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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

December 4, 2012

Ensure Customer Loyalty with Frequent Buyers Club Programs for Aquarists

By David Lass

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One of the biggest components of a successful local fish store or fish department of a full-line pet store is to get your customers to keep coming back. Offering live fish foods, such as live brine shrimp and live black worms, has always worked, but only for those customers willing to spend the extra dollars.

Offering a deal, discount or any other financial incentive can also work. At a marketing seminar for NexPet members, the presenter made it very clear that percents-off, buy 2-get-1-free and similar discounts and incentives are good ideas, but absolutely nothing beats giving customers cash money as rewards for their loyalty. I propose that the best way to do this in a fish store is to have a Frequent Buyers Club for aquarists.

Hook customers with cash incentives

A Frequent Buyers Club consists of a card, either kept by the customer or the store. Whenever a customer buys fish, the amount is tallied on the card either physically or virtually. The amounts are completely up to you, but let me suggest that you do something that has a nice rewards “ring” to it. Perhaps “Five for Fifty” where for every $50 customers spend on fish, they get $5 to spend on more fish. The important thing is to make it a number your average customer would have to come in a number of times to reach. The aquarist who wants to drop $150 on fish is going to expect—and you are going to give—a pretty good discount anyway.

Another variation of the Frequent Buyers Clubs is to have specials where members of the Frequent Buyers Club get, say, two-for-one on certain fish. The best way to offer this is on Monday or Tuesday when your fish room is at the lowest stock, and you can easily see which fish aren’t moving well. Those are the ones to offer on the special deal. Customers will ask if the special deal fish count on their Frequent Buyers Club cards toward the reward. I suggest that they should. After all, live fish should be one of the highest profit items in your store, and also one thing that can distinguish you from your competition, both locally and on the web.

Loyalty cards, in general, are offered by most stores and usually don’t provide as large a deal as a Frequent Fish Buyers Club could. Both, however, are great ways to keep your customers coming back to your store.


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