3 Steps to Creating Personalized Offers That Retain Customers All Year Round
For the arts and crafts retail giant Michaels, “Make Creativity Happen” isn’t just a tagline: it’s a company-wide mission. That means leveraging personalized offers to help customers express their creativity 365 days a year.
Typically, the demand for creative supplies ebbs and flows. But Michaels is addressing the seasonal slumps by rewarding key audiences with exclusive discounts. Here’s how the company is setting its programs up for success.
01 Align Personalized Offers with Consumer Tribes
Michaels is targeting three high-value groups that align with its brand identity. And it’s giving them exclusive discounts they can stack on top of other sales, which makes them even more appealing.
- Teachers: The US has 4.8 million teachers. They spend $1.7 billion of their own money on school supplies each year, and they love Michaels. According to a 2018 survey, Michaels is the number two retailer they shop with most. Michaels rewards teacher loyalty with 15% off purchases.
- Seniors: Seniors now make up 44% of the US adult population, and they hold 75% of the wealth. They’re also a perfect fit for Michaels. They have more leisure time for crafts and hobbies, more disposable income, and a passion for buying and making things for (and with) their grandkids. Michaels is rewarding seniors with an exclusive 10% discount.
- Military: Michaels honors the service of military members and their families by offering 15% off purchases. They also support veterans by encouraging them to apply for jobs. Supporting the military facilitates both loyalty and the goodwill of all civilians who support them.
02 Improve Customer Experience to Facilitate Greater Loyalty
Until recently, Michaels’ personalized offers to these groups were only available in-store and required manual verification. This created more work for already-busy store personnel.
It also meant shoppers had to prove their eligibility every time they made a purchase—which is not the best customer experience.
To remedy this problem, Michaels switched to digital verification and tied the personalized offers to its Michaels Rewards program. This enabled Michaels to deliver more value to customers, including:
- Quick sign-up. Shoppers simply sign up online for Michaels Rewards and indicate their segment. SheerID instantly verifies their eligibility, and they receive the discount.
- Broader savings. Shoppers can now apply the discounts to any online purchase, giving them access to Michaels’ full range of products—not just what’s in stock in the store.
- Streamlined verification process. Verify once, shop forever. Customers only need to provide basic information when they sign up for the reward program. From then on, the discount is automatically applied to every purchase made online or in person. When they shop in the store, they simply provide their phone number or email address during checkout to receive their reward.
- Opportunities for deeper engagement. When customers sign up for the loyalty program, they voluntarily provide Michaels with information the brand can use to create special offers and nurture programs that build and support long-term customer loyalty.
03 Leverage Personalized Offers All Year to Increase Demand
Certain times of the year are peak shopping for arts and crafts shoppers. Back-to-school and end-of-year holidays are two examples. With its personalized offers, Michaels can double-down on these key timeframes by creating targeted campaigns that keep the brand top-of-mind when shoppers are already seeking deals.
For example, Michaels could run a campaign that reminds teachers how much they’re valued during the annual Teacher Appreciation week in May.
Or for seniors, an evergreen demographic, the company could create special campaigns all year, with a nod to Grandparents Day in September.
And for the military, Michaels could honor military members and their families at key holidays like Veterans Day, the Fourth of July, and Memorial Day.
Appreciate Customers for Who They Are
Personalized offers, like those based on a customer’s identity, recognize what makes people special and tap into their deep sense of belonging to a specific group. And by tying the offers to its rewards program, Michaels is giving these groups even more reason to be loyal.
Members of Michaels Rewards have access to special “Members-Only” events, such as special shopping hours and opportunities to meet and mingle with like-minded people. They also receive additional perks, such as convenient, receipt-free returns and early alerts for sales.
By bringing specific customer groups into their loyalty program and giving them personalized offers, Michaels is enhancing their customer acquisition today, sustaining a better sales flow throughout the year, and deepening engagement that builds long-term loyalty.