Retailers are directly disrupted by the presence of e-commerce stores, leaving them in a stagnant growth position. More effective e-commerce technologies are sprouting throughout the world catering to millennials who are ever so ready to execute an online purchase. This has resulted in brick and mortar retailer to start cutting marketing cost as a first step but they could never be more wrong.
Customer loyalty programs are time and proven method for retailers to grow and sustain customers and even potential growth in market share. It must be known that customers whom are already committed and loyal to a brand will compulsively continue buying and are a prime market for that brand’s newly launched products.
Although loyalty programs aren’t new anymore, but retail brand owners still fail to recognize the importance on the implementation of such programs into their business. Besides that, owners are not fully aware of the options available out there. Only tinkering with old programs which were effective a decade ago (e.g. Paper stamp card collection). Worse still owners have no effective way of measuring their efforts from the implementations. Observing from a different angle, customer now have higher expectations over how customer loyalty is seen and interpreted by retailer brands.
INCREASING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
The current marketplace no longer hold true to the old patterns of customer behavior, where retail brands must accept and adjust to survive. Loyalty programs will always be needed in the retail industry but they must be easily accessible to anyone of all walks of life. It must also be up to the trend of today’s digital customers. One of the most important measurement of an owner implementing a program is its cost. Loyalty programs don’t come cheap, in some cases, investments in loyalty programs can reach up to 10% of sales. To ensure that retail brand owners do not burn cash on inappropriate programs, let us discuss on some steps on requirements of a customer loyalty program which suits your wallet and business best.
Step 1 – Engagement Customers Experience
Customer experience is now the number one achievement target for all retail brands. An effective program will automatically multiply the growth of good customer experience. Hence, for any brand owners who are interested in trying out a program, the ability of them to measure the effectiveness of customer’s experience would be a good first measurement.
Step 2 – Requirements of Mobile Data
Another primary indication of an effective loyalty program would be it usage of customers mobile data. Gamification of loyalty programs are on the up trend these days, but do remember they do take up a lot of your customers mobile data. That would be a different case if your retail outlet provides free wifi connections.
Step 3 – Customized Engagement Contents
Consistency may be the key in a good loyalty program but creativity and novelty are something which customers will be looking forward to. With the right program, brand owners are able to test and personalize engagement contents in real time, introducing novel contents and also benefit to captivate customers. While at the same time providing detailed measurement of customers analysis identifying contents which are not effective or profitable while filtering out the uninteresting ones.
Surveys have shown that majority of loyalty customer groups expressed that they will do almost anything to earn more reward points in at least one program. Therefore it’s of utmost importance that as a retail brand owner, you understand the requirements and touch points which captivates your customers is key as saving them the most money is not always the case these days. Customers are now looking for personalized engagement and services as it is the in-store experience which they are most looking forward too.
Further studies have also proven that more than 70% of brand loyal customers appreciates in-store informational contents to surprise deals or rewards, special privileges and time saving opportunities. Loyalty programs which allows brand owners to personalize engagement contents offering frequent surprises will most likely reap the most benefit in sales. This all means that while shopping for a loyalty program, brand owners should look into a program’s flexibility and speed in customizing contents to captivate the ever evolving customers preferences and expectations.
We surely do hope this helps anyone who finds this article useful in your endeavor in brand retailing.
All the best from us from Team Blink