The t-shirt industry is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce markets in the world. With an annual revenue of around $367 million dollars, chances are you or someone you know has contributed to the hype by purchasing a t-shirt online. This frenzy has led to steep competition, as t-shirt vendors are constantly looking for the next big marketing idea to acquire new customers.
However, the solution to this problem is simple: customer loyalty programs! By combining retention marketing with the industry’s high customer lifetime values and purchase frequency, your brand can provide an exceptional customer experience that shoppers will want to experience again and again!
Loyalty programs are more likely to succeed when customer lifetime values and average order value are high. When these metrics grow, it means that customers are both looking to purchase the products you sell and are willing to pay your asking price. If these two needs aren’t met, a loyalty program isn’t sustainable.
Thankfully, t-shirt brands have nothing to worry about! The growth of ecommerce has seen a significant surge in t-shirt sales online, with aspiring artists hosting and selling their designs in any number of t-shirt marketplaces. Thousands of new designs are constantly being uploaded, giving customers new products to browse through every day. This turnover means that both a brand’s average order value and a customer’s lifetime value can be extremely high.
With so many t-shirt designs on the market, competition is extremely fierce. As a result, many stores use acquisition strategies like inflated discounts to attract customers to their store. This may seem like a good idea at first, but it’s not a guarantee that these acquired customers will ever come back to your store. That’s where customer loyalty comes in!
How many times have you seen an ad, clicked on it, browsed through the website, and then promptly forgot the name of the store once you had closed the window? With so many ads flooding the internet at every turn, this is the reality of the marketing landscape.
T-shirt stores often fall victim to this phenomenon, as customers click an ad, purchase a product, and then never return. Account registration can help stop this churn effect by giving you the chance to build a relationship with your customers. This relationship is what will prompt customers to not only remember the name of your store, but also have them coming back.
Strong email campaigns can help develop this relationship, too. By reminding customers of promotions, featured products, and upcoming sales, you can clearly communicate your brand’s value to shoppers and keep them engaged in a conversation. If your store also has a referral program, you can use your loyalty program as a marketing hub that allows you to keep all messages branded and consistent. These considerations don’t go unnoticed by customers, and allow you to present yourself as one uniform store.
The visual aspects of your program are also important to consider. Shoppers choose to purchase specific t-shirts because they like the way they look, which makes social media extremely beneficial. Rewarding your customers for sharing your products on Instagram and Facebook mean more potential customers will be exposed to your attractive products and will want to purchase from you. This increases your marketing outreach while also integrating your loyalty program into your customers’ social lifestyles.
Finally, being well-branded is integral to the success of your loyalty program. Your rewards strategy should be a natural extension of the rest of your brand that integrates with your entire customer experience. That means that your loyalty branding needs to extend past colours and fonts in order to be successful.
The best way to do this is by relating the appeal of your products to your reward currency and program name. This will immediately remind customers of why they wanted to purchase your products in the first place, and assure them that members of your program are part of the same community. There are many examples of effective loyalty program names out there, and you definitely have the potential to add your program to the list!
Once you’re branded loyalty program is up and running, you need to get people engaged. Offering a variety of ways for people to earn and redeem rewards is a great way to do that. Rewarding your customers for every purchase they make, sharing experiences on social media, and writing customer reviews not only encourages customers to spend more, but also expands your marketing reach.
These actions also help support your brand’s reputation by showing potential shoppers that your existing customers are happy with their experience. Rewarding customers for referrals can help push your marketing potential over the edge, pushing your competition out of the way as new customers get excited about your brand. These earning methods, combined with transactional and experiential rewards, help round out your retention marketing strategy in a way that is very difficult to beat.
So what does it take to build the best loyalty program in the apparel industry?
1. Develop a program strategy which places excellent value and customer service at the core of your program.
2. Reward your customers for creating an account and sharing your products on social media to develop a lasting relationship with your store.
3. Provide multiple ways to earn rewards, focusing not only on dollars spent but on the complete experience.
4. Offer an integrated branded experience that reflects your products and their appeal to new and existing customers.
If your retention strategy hits each of these points, you are well on your way to building a loyalty program in the t-shirt industry that will keep your customers rocking designer threads and valuable loyalty for years to come.