is a great tool to promote any local events coming up that might benefit your trade. 

Why not get started by building your mailing list, Mailchimp is a great tool that can integrate with so many of your SaaS and Epos platforms.

The great news is Mailchimp is free for up to 2000 contacts.