Guest blog post: written by Jorge Perdomo, Spendgo.
Creating meaningful relationships between your brand and your customers is key to increasing retention, spend, and generating advocacy. The truly successful way to accomplish this is by implementing loyalty programs that will enable you to show your customers (with actions) how much they really matter to you, by rewarding them with what they most enjoy about your brand. Here we’ll take a look at the four key elements to really boost customer engagement and convert guests into loyal customers.
Having the right infrastructure in place is the critical starting point to implement a successful loyalty program. You might think that designing your loyalty program strategy is the most time intensive part, right? Although this is partially true, the complexity of your program and customer experience actually drives how intensive the rest of the implementation will be whether it includes hardware, software, product customization, branding, communications, training, and additional support. With the right provider, launching a loyalty program can be fairly fast and efficient, as long as basic requisites in place.
Keeping your strategy simple to start, here are the key requisites need to launch your loyalty program successfully:
- Look for a loyalty provider that integrates with your POS and online ordering solutions. When picking a vendor, you should be shopping for best-in-breed solutions. The objective is to have top-notch solutions that integrate seamlessly and can offer the best customer experience. All-in-one solutions tend to underperform with mediocre products that are not part of their core business.
- Someone who can approve your loyalty program strategy. A marketing lead or even the owner of a company can be that person.
- Some technical to advocate and support any integrations.
- Someone who can communicate and train your in-store team on how to use/promote the program.
- Someone who manages your website and social media to add all the links and information about your new program.
- Branding assets such as logos and graphics you’ll want to use (including the name of your loyalty program).
- A list of all your stores, their relevant information such as addresses, phone numbers, points of contact, etc.
- A list of all your products and their categories if you’re going to run any item level campaigns to start.
- A point of contact for each vendor you want your loyalty program to integrate with.
- Any customer lists such as e-club or a previous loyalty program you may have so they can be migrated into your platform.
- A customer-facing tablet display, where customers can type in their phone number to enroll, see what rewards they have available, or redeem eligible rewards.
Implementing a new loyalty program for your business implies evaluating and choosing the right type of campaign to determine mechanics and quality offers to appropriately reward your customers. (Tip: A bad discount can be worse than no discount at all, and you might end up insulting your customer base).
- Simplicity is the first step to have a good loyalty program - the more user-friendly and straightforward a loyalty program is, the better. The more steps you add to a program, the more friction, and the less customers will be interested in joining.
- Choose the kind of programs and promotions that are suitable for your customers.
- Engaging program types
- Points per dollar: let your customers earn points for every dollar spent i.e. 1 point per dollar.
- Visits Program: let your customers earn points according to dates and frequency of visits.
- Points Banking: allow your customers to receive rewards for different thresholds
- Engaging reward types
- Dollar-off i.e $10 off for every 100 points
- Percent-off i.e 10% off on your next purchase
- Next visit campaign i.e. Purchase an item and earn a reward in your next visit
Another key aspect of your loyalty programs is branding:
- In-store and online branding: Your online presence must match the look and feel of your in-store experience. Customers view the two entities through the same lens, and even though online branding can differ at some level from the work done for your brick-and-mortar store, neither medium is more important than the other.
- Great online branding presence comes from an impeccable UI. All your online assets like your loyalty webpage, sign-up portal, and user accounts need to have the same consistent and clean design. The smooth omnichannel experience comes from consistency across the digital and physical brand presence.
Finally, think of how your staff can incentivize your customers to sign up for your loyalty program. A helpful tip is to train your staff with a simple script to remind customers to sign up-the script shouldn’t be more than two sentences long i.e “Are you a member of our loyalty program? Just enter your phone number to earn points for your purchase”
Optimize Key Loyalty KPIs
Loyalty marketing should, ultimately, impact your bottom line. With an up and running loyalty program you need to pay close attention to three key customer experience metrics that will determine your ROI:
Signup rate refers to the number of new customers joining your loyalty program in a given period. The average store signs up between 1,000 and 2,000 new members a year, but with the right solution, this number can increase by 12x. Remember that each enrolled customer represents a cost savings compared to the cost of new customer acquisition. You can boost sign-up rates with email campaigns and digital ads, but the simplest way to sign up more customers for loyalty programs is to improve the customer experience; in a physical environment, let them do it themselves on a customer-facing tablet at checkout.
The adoption rate measures how much your customers are using your loyalty program. An easy way to look at it is to calculate what percentage of your total sales are going through your loyalty program. To keep your customers engaged with your program, make sure that you’re offering worthwhile incentives, that your loyalty platform is easy to use, and, needless to say, that your program is easy to understand. Industry-average adoption rate is around 10%, but with the right vendor and best practices, you can reach 65%.
Reward Redemption Rate
This metric tracks the number of rewards you offer that are actually being redeemed, and it’s a way of assessing the level of customer engagement with the loyalty program. High redemption rates means you have engaged customers that keep coming back and redeem their rewards. An easy tip to boost this critical metric is to increase the value of your rewards, but also improve the CX during the redemption process, such as having rewards appear automatically when memes sign into their accounts so that they don’t forget they have rewards. Industry-average rate is 50% to 60%, but with the right solution, you can see 90% of rewards redeemed.
Leverage Your Customer Data
Providing your customers with a loyalty program will incentivize repeat spend and it will give you insight into who your customers are and what they’re interested in. You can use this information to create a better shopping experience and ultimately improve your bottom line. With a loyalty program you are collecting data such as customer demographics and interest, and you’re being handed the ability to make data-driven decisions about services, inventory, promotions, and more. You can, for example, offer a discount on an item related to items that a certain customer has purchased, or send specific recommendations based on a member's preferences. Not only are you showing your customers that you understand their preferences, but you are also being able to make upsells and cross-sells to increase ticket size and push new product lines. With the right offers, your customers will feel appreciated and commit further to your brand.
Spendgo is an industry-leading omnichannel marketing platform specializing in customer engagement and loyalty for businesses of all sizes. Spendgo gives businesses the marketing tools to successfully engage, retain, and incentivize customers while seamlessly integrating with CAKE’s POS system. With Spendgo’s engagement tool, you can efficiently sign up 12x more customers to your email, text, & loyalty programs.