When you take a look around you, you’re always targeted by ads, offers and limited time discounts. They’re in print, on buildings, and everywhere you go online; but what are the most effective methods used by the most lucrative brands? And how can we expect them to evolve in the years ahead? Let’s take a closer look at 3 notable examples of popular techniques used to attract and retain customers.
Remove friction, increase sales
Netflix rose to the top of the streaming world in large part due to their willingness to offer 30-day free trials all over the world. The clever thing about this move is that they knew that after 30 days, you’ll be interested in many shows and desperate to continue watching.
There was, however, the frictional element of the first payment which needed to be removed if the funnel was going to work as intended. Setting up a payment plan along with all payment details is often a complex and time-consuming task. That’s why the Netflix team kept everything simple by taking payment details electronically as part of the registration process for the free trial. They then set the paid subscription to automatically begin after 30 days, while continuing to learn about the user’s likes and dislikes during that window.
By having an entire month of user data, Netflix was able to retain millions of customers by recommending shows they knew they would like. The fact that all a user had to do was simply continue watching meant that the transition to paid use was hardly noticed by them. Now that they have attained market dominance, Netflix has removed the free trial options.
Given Netflix’s unstable position, it’s possible that trials will officially become a thing of the past. Instead, there’s talking about a cheaper ad-supported version designed to steer people away from disruptive entrants like Disney+ or HBO Max.
Who doesn’t love free stuff?
No deposit bonuses that are offered by online casinos are another great example of schemes designed to attract new potential customers. By offering things like free spins, online casinos are attempting to entice players to start playing in their casinos. Because they don’t have to deposit money to activate the bonus, they will feel like it won’t hurt to try.
Casinos want players to get a taste of a particular game or the casino itself, and since the selection of products and services today is practically endless, one must try to sway the customer to their side and stand out. With savvy players always looking for new ways to have fun online, we can continue to expect a raft of new types of bonuses to keep flowing.
When points matter
The cost of living crisis and inflation in many markets means that household budgets are being stretched in a way they haven’t been for a long time. Supermarkets have come up with their own ingenious way of retaining customers. In-store offers and discounts have long been the norm in every type of store — not just supermarkets — so many shops needed something to stand out from the rest of the market.
Target’s loyalty program was the market leading initiative in this space. The company used an in-depth knowledge of each shopper’s habits to offer personalized discounts. This gave rise to store loyalty cards and points systems where the more a shopper bought, the more they would earn in loyalty points.
Nowadays, shoppers can redeem their points for discounts applied in store, extra products at the checkout, or sometimes even products and services from third parties. The idea here is to turn an everyday action (paying for clothes and groceries) into something which leads to a desirable reward, in addition to the products themselves. Stores are then able to produce greater brand buy-in, while customers feel valued and have an attachment to a particular chain, regardless of how similar the rest of the market is.
These types of offers are not likely to go away any time soon and are set to gather pace in the 12 months that lie ahead. Because of the unstable situation around the world right now, we can safely expect to see supermarkets double down on their offers and loyalty schemes in an effort to maintain their customer bases.
Now that you’ve heard our thoughts on some of the common methods for retaining customers, can you identify if you’re “guilty” of some of them?
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