Why and How to Identify Your VIP Customers

VIP customers tag

VIP customers are, for the most part, a familiar concept to ecommerce marketers. Identifying your VIP customers and treating them differently is a key component of customer retention. It builds brand loyalty and customer advocacy. Offering VIP customers special offers not only rewards them for their business, but it also encourages other customers to strive to reach VIP status to reap these benefits. So, you should have a program in place to handle your VIP customers.

How to Identify Your VIP Customers

There are two main ways you can define who your VIP customers are: by number of purchases or total amount spent. On one hand, you might want to target “big spenders,” or those who spend a certain amount of money over a short period of time. On the other, you might prefer to target those with a high cumulative spend, or those who are loyal and consistent customers.

To meet somewhere in the middle and avoid extending VIP offers to inactive customers who were once very engaged, you should define your VIP segment as those who have spent X amount of money in the past year. What you determine as the cutoff spend will depend on your particular ecommerce store, product offering, and the VIP benefits you’re going to give.

How to Treat Your VIP Customers

There are a number of offers and incentives you can give to your VIP customers, and coming up with ideas to let them know their importance to your business is a great chance to get creative. Here are some ideas to get started with:

  • Run exclusive sales for VIP customers
  • Open sales early to VIP customers
  • Have a points system where customers accumulate points with each purchase — once they’ve accumulated a certain number of points, they can redeem a gift
  • Give birthday gifts to VIP customers
  • Offer benefits like free returns or free shipping to VIP customers
  • If you’re an ecommerce store that sells items like clothing or shoes, send VIP customers your products to try on before purchasing them

If you make your VIP benefits policies clear, you will also encourage regular customers to strive for VIP status. One point to keep in mind is that your VIP segment should be exclusive, otherwise it might end up costing you. The nature of a VIP program, after all, is that it is selective.

Why to Target VIP Customers

By rewarding loyal customers and letting them know you appreciate their business, you strengthen your relationship with them. This is a critical part of customer satisfaction and retention, and turning customers into advocates is one of the best ways to market your brand. By providing an excellent experience for your customers, they’ll do some of your job for you by raving about your business on social media, in reviews, and elsewhere online, contributing social proof.

VIP programs increase customer satisfaction and encourage customers to purchase. 56.8% of consumers are more likely to participate in programs that offer exclusive rewards. So, VIP programs can both boost sales and fortify customer engagement and retention.


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