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    How to Host Customer Appreciation Events in the Retail & Service Sector


    Consumer studies have found that 68% of the entire customer base leaves due to perceived indifference, which means they believe that companies don’t care about them – compared to only 14% leaving because of product or service dissatisfaction.” – (Forbes) 

    Successful retail and service business owners know that customer appreciation is not just a courtesy but a necessity. Tailoring events to express gratitude transforms them into powerful tools for nurturing and strengthening the bond with customers. This article demonstrates how to leverage appreciation events to engage customers and presents tips for planning and executing them. These principles can help businesses facilitate a deep sense of value among customers, encouraging brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

    What Does Customer Appreciation Mean?

    Customer appreciation means expressing gratitude to individual customers, developing meaningful relationships, and enhancing satisfaction to improve loyalty. This practice includes personalized gestures that differentiate a business from competitors and build a positive brand reputation. The aim is to ensure customers feel valued, leading to repeat business and word-of-mouth advocacy.

    Why is Customer Appreciation Beneficial to Businesses?

    Customer appreciation serves as an opportunity for businesses to develop strong relationships with customers. For instance, when retailers go beyond mere formality and create meaningful appreciation events, companies can genuinely convey gratitude and exceed client expectations. 

    Marketing studies demonstrate the positive impact of client appreciation events:

    • 84% of consumers repurchase the product promoted at the event after their first purchase. (EventTrack Study)
    • 51% of marketers surveyed believe that events strengthen existing customer relationships. (Marketing Charts)
    • 69% of marketers consider in-person events effective marketing. (Sensible Marketing)
    • 65% of consumers believe live events have helped them better understand a product or service. (Forbes)

    Companies that Use Customer Appreciation Events 

    1) Company: Amazon (Amazon Prime Day)

    Event Description: Amazon hosts an annual sales event called Amazon Prime Day exclusively for its Prime members. During this event, Amazon offers deep discounts on a wide range of products, including electronics, home goods, and more. Prime members can access exclusive deals, early access to Lightning Deals, and various entertainment options like Prime Video and Amazon Music. 

    Innovation: Amazon Prime Day is innovative because it creates a sense of exclusivity for Prime members, incentivizing more customers to subscribe to Amazon Prime. The event’s scale, variety of deals, and entertainment offerings make it one of the most significant online shopping events globally. 

    Impact on Customers: Amazon Prime Day enhances customer loyalty among Prime members. It encourages them to renew their memberships and shop more frequently on Amazon. Additionally, customers benefit from significant cost savings during the event. 

    2) Company: Starbucks (Happy Hour)

    Event Description: Starbucks hosts “Happy Hour” events that offer discounts on selected beverages. These Happy Hour events occur during specific hours, such as late afternoon or early evening. Customers can enjoy their favorite Starbucks drinks at reduced prices during these hours. 

    Innovation: Starbucks’ Happy Hour events create a sense of excitement and urgency by offering discounts on popular items for a limited time. They often use targeted marketing to notify customers about these events, driving traffic to their stores. 

    Impact on Customers: Customers appreciate the discounted prices, making it an incentive to visit Starbucks during Happy Hour. It can boost foot traffic during typically slower hours and enhance customer engagement.

    Happy Hour

    3) Company: Lululemon (Lululemon Warehouse Sales)

    Event Description: Lululemon hosts periodic “Warehouse Sales,” offering significant discounts on their activewear and yoga apparel. These events are typically held in large venues, and customers can purchase Lululemon products at reduced prices, often up to 50% off or more. 

    Innovation: Lululemon’s Warehouse Sales are innovative because they create excitement among customers seeking premium activewear at discounted rates. The company often limits the duration and location of these events, driving a sense of urgency and exclusivity. 

    Impact on Customers: Lululemon’s Warehouse Sales are highly anticipated by customers who appreciate the opportunity to purchase Lululemon products at a lower cost. These events attract existing customers and new ones seeking quality activewear deals. It strengthens customer loyalty and brand engagement. 

