Whether you are a big, medium or small business opting to implement a loyalty program was a very good decision to make. According to a new survey enrollment levels for consumer loyalty programs are at an all-time high. A third of those surveyed revealed that they were loyal to a brand because of its loyalty program, while 70% stated that they modified when and where they shopped according to the potential points they could earn. For more on why to get a loyalty program read our blog post here.
Now you may be wondering what strategy to follow to see the maximum amount of benefit to your brand and foster coveted brand loyalty. There are certain key points to consider and know when pursuing increased effectiveness of a loyalty program.
Below we go over the key elements to maximizing the success and effectiveness of your loyalty program:
Data, data, data:
The right loyalty program does more than get repeat visits ; it gives you insightful data on your customers. You’ve missed many of the benefits in creating that ‘perfect’ promotion, the one that will supposedly drive your sales sky high, if it is not targeted to the right people. To go even further – you can’t create an effective promotion without knowing who your target market is. Customer data tells you who you should be marketing to and who exactly is coming to make purchases with your brand. You may think you know who your customers are. For example if you are a cosmetics brand you may automatically assume your customers are women. However the data from a loyalty program can give you specific customer information you did not know you needed. This could include the age, race and location of your customers. With the data from its loyalty program the cosmetics brand now knows it is women between the ages of 40-50, of Latin descent who live near the store who frequent their brand. Now this brand knows to customize their outreach efforts to this specific subset and may even employ Spanish speaking sales associates. All this is gleaned from loyalty program data.
As a small business it is important that the money you spend on promotions not be wasted. As such a data driven loyalty program is crucial as it allows you to target your customer base precisely and reduces the chance of you targeting the wrong target audience.
Segmentation leads to personalization:
We’ve discussed how data gained from your loyalty program can tell you exactly who your customers are. Now we go over how loyalty program data can also help you further categorize these customers into different segments. It is important to use your loyalty program to identify who your biggest spenders are and also see what commonalities these customers share. Use your loyalty program to identify your best customers to find out what common traits they all have. Then target your efforts towards this group. For example knowing that your biggest spenders are Caucasian men in their 50’s will tell you which direction your advertising should take. You can also identify which spenders are on the verge of becoming big spenders and then also move them up in spend bands. You can do this by customizing and personalizing the customer service, promotions and offers you give to these customers. Knowing which customers are big spenders can for example lead you to offer a special private shopping session with complimentary drinks exclusively to these shoppers driving the chances of sales and profit. Beyond this personalized customer service whenever any customer comes to your location increases chances of sales. For example a retailer that knows that a customer is a new parent (by noting their purchase of baby formula and diapers for example) might send them offers for age-appropriate clothing and toys at different stages of the child's growth.
Segmentation can be varied and extensive. Segments can include high spending female customers living close to the brand location, low spending male teenagers who buy online, mid-level female spenders who are mothers in their 30’s etc. With the rise of online shopping it is important to give potential customers a reason to visit your location(s). A personalized shopping experience based on the segment the customer belongs to is one such reason.
Be where your customers are:
Nowadays consumers are proficient in omni-channel shopping. This is when a consumer uses multiple devices and methods to make a purchase. For example a buyer may research a product online from their home computer, visit the store location to see the product and purchase it using an app on their smart-phone. Omni-channel also refers to the many different ways customers want to engage with a business. For example customers may prefer receiving special offers, promotions on their phones/email and using mobile phones to pay for items or redeem offers without having to print out a ticket. Customers may make purchases across any channel so they expect to use the loyalty program and earn points whether they are on a website, in-store or mobile app. Your program should be omni-channel unless you have very specific strategic reasons for limiting the channels your customers can use. Generally points collected though a card should be viewable on your loyalty website and loyalty app. Consequently, loyalty program websites, and apps should be designed for use across different interfaces and devices.
It may be expensive to develop apps for every possible tablet or phone. As a more effective measure, some providers are moving to web-based apps, which only require the user access a mobile website on their device. Remember to choose a reputable loyalty program provider such as Givex who can provide you with a cost effective mobile website. Your competitors are likely developing quality omni-channel loyalty programs and you need to provide comparable if not better loyalty services.
Go beyond a punch card frequency program that treats your valued customers as unnamed money dispensers. Contact Givex to create a customized omni-channel loyalty program with ready to go management reports and in-depth analytics on your customers and their spending patterns across your one or many locations. Then use this information to create targeted promotions and personalized customer service to maximize results and see success.