Every retailer wants to attract shoppers, increase revenue, and expand their business. Both traditional location-based retailers and online sellers face challenges when it comes to securing customer loyalty. Gaining the loyalty of shoppers to the extent that they become loyal to one retailer—you—requires strategy and commitment on your end.
One of the most proven, dependable methods of retaining customers comes in the form of a customer loyalty rewards program. When designed with the shoppers' unique needs in mind and executed thoughtfully, these loyalty programs produce engaged, happy customers who eagerly act on deals, discounts, and special sales. Achieving a measurable increase in revenue is possible for your business when you offer a customer loyalty rewards program to your shoppers.
In addition to converting sometimes-shoppers into loyal customers, customer loyalty rewards programs also serve as powerful marketing tools that attract brand-new shoppers with relevant promotions. Unlike investing in costly advertising campaigns that may or may not succeed at turning off-the-street consumers into your customers, loyalty programs can be marketed digitally at low-or-no cost and reach a much wider audience.
A loyalty rewards program can help you work towards, as well as accomplish, these goals:
● Secure and enhance single-brand loyalty
● Attract and retain a large number of customers
● Increase sales of loyalty program products and services
● Improve customer perception of brand value
● Forge new relationships with potential customers
● Strengthen relationships with current customers
Are you currently striving to accomplish the same goals? Have you launched a customer loyalty rewards program at your business? Are you ready to get started?
Here are 3 ways you can attract new customers to your store, whether you own a retail location or eCommerce site, and keep them coming back with your customer loyalty rewards program.
Don't let the seemingly old-fashioned word coupon fool you. We aren't suggesting that you attempt to hand out printed coupons to all those who pass by your store. The kind of coupon we're referring to is a digital voucher that will entitle the voucher holder to a discount of some kind. Whether the digital voucher discounts a particular product or provides a set monetary discount once a shopper's order has exceeded a determined minimum, the purpose of a first-purchase coupon is to encourage consumers who have never shopped at your store to try you out. The digital voucher you offer as your first-purchase coupon can come in the form of a QR Code, barcode, or discount code.
Direct-to-Consumer Application: First-purchase coupons are as valuable to traditional retail stores as they are for eCommerce sites, because they incentivize consumers to take immediate action. When using a digital voucher as your first-purchase coupon, you can promote the discount on social media and other online platforms to attract new customers.
Integrated with Loyalty: This is often referred to as an enrollment reward. Getting the word out about your loyalty program and motivating customers to enroll can be as simple as offering a first-purchase coupon. In fact, by providing an irresistible first-purchase coupon in the form of a digital voucher to potential customers, you can secure a greater commitment from first-time shoppers faster.
Upside to First-Purchase Coupons: Whether you offer a percentage discount, a dollar reduction, or a free item, first-purchase coupons are an excellent way to grab consumer attention, especially when interesting incentives are promoted on social media and other online platforms. Take Moink.com for example. This organic meat subscription-based delivery service offers 1 full year of free ground beef to anyone who signs up using a particular discount code. Did we grab your attention? Yes, an entire year's worth of beef! Make sure your first-purchase coupon offer is equally jaw-dropping.
Downside to First-Purchase Coupons: In order to ensure that only first-time, brand-new consumers are able to redeem the coupon offer, you will need to take careful measures, collect customer credentials upon sign-up, and install safeguards to protect against fraud, such as the same individual using dozens of email addresses to redeem. Luckily, when you launch first-purchase coupons from your digital customer loyalty rewards program, the program's technology can prevent fraudulent duplications.
The Takeaway: The smartest reason to promote your brand with first-purchase coupons is for the purposes of incentivizing consumers to sign up for your customer loyalty rewards program.
PERSONALIZED BONUS POINTS CAMPAIGNS
"Bonus points" is a concept that has been around for quite some time. Credit card companies, airlines, and warehouse clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sam's Club all use bonus points incentives to encourage customer spending. Typically, bonus points come in the form of either cash back or vouchers. For example, a credit card company might offer 1 point for every dollar spent on purchases. These points have a cash value that is then credited back to the cardholder. Airlines use bonus points a bit differently. When an airline customer racks up 65,000 points from booking several flights over a period of time, for instance, the airline might reward them with 5,000 bonus points, which is just enough to bump the customer's points balance up so that they are eligible for a free roundtrip flight voucher anywhere in the Continental United States. Warehouse clubs tend to use specific rewards in association with their bonus points, such as offering 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases, 3% cash back on eligible restaurants, and 2% cash back on all purchases from the warehouse club itself, but all cash back incentives must then be redeemed at the warehouse club.
Direct-to-Consumer Application: The examples of bonus points incentives mentioned above are considered generic in that customer preferences, interests, and favorites do not factor into the equation whatsoever. Though offering generic bonus points incentives works for major credit card corporations, airlines, and warehouse clubs, these types of generic incentives usually fail to benefit small-to-mid sized retailers. However, retailers of all sizes can greatly benefit from offering personalized bonus points. When you market bonus points incentives directly to your customers, including personalization in your campaigns is a must.