    4) Company: Costco (Member Appreciation Events)

    Event Description: Costco, a membership-based warehouse club, hosts “Member Appreciation Events” from time to time. During these events, they offer additional discounts and savings on a wide range of products exclusively for their members. This includes special pricing, extra deals, and exclusive product offerings. 

    Innovation: Costco’s Member Appreciation Events are innovative because they provide an extra layer of value to their already loyal members. These events make customers feel appreciated and valued for their membership, reinforcing the exclusivity of being a Costco member. 

    Impact on Customers: Costco’s Member Appreciation Events significantly boost customer loyalty and engagement. Members look forward to these events as an opportunity to save even more money on their purchases. It also encourages them to renew their memberships and continue shopping at Costco regularly.

    Warehouse Sales

    DOs and Don’ts When Hosting Customer Appreciation Events 


    Retailers and service providers enhance customer appreciation events by personalizing them and providing valuable perks that convey a sense of value and engagement to customers. The following Dos and Don’ts will help create genuine connections with customers:

    1. Do Plan Thoughtfully: Carefully plan every aspect of the event, considering the preferences and interests of your target audience. Ensure the event aligns with your brand identity and values.
    2. Do Personalize Invitations: Send personalized invitations to your most loyal customers, making them feel valued and appreciated. Include a heartfelt message expressing your gratitude.
    3. Do Create Engaging Activities: Organize interactive and enjoyable activities, encouraging attendees to socialize and have fun. This can include games, workshops, or entertainment.
    4. Do Offer Exclusive Perks: Provide exclusive discounts, early access to products, or special promotions during the event as a token of appreciation.
    5. Do Showcase Your Brand: Take the opportunity to showcase your brand’s products or services, highlighting their value and uniqueness to attendees.
    6. Do Collect Feedback: During or after the event, gather customer feedback to understand their preferences and how you can improve future events.
    7. Do Express Gratitude: Throughout the event, express your sincere gratitude verbally and through gestures like thank-you speeches, gifts, or handwritten notes. 


    1. Don’t Exclude Anyone: Ensure your invitation list is inclusive and representative of your diverse customer base. Avoid making anyone feel left out.
    2. Don’t Oversell or Overpromote: While it’s an opportunity to showcase your offerings, avoid overwhelming attendees with constant sales pitches. Strike a balance between appreciation and promotion.
    3. Don’t Neglect Entertainment: Don’t forget to include entertainment or engaging activities. A dull or overly formal event can deter attendees from future participation.
    4. Don’t Skimp on Quality: Regardless of the event’s scale or budget, don’t compromise on the quality of food, beverages, or materials. High-quality offerings reflect your commitment to appreciation.
    5. Don’t Ignore Feedback: Don’t collect feedback if you don’t intend to act on it. Demonstrating that you value customer input is important for future improvements.
    6. Don’t Overlook Accessibility: Ensure the event location is accessible to all attendees, including those with mobility challenges. Provide accommodations as needed.
    7. Don’t Lack Follow-Up: After the event, don’t forget to follow up with attendees to express gratitude once again and gather additional feedback or insights. Follow-through is vital to building lasting relationships.

    Following these guidelines can seize opportunities and ensure active attendee participation, positively influencing long-term customer loyalty and the event’s success. 

    “A word of appreciation often can accomplish what nothing else could accomplish.” – B. C. Forbes.

    Embracing customer appreciation events can profoundly influence your brand’s relationship with its clients, creating loyalty and enhancing customer satisfaction. These events offer a platform to express gratitude personally, showcase product and service offerings, and gather valuable feedback.

    The careful balancing act between appreciation and promotion, coupled with meaningful engagement, shapes a memorable experience that leaves lasting positive impressions. Adopting these strategies will pave the way toward building stronger customer relationships and driving long-term business growth.

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