Consumer expectations are constantly shifting, so a great customer loyalty program should never stop evolving either. At Retail Integration, we understand that a truly innovative approach to customer loyalty programs can create huge value for Irish retailers and visitor attractions.
What is a customer loyalty program?
A customer loyalty program is a customer-facing marketing strategy designed to reward customers who repeatedly interact with a store. A typical loyalty program creates incentives for people to continue to choose and engage with a brand, ultimately creating brand loyalty.
What are the advantages of loyalty programs?
Customer loyalty programs are a great way to improve customer retention, increase customer lifetime value and gain new customers.
It costs five times more to gain new customers than it does to retain existing customers.
And repeat customers are likely to spend 31% more than new customers. For a customer loyalty program, brands will need to give something away, such as early access, discounts, gift cards, etc. But the rewards for a successful program always outweigh the costs.
How can I improve my loyalty program?
The greater resource retailers and visitor attractions have is their customers and their data. By maintaining a strong CRM system, businesses gain insights to customer interests, spending habits and what items/events they like. Using this data to create personalised experiences and value is the core to any strong customer loyalty program.
A digital loyalty program makes everything easier for customers and streamlines business operations. Consumers will no longer carry around lots of paper or plastic cards for their loyalty program; by connecting a loyalty program to their email addresses, customers will never lose access to their loyalty benefits.
The business also gains access to a lot of valuable information and opens up more marketing and communication opportunities.
Provide easy to use rewards
Offering a small reward on sign up is a great way to sign new customers and build brand loyalty straight away. This also encourages casual shoppers to create a customer profile.
For instance, customers can be rewarded with digital gift cards sent to their email. For retailers, this can be used with their next purchase, or to incentivise customers to visit an eCommerce website. Visitor attractions can also use this to send new attendees to their gift shop or café.
Improve customer experience
As well as a simple to use loyalty program, customers in 2022 expect a more streamlined retail experience. With one central product management system, all stock levels are connected across all locations and online. If an item isn’t in stock at a particular location, customers can see if it’s in stock at another location or online.
Similarly, with a multi-channel ticketing system, customers can order at one location for pick up or delivery at another location, or via email. By creating a customer profile to handle the order, the customer can seamlessly get their order details as well as their loyalty rewards.
Increased visits and repeat visits
If customers find value in a loyalty program, they are more likely to stay a customer for longer. They are also more likely to tell their friends and family about it. Strong communications with regular offers to their inbox are likely to keep customers engaging with a loyalty program and visiting that business. The key however is to stay relevant and only share offers that will interest your customer base.
Increased basket size and revenue streams
Strong loyalty programs can also be used to drive larger basket sizes. Almost half of customers have said they have spent more after joining a loyalty program, with over half of customers saying they join a loyalty program to save money. And customers are happy to spend more if they save more.
For visitor attractions, customers may be happy to sign up for multiple visits, membership or an annual pass to save money. For retail, customers will often be happy to spend more to get free shipping. These offers can easily be managed by customers through one central customer profile and loyalty program.
By digging into their customer reports, retailers and visitor attractions can identify what segments have increased their spending or attraction attendance. Oftentimes, their most valuable or repeat customers will love the benefits of the loyalty program, but it may not actually increase their attendance or spending habits enough.
By using reports to see exactly which segments changed their habits, the loyalty programs can target these customers more in the future to get better gains.