When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, 2021, will officially have come to an end, and the rush to get holiday savings will be over...at least temporarily anyway; usually for retailers, sales are expected to spike once more around Valentine's Day before experiencing another period of quiet. However, for consumers, the drive to explore new stores and brands will mostly have passed following New Years, and a long period of complacency is expected to follow.
What this means for retailers is that securing customer loyalty before the end of the holidays is important, since first-time customers are more likely to become repeat customer after finding satisfaction over the holidays. For this reason, our team of strategists at Loyal-n-Save have gotten together to assist our readers, by offering them four ways to increase customer loyalty signups for the new year.
Beginning with strategy number one: Offer Points Just for Signing Up.
Offer Points Just for Signing Up
For most consumers, joining a loyalty program isn’t a premeditated idea; it happens spontaneously in the moment right before a sale, and the reason for this is because consumers recognize that by agreeing to sign up for a store’s loyalty program that they can instantly save money on their immediate order.
Think about it from a customer’s perspective: if you have $100 worth of items at checkout and are suddenly offered a way to drop that number down to only $85, the temptation of saving $15 will likely convince you at that moment to give out your email address or quickly download and sign up for an app—especially when assured that signup will be free and you also have the option to leave the program at any time.
For retailers, getting that initial signup is the key to creating a lasting relationship with a customer-- everything afterward is simply a matter of maintaining that relationship by continuously providing value—and for this reason, one of the most effective ways to increase customer signups is to award sign-on incentives that can be accessed instantly. In other words, letting customers know that they can experience the benefits of your program right away is the best way to make a great first impression and convince them that signing onto your program was a good idea.
Make it Easy to Sign Up
As mentioned before, signing up for a loyalty program is often a spontaneous decision on the part of the customer and prompted by an opportunity to see immediate savings on a purchase. With this in mind, consider the small window of opportunity that retailers have to meet a customer’s expectations in the heat of their excitement.
For retailers, the point of getting new customers to sign up for loyalty programs is to guarantee customer retention; customers that already plan to return do not need to be incentivized through loyalty programs, since they are already willing to return and pay full price for service. What this means, then, is that the first time a customer learns about a loyalty program is likely their first—and possibly only—time that they attempt to sign up. The time between exposure and signup can thus be considered “the window of opportunity” for securing a prospect, and this window will only get smaller the longer it stays open.
In this case, turning a new customer into a prospect (a potential future customer) will be a matter of making sure that they can sign up for your program before the window of opportunity closes. To do this, it’s important to ensure that signup is made as easy as possible and that there are few barriers to access (i.e., requirements slowing down a sale) standing between them and accessing their rewards.
Tell them About it in an Email
In-store sales aren’t the only place where customers are likely to try and join a loyalty program; in many cases, online sales can be just as tempting, especially when deals and offers are paired together in the same email.
Remember what we said before about barriers to access? With email, the same principle applies double when it comes to making online conversions: the harder it is for a prospect to complete a task, and the more clicks that prospect has to make, the smaller the window of opportunity becomes for making a signup and retaining a customer.
To put it simply, convenience is key when it comes to ensuring satisfaction—especially online. What this means, then, is that the answer to converting more leads is to make the signup process as fast and convenient as possible by minimizing the number of clicks that a prospect needs to make in order to sign up. To do this, try adding a signup button underneath your email’s call to action, and also make the user aware of an active sale; this way, prospects can learn about the sale, find out how they can save, and gain access to the thing that will help them save all in one place.
Incentivize Employees to Promote Sales
When it comes to creating authentic customer loyalty, establishing a connection between both the brand and consumer is the key to building an ongoing relationship, and the way to do this is through creating a pleasurable “brand experience.” Brand experience is the sum of the customer’s total interactions with anything related to a brand, and products, advertising, and employees all fall under this broad umbrella.
As we’ve noted in other blogs, employees can have a big influence on the way that customers perceive and experience a brand, which is why getting them on-board with the company’s mission and agenda are so important. With motivated employees, companies can see improved responses from their customers when it comes to online reviews, as well as more profits through increased sales and higher rates of signups for their loyalty programs.
For retailers, specifically, however, the reason why they find greater success from motivating employees is because of the effectiveness of “word-of-mouth marketing,” which we’ve discussed at length in many of our other blogs. In short, understand that “74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions,” and this also includes the word of store employees. Knowing this, employers can then leverage this information to their advantage, by using their employees to promote their loyalty programs through word of mouth.
To create motivated employees, one thing that employers can do is to ensure that employees feel comfortable and appreciated while on the job. Another thing that they can do is to incentivize them using SPIFs, rewards such as bonuses or perks that can be used to encourage workers to reach certain short-term goals. Doing this is a surefire way to motivate employees to promote your store’s loyalty program and improve signup rates.
Bonus tip: You can also motivate store employees using the same loyalty program that you have them promoting; that way, the results of each signup have a more immediate, personal effect, giving them a little extra incentive to make signups.
Looking to Increase Loyalty for 2022?
With the new year fast approaching, many business owners are wondering how they should begin preparing to transition into 2022. Following current trends, what businesses can expect to see are greater demands for convenience, personalization, and social responsibility, as well as more accessible services, and contactless pay. For vendors, this will mean focusing on customer service and retention, which will require a strong loyalty program and a means for providing omnichannel access to customers across all possible devices.
Fortunately, for vendors, FTx POS is a system designed specifically for providing a fast, cost-effective service that automates much of the business process: from contactless payment to updating prices across stores from a single location; FTx POS is a complete suite of fully integrated tools that allow vendors to cut out much of the hassle of business and get back to sales. Core features include time tracking, biometric security, mass updating, inventory management software, and cloud storage for extra protection against both power outages and hackers.
FTx POS also integrates seamlessly with Loyal~n~Save, which offers a fun and easy-to-use mobile loyalty app that comes equipped with A.I. learning for a better, more personalized online shopping experience. With Loyal~n~Save, companies can boost retention and improve access to goods, all while incentivizing customers to shop more and tell friends, so that they can earn points towards receiving better deals and swag from the online Swag Shop.
For more information about how to secure customer loyalty, visit loyalnsave.com to learn more about our innovative marketing services, and for more information about FTx POS, please reach out to one of our team members at https://www.goftx.com/ to schedule a free demo or consultation.
If you’re new to the blog or would like to schedule a free consultation or demo with Loyal~n~Save, then please contact one of our loyalty specialists @ https://loyalnsave.com/ or call our toll-free number @ 845-796-9944. You can also follow us on any of our social media @ https://www.facebook.com/LoyalNSave/ or @ https://www.linkedin.com/company/loyal-n-save/ or you can subscribe to our weekly blog to get more useful tips and tricks about how to increase customer retention.
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog today. We hope to hear from you in the future!
This article was written by Loyal-n-Save, an omni-channel customer loyalty solution for retailers looking to increase customer retention and new customer acquisition.