Using Seasonality to Your Advantage in Customer Reward Programs


Shopping behaviour changes from one time of year to another. In the run-up to Christmas, sales of toys and high-value electronics tends to skyrocket. When it’s time to go back to school, uniforms and stationery experience a similar boom.

This phenomenon is not a new one. And it’s likely that it’ll be with us for awhile yet. Even a global event as unprecedented as the novel coronavirus did little to dampen spending. According to a poll of American parents by Deliotte, overall spend remains largely unchanged at around $529 (though there has been a significant shift toward the electronic equipment necessary for remote learning.

Of course, a child’s educational needs are a different matter than the amount we spend on gifts at Christmas. With incomes being depressed and unemployment rising, it remains to be seen whether shoppers will spend quite so much at Christmas.

Why do Seasonal Offers Drive Sales?

Time-limited customer reward loyalty programs are a tried-and-tested way to stimulate spending. They persuade shoppers that the reward might no longer be on the table in a few week’s time. This generates the much-vaunted fear of missing out, which can in turn lead to a purchasing decision. A product that’s available all year round for the same price is a product whose purchase can be put off to a later date. Removing this possibility therefore drives sales.

Customers Value Exclusivity

We all like to think that we have access to something that others don’t. This tendency is reflected in polling of customers. 79% of customers report that they will be loyal to brands if that loyalty is rewarded with exclusive benefits. This principle should form the bedrock of your loyalty program. Building an exclusive community helps marketers to tap into the areas of the brain which regulates loyalty, and which forms the basis for social cohesion. Do this on a seasonal basis, and retain customers on a lasting one.

Customers Value Knowledge

Similarly, we all like that feeling that comes with knowing things that others don’t. It provides a kind of empowering rush. When you’re trying to generate excitement about your upcoming events, you might inform customers via an email with the words ‘insider information’ appended, and possibly the customer’s name. This will lodge your brand into their memory, from where it can be recalled when it’s time to spend money over Christmas.

Customers Value Businesses that Share their Values

There’s a reason that so many firms appear to have developed consciences. When polled, customers consistently report that they are more likely to spend money with a brand that shares their values. Thus, certain times of year are an opportunity, not just to plug specific products and services, but to create a lasting impression for your business as a whole through charitable drives and other ‘big picture’ initiatives.