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After the frenzy of holiday buying is over, many e-commerce companies struggle to convert their holiday purchasers into regular customers and drive revenue at the start of the year.

You probably had an influx of new buyers purchasing gifts during the holidays, but many of them may not be interested in buying again. In fact, roughly 80% of first-time holiday buyers will never make a second purchase from your brand.

Holiday customers may not easily convert into loyal, long-term buyers because they are often buying a gift for someone else; but that doesn't mean you should give up on them entirely. Instead, using the data you've collected about them, find new ways to engage those buyers authentically.

Don't let holiday buyers make one purchase and then slip away forever. With the right e-commerce marketing strategy, you can encourage them to buy again and become loyal customers. Here's how.

Holiday customer data can be tricky

During the holidays, targeted ads may bring some unusual traffic and new customers to your website. However, many of those new holiday buyers might not fit the profile of your usual buyer, and it can be hard to learn what they're actually interested in buying.

For example, a customer who purchases a gift for a friend's child may not have children of his own, so he probably won't respond to your next couple of emails offering deals on a new toy or children's clothing. That is why tracking customer data during the holidays is so tricky.


As a B2C marketer, you have to better understand those new customers and what they really want. During the purchase process, you should gather as much information as possible about your new buyers—including age, location, purchased items, and more. Try using a "gift" check box on your order form so you know when they're buying a gift for someone else. Use that information to learn whether holiday buyers fit your ideal e-commerce customer profile. Then, create a segment of "new holiday buyers" that you can start to market to more specifically, based on that data.

Keep buyers engaged in 2018

Hopefully, when your holiday buyers first made a purchase, you immediately executed a solid welcome campaign that set expectations and started a conversation. Now that it's a few weeks after the holidays, you can move onto your next marketing effort to encourage their next purchase. We recommend a simple email with a discount on their next order. It's almost like saying thanks for becoming a new customer, and it really does help encourage that all-important second purchase.


A campaign with an offer like that Van's ad encourages a second purchase because it's based on a solid understanding of the buying process. If a new customer bought a gift for a friend during the holidays, it's entirely possible she looked at a few products for herself as she browsed.

By offering that type of coupon, you increase the possibility that holiday-gift buyers will come back and buy themselves something from your site as well. A coupon could be the offer that pushes them over the edge to make the purchase.

If that doesn't work, here are a few other things you can try to drive a second purchase:

  • Personalized emails with product recommendations
  • A loyalty program that includes rewards for every purchase
  • A gift card in exchange for feedback about your brand in a survey
  • Retargeting ads on social channels for specific products 

Even if holiday buyers continue to be unresponsive, try getting a little more creative. These customers are really low risk, so you can send a different type of campaign and see whether it sparks a response. There are no wrong answers when trying to reengage holiday buyers. A post-holiday marketing campaign is key to increasing the average lifetime value of your holiday buyers, and it is completely worth the effort.

Encourage long-term customer loyalty

If you're able to successfully engage holiday buyers and drive a second purchase from them, then you're in great shape to drive revenue in 2018. Customers who make a second purchase from your brand are twice as likely to make a third purchase, a fourth, and so on. If you're able to convince one-time holiday buyers to buy again, you're well on your way to turning them into your next loyal customers and creating a consistent revenue stream for your e-commerce business.

Simply keep working to market to them throughout the customer lifecycle: Send personalized offers based on their interests, engage them across multiple channels, and don't forget to take their feedback into account. The more information you have about these buyers, the better you'll be able to offer them relevant marketing that they're likely to respond to.

With the right combination of marketing tactics, you can turn these valuable new buyers into loyal and long-term customers.

Looking to engage your buyers in 2018? Download our latest report, which walks you through eight critical campaigns for e-commerce marketers in 2018.

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Post-Holiday E-Commerce: Convert One-Time Buyers Into Loyal Customers

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Zaius combines a single customer view with real-time, cross-channel marketing and attribution, empowering marketers to drive more repeat purchases and maximize customer lifetime revenue. It's the first CRM built specifically for B2C marketers. To see how other top marketers drive repeat purchases and increase customer lifetime revenue, check out our latest podcast series, The Empowered Marketer.