Integrated with Loyalty: Customer loyalty rewards programs make it easy to launch personalized bonus points campaigns. Since loyalty programs function in a constant state of collecting valuable member data, including members' favorite products and wishlist items, retailers can effortlessly leverage this customer information in their direct-to-customer bonus points campaigns. Best of all, loyalty programs offer convenient marketing communication methods that yield a high ROI. These methods are SMS texts, in-app push notifications, and emails.
Upside to Personalized Bonus Points Campaigns: The greatest upside to launching personalized bonus points campaigns through your loyalty program is the high open rate of each communication method we just laid out. Case in point, the average SMS text message open rate is a whopping 99%, and 97% of those messages get opened within 15 minutes of delivery. Surveyed consumers have stated that receiving text messages from brands feels similar to receiving texts from friends and family. That's great news for marketers who want their promotional campaigns to increase revenue.
Downside to Personalized Bonus Points Campaigns: Offering bonus points works best when retailers leverage customer data to incentivize spending on products that customers have shown personal interest in, as we mentioned. But retailers must be very careful with their calculations prior to launching their bonus points campaigns. Remember, every bonus point has a cash value, and if you assign too many bonus points to reward your customers for making eligible purchases, you will end up losing money the more your loyalty members spend.
The Takeaway: Using personalized bonus points as a loyalty incentive works best for retailers who sit down with a calculator and do the necessary math to determine not only how loyalty members can earn bonus points, but also when they can earn bonus points, limiting the overall opportunities to earn bonus points. The key is to offer bonus points as an extra perk and not as a daily given.
The final way that you can attract new customers to your store, whether you own a traditional retail location or an eCommerce site, is with referral bonuses. This method involves rewarding the loyal customers you already have. Referrals can be a powerful way to attract new customers because people generally trust their friends, family members, and even work associates more than any advertisement. When you reward the loyal customers you already have every time they successfully refer your brand to people they know, you are essentially fostering the best word-of-mouth marketing there is.
Direct-to-Consumer Application: Similar to using first-purchase coupons to attract new customers, when you implement a system of rewarding current customers for referring your store to people they know, you will need to take careful measures to track customer credentials and safeguard against fraud. First, you'll need to define what the actual "bonus" will be, and next you will need to implement a system to track these bonuses. For this reason, we recommend that you launch a referral bonus rewards structure within your loyalty program, rather than attempt to manage one separately.
Integrated with Loyalty: Rewarding your loyalty members for successfully enrolling their friends, family, and co-workers into your program is a great way to effortlessly grow the membership of your loyalty program, because your current loyalty members will be the ones doing all of the direct marketing. Offer your current members either bonus rewards points for successful referrals or dollars-off their next order.
Upside to Referral Bonuses: The loyal customers that already shop at your store represent your target customer. Why? Because your target customer is anyone who chooses your brand instead of your competition. For the most part, your customers will only recommend your store to people who will appreciate your goods and services. In this way, rewarding current customers with bonuses every time they successfully refer a new shopper or sign up a new loyalty member is an effective strategy for attracting new customers.
Downside to Referral Bonuses: Depending on the particular reward bonus you give customers for making a successful referral, it could become quite expensive. Yet if you limit the number of referrals your customers can make, then you'll run the risk of cutting off your word-of-mouth marketing. In order to stay in balance, you will need to closely monitor your referral strategy and make adjustments as you go.
The Takeaway: Using referral bonuses can help you attract new customers to your brand, and you can also use referral bonuses as a reward to loyalty program members who successfully get their friends to sign up for the program. Either way, referral bonuses have the power to increase your loyal customer base.
Have we convinced you to implement first-purchase coupons, personalized bonus points, and referral bonuses as part of your loyalty program marketing strategy to attract new customers to your store?
If you want to ensure that the 3 strategies we have provided in this article yield the best possible results, we recommend that you take the following into consideration as you structure your rewards program:
● Analyze your customers' preferences and build rewards incentives around the products and services they want most
● Give members access to everyday benefits by providing easy redemption possibilities, such as "earn and burn incentives"
● Make referring your brand easy for your loyalty members by offering bonus points for specific social media actions
● Don't schedule earned points to expire too soon, and be sure to regularly contact your loyalty members to remind them of their growing balances
● Remember, not every promotional idea you come up with and effort you make is guaranteed to succeed automatically. Be patient, make adjustments, and measure engagement as you go!
Hopefully, this Loyal~n~Save article has introduced you to valuable information that will benefit your loyalty program and retail business. If you would like hands-on assistance setting up and launching a brand-new customer loyalty rewards program, contact us anytime.
Our loyalty strategists can help you determine the best rewards structure for your store. No matter which exact industry your business operates within, the experts at Loyal~n~Save can help you tailor your program so that it attracts new customers, converts customers into loyal members, and grows your loyal customer base. For pricing options and to check API integration capabilities for your POS, visit the FAQ page of our website.
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.