The Business of Loyalty Programs and Why They Matter

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Loyalty programs are one of the most common forms of customer engagement in the marketplace right now. No matter where you shop or how often you spend time and money using a particular service, there’s a good chance you can cash in on a loyalty program.

If you’re an SME considering whether or not a loyalty program is the right move for your business, now is the time to jump in and ride the wave. New life is being breathed into loyalty programs with loyalty apps being all the rage.

It may be a scary step to take but offering rewards for purchases helps keep existing customers engaged, and the possibility of making another sale jumps from 20% to a whopping 60-70%! With numbers like that on your side, and the ease of getting a white label app within your grasp, can you afford to get started?

9 benefits of loyalty programs

We get it. You may not be convinced that it would be the perfect fit for your SME. But if you’re looking to increase sales, you can’t go wrong with rewarding your customers. Here are the top 9 benefits to rewarding your customers.

  1. Boost your revenue… – What more could you want but for your business to grow month on month? Rewards programs make customers feel more secure and this helps increase customer retention, leading to increased profits! According to a Customer Experience in Retail consumer report by Navar, increasing customer retention by only 5% can boost your profits by a staggering 25-95%.
  2. …and save cash! – Not only does retaining customers boost your profits, but it also saves you money in the long run. It’s a proven fact that attracting a new customer can cost you up to 25% more than simply retaining the customers you already have.
  3. Data is gold – In the current technologically advanced age we live in where we share everything with everyone in the digital space, data about your customers is pure gold. By creating a space where your customers feel appreciated thanks to personalised offers, deals, and discounts, you’ll have access to data that could affect how and what you sell to them in the future.
  4. Watch your sales climb – Once again, thanks to data that tells you everything you need to know about your customers, you’ll have the ability to create targeted marketing campaigns that truly resonate with your audience. You simply can’t go wrong when they’re willingly providing you with the data you need. Target them correctly and you’ll see your sales climb with ease.
  5. Appreciated customers stick around – If you’ve ever joined any program where you received special rewards for your birthday or cashback for spending money you were already going to spend, you’ll know all about feeling appreciated. When customers feel connected to your small business, they’re more likely to spend money, stay a customer for longer, and be more forgiving should you ever run into any issues when providing your service. This is the sort of customer who keeps your business running, even when times get tough.
  6. Sharing is caring – If there’s one thing human beings love more than receiving something for free, it’s being rewarded unexpectedly. Random and surprising rewards are a great way to please customers and keep them happy, but it can also lead to an unexpected side effect – the magic of social sharing. Being rewarded is a great feeling and when customers enjoy the experience, they’ll share with their friends via word of mouth or via social media. This is free advertising that is bound to work in your favour.
  7. The ability to measure loyalty – Loyalty apps give you the power of understanding what truly works for your customers. Using the data provided, you can track analytics and measure how effective your rewards program is for sales of your product or service. Not getting the results you want? Make the necessary adjustments and keep an eye on the stats to see the sales roll in!
  8. Find new customers – While it may be cheaper to retain the customers you already have, finding new customers is just as important! Growing your SME with the help of a loyalty program can be done via the sign-up process, having access to their contact details, or by offering discounts that a new customer can’t resist.
  9. Communication is key – More than just a snappy phrase, communicating with a customer when it really matters is very important. If you communicate smartly (and stay away from spamming your customer), they will, in turn, feel confident when they need to communicate with you too.

What do customers want from a loyalty program?

According to 2019 research done by Bond, a global customer experience marketing, management and measurement company that specialises in building brand loyalty, there are 6 key factors that customers look for when deciding which programs they’d like to sign up for. These factors can change the game for you and your small business. If you’re able to incorporate even just a few and find a way to truly provide an experience your customers want, you’ll see success walk right through the door!

The number one way to ensure that users love your brand is by getting personal. No, not that kind of personal… The good kind – the kind of personal that makes customers feel like they have a connection with your business. The addition of personalisation options to your loyalty app could see a lift in customer satisfaction of up to 6.4 times.

Partnerships are another factor that customers take note of when choosing where to spend their money. Partnering with the correct brands could be a real game-changer as it gives users the feeling of getting double the rewards! Earning points with your business as well as with another business they already frequent creates an even more exciting experience.

Earning rewards is great but the real test for a customer is when they need to redeem those rewards. The redemption experience is extremely vital to ensuring that customers remain happy with the service they receive. Throw in the ability to receive rewards directly to a mobile wallet is a way to really up the game.

Gamification is a double-edged sword but one that customers find intriguing. While gamification features (such as leveling up and earning badges or trophies) can be an unnecessary addition, 53% of members surveyed in the research done by Bond were interested in game mechanics. Gamification can be a lot of fun to incorporate into your loyalty app but only if it suits your business and needs.

Knowing your audience and creating loyalty experiences based on their needs is a strategy that can’t be missed. If your customers are firmly based in the Gen Z and Millennial camp, it’s important that you cater to their lifestyles, such as using a loyalty app to redeem points instead of a card. Younger consumers want technology that works for them and not the other way around.

Last, but in no way the least, your loyalty program should only enhance your customer’s experience with your brand. If you can create a program that makes the experience of spending money with your business even more enjoyable, surveys show that consumer satisfaction rises by 9.2 times.

Not sure where to get started? With white label loyalty and mobile payment apps within your reach, it’s time to discover just how easy it is to create a shopping experience that will perfectly suit your new and existing customers.

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