The existence of a loyalty program is primarily to increase a customer’s interest to keep returning time after time. Easy said than done, but how can retailers create value in their loyalty programs to captivate the attention of their customers to participate? Your loyalty programs should be designed based on your customer’s behaviour whether in-store or in their own home, and the designed strategies to keep them coming back.
- Laser Targeting Segmentation. There is no point investing in attraction a customer segment who does not favour loyalty programs. For an example, if you are using a digital loyalty program, the millennials might be all for it, but on the other hand the baby boomers might find it too complicating and would only use plastic loyalty card as a vehicle for loyalty reward redemption. Therefore in the initial stage, its vital to focus on group of customers whom are most influential on your business.
- Customized Individual Experiences for Customers. Basics. Always, always prioritize what the customers want not what the retailers need. A well crafted loyalty program should always give what the customers want, consistently and accurately. Recognizing and rewarding customers basing on their shopping habits does not only inculcate and increase your brand awareness but also explicitly expressing to your customers that you value them as loyal customers. Loyalty programs now days need to look beyond just monetary rewards but into deepening personalization on relationship, captivating engagement to customers to be wanting to return to your shop to be recognized and rewarded.
- Consistency is Data Analytics. Loyalty programs must be based on data collected to be
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS: DATA IS AT THE HEART OF ANY WINNING LOYALTY PROGRAM
The ultimate goal of any loyalty program is to provide a compelling value proposition that keeps consumers coming back time after time. How can retailers create valuable, differentiated loyalty programs? Strategies should be driven by a deep understanding of your consumers’ shopping decision process, and then programs can designed to bring them back again and again.
Measure and monitor performance. Loyalty programs can be used to drive better business decisions, as well as to refine program offers. But to do both, loyalty program data must be tools for retailer learning. Research costs prevent many retailers from fully assessing whether their programs meet the objective of increasing consumer share of wallet, but the importance of data cannot be overstated and will only continue to grow. The future lies in integration—combining granular, internal loyalty data with rich contextual media and market data to make more insightful decisions.
Use segmentation tools. Understand which consumer groups loyalty programs really matter to and why. The execution of any loyalty program should allow for personalization and dynamic learning, but the initial design should be geared toward serving the consumers whose behavior will be most influenced, and a segmentation analysis will help identify those consumers.
Personalize the shopping experience. Winning loyalty programs understand that every customer is an individual and that success comes from giving customers what they want, not what the retailer wants. Program offers that are unique to the shopping habits of each consumer can not only drive brand affinity, but they can also send a signal to the customer that they are valued patrons. In fact, personalization deepens the shopper-retailer relationship, enhancing engagement and encouraging shoppers to return again and again to redeem their offers.
Provide offers customers value. Retailers need to use the breadth of data available through their loyalty programs and predictive analytics to identify the promotions to which a shopper is most likely to respond and to establish a one-to-one communications channel, providing shoppers offers they care most about in the channel they most prefer. While bigger families may be enticed by buy-one-get-one-free deals or stock-up offerings, older customers may prefer special savings days when store traffic is lighter.
Differentiate your offering. How is your loyalty program different than your competitors’? Give shoppers a compelling reason to visit your store rather than another. Consider exclusive rewards and in-store experiences that are unique to your location or brand positioning and make it engaging and fun to participate for all generations of consumers.
Leverage technology wisely. Advancements in technology and the proliferation of mobile devices allow retailers to provide more relevant, timely offers than ever before, and many consumers are enthusiastic about integrating their digital devices with loyalty programs. But a “build it and they will come” approach to digital integration isn’t that simple. Retailers must leverage digital tools that create value for consumers, and digital interactions must be aligned with how much or how little consumers want to be contacted. Consider an opt-in program, whereby consumers indicate the level of frequency they wish to receive digital Communications.
Consider non-monetary rewards. Financial incentives are a must-have, but non-monetary incentives are the differentiator of loyalty programs, and can build the relationship between retailers and shoppers. Retailers looking for ways to engage in more direct interactions with consumers could try rewarding members for referrals or interacting with the brand on social media. Even better, retailers could use their loyalty programs for brand building, incentivizing activities that fit with their brand image or expertise. For example, brands that want to establish or cement a reputation as a leader in the health-and-wellness space could reward consumers for meeting exercise or health goals, while those that want to solidify themselves as socially responsible could consider rewarding consumers for volunteering, making charitable donations or choosing more environmentally friendly options. Above all, programs should be aligned with the more important priorities and values of consumers.