21 April 2020

Continue collecting customer data during COVID-19

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by Mikaela Kornowski
For most retailers, the coronavirus probably feels like it’s setting your business back at the very least. While you likely can’t have the face-to-face time you need to generate in-store sales, there are still some ways you can continue collecting valuable customer data from a safe distance.
Surveys and quizzes
With all the extra down time, many shoppers are glued to their phones and are more willing to take quizzes, surveys, or submit other feedback simply for something to do. Wondering what styles or products your customers are going to want most after social isolation? Ask them!
Pick a few styles or colors, feature them in a survey, and let your shoppers cast their votes. At the end of the survey, ask for a few key pieces of contact information, like email, first and last name.
Special offers and incentives
To encourage more online sales, many retailers are offering extra discounts than they normally would have planned for this time of year. Even if you don’t sell on an ecommerce site, you can still use this strategy to collect data in the meantime.
Promote a special incentive—such as 20% off, a small gift, or entrance into a drawing—for shoppers to redeem once your store re-opens in exchange for submitting their email or creating an account with your store. Use your social media to spread the word, and collect new customer information along-the-way.
Re-opening celebration
When all of this is over, most of us are going to be looking to celebrate. After lasting the storm, host a party with your customers, or even team-up with a few surrounding local businesses. Your new traffic can enjoy some music and treats, while submitting their contact details for a special drawing. 
You might be surprised how many emails you could collect by just leaving out a guest book! If new shoppers are impressed by your selection, they’re going to want to stay in touch, and will be more likely to offer up their details.
Or, plan to launch a food drive or other charity event for your area, and give donors the option of entering for a prize. While you might not be able to start collecting customer details for a grand re-opening now, you can definitely start planning the big bash.
Loyalty and rewards cards
If you’ve ever thought about giving a loyalty program a try, now may be a great time for a soft launch. After sharing their information, you can email or mail digital or physical rewards cards for shoppers to use after the pandemic subsides. Decide whether you’d like customer to earn points for shopping with you, or receive a “stamp” for their visit.
To encourage more submissions, give customers a stamp or number of points just for creating their loyalty card with you. Not sure what your shoppers would like as a reward for meeting their loyalty goal? Let them choose their prize when they create the loyalty account with you!
With data protection laws rapidly changing around the globe, make sure you’re being courteous to your shoppers’ privacy, and giving them the option to remove themselves from your data list. We’d recommend:
  • Letting customers know how their data will be used, and that you will not share their information with other parties
  • Giving shoppers the option to select which types of information they’d like to receive from your retail store
  • Allowing them the option to unsubscribe at any time
Collect customer data and purchase trendy apparel, footwear, or accessories your shoppers will want to buy after Safer at Home orders are lifted at the next OFFPRICE Show, August 15-18 at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, or online through OFFPRICE3565.com.


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