The benefits of customer loyalty programs are crystal clear. Loyalty members typically spend 18% more than non-loyalty members, but that bump in their spending is the icing on the cake. It isn't the only reason to offer a loyalty program to your customers.
Loyalty programs provide:
- Customer retention. Stats on customer retention can vary widely depending on the source, but generally, businesses can pay up to seven times more to acquire new customers than to retain the ones they've got. So, in addition to the fact that loyalty customers typically spend more, retaining those customers can significantly increase your profit margin.
- Customer engagement. Customers who are engaged with your brand are much more apt to stick around awhile, especially in this age in which buying decisions aren't solely made on the basis of the best price, but on things like an emotional connection to a brand, shared values, recognition of loyalty and more. Loyalty programs are a great way to engage with your customers and keep them coming back. Part of that engagement is also about rewarding them for their loyalty. It's your way of saying a tangible "thank you" for their purchases. People like to be thanked for their efforts. It generates positive feelings toward your brand, and feeds back into itself with even more engagement and loyalty.
- Customer Lifetime Value data. What's CLV? It's the profit you net during the lifetime of your relationship with a customer. Measuring that through data gleaned by your loyalty program can not only tell you how great a customer you've got today, but it can also predict future customer behavior. That's a powerful marketing tool with which you can strategize promotions and other offers.
- Referrals. Customers who have positive experiences with your loyalty program — quickly accumulated rewards, for instance — will refer others. In creating champions for your brand, you've just done triple duty. You've rewarded a good customer, kept them around awhile, and that stat about it costing seven times more to attract a new customer? It just melted away.
- User reviews. Like word-of-mouth referrals, online reviews can either help or damage your business. If you give your customers a great experience via your loyalty program, it's more likely they'll sing your praises online.
All of that said, it's not just about instituting any loyalty program. It's not a simple "if you build it, they will come" scenario. You need a loyalty program that your customers find useful, relevant and above all, easy.
Make it easy
The key is simplicity, all the way up the chain from how your customers hear about your loyalty program, to how they sign up, to how they use it, to how they accumulate rewards to how they use those rewards. Every aspect of the Simpliconnect loyalty program is easy! Our dedicated Account Managers are there for you every step of the way to ensure your loyalty experience is seamless.
Simple and effective loyalty programs help drive results, get customers into the store, and encourage repeat business. We believe that in order to be truly successful, a loyalty program should be easy to understand and use for you and your customers.
How will your customers learn about your loyalty program? Your first line of defense — your cashiers. It's vital they have training on not only offering the program to customers as they pay for their purchases, but also the features and benefits of the program. Make sure they have a standard "elevator pitch" (a quick couple of lines that explains the program and the rewards). Also, post signage at the pumps and at the register advertising the program.
Here's a little food for thought about mobile phones and shopping preferences.
- According to Pew Research, 81% of Americans own a smartphone.
- A recent BRP special report, "The Mobilization of Retail" tells us, "the proliferation and convenience of mobile devices has completely changed shopping behaviors and elevated customer expectations."
- Of the 1,298 consumers surveyed for the BRP study, 64% reported choosing a store based on the product information readily available via mobile devices. Top mobile features cited include access to coupons or loyalty programs.
To sum that up, customers do everything on their smartphones, from depositing checks into their bank accounts to getting loans to buying items online. They're used to living their lives in the palms of their hands, and loyalty programs are no exception to that.
It's important to combine technology with loyalty, and we have the tools available to help you stand out against your competition.
We make enrollment easy with our all-digital solutions, including mobile app, Text-To-Enroll, and online interface. Once customers are enrolled, our solutions are easy to use, intuitive and effective. (If your customers still prefer cards, we can support that too!)
One key element about digital enrollment, however, is the number of fields the customer has to fill out. A minimal number of fields means minimal hassle. And customers today are becoming wary of providing too much information because of data privacy concerns. Together, it's a case for requiring just a bit of information to enroll.
Our mobile app solution allows you to stay connected to your customers in the most convenient way possible: through their phones. Customers can download the Rewards Program app either via a direct link from our Text-To-Enroll feature or by searching the App Store or Google Play Store. It's easy to download, easy to navigate, and easy to understand.
Once downloaded, our Rewards Program mobile app allows users to:
- Easily complete their information through Facebook
- Check points earned toward next reward in real time
- Find locations and see store hours
- Receive push notifications for special discounts and offers
- Track club purchases and program activity
Fully integrated with your POS, our app tracks your member activity to give them a personalized experience every time they visit your store.
When it comes to communications, your customers all have a preference of how they want to hear from you. By offering texts, push notifications and emails, you can let them know about special promotions and offers using their customized preference.
You will drive more traffic to your C-Store by sending personalized and targeted text messages such as birthday and welcome offers along with push notifications for instant savings directly to a member's phone. Custom rewards are a great way to keep customers coming back to your store. According to VentureBear, the open rate of text promotions and offers is more than 90%! Texts are read within minutes, making it a great way to spark an immediate interest in sales and same-day promotions.
Customers who choose to communicate via text are very particular when it comes to the loyalty programs they are interested in. If they do participate, rest assured they are very interested in what your business offers. Plus, tech savvy customers are much more engaged than the average customer and can end up being a brand or product cheerleader for your business. Reward them for their efforts!
Having a Facebook page and a Twitter account is another great way to create conversations and get feedback. Engagement gives you the opportunity to learn more about your customers and promote and grow brand awareness. Listening to your customers allows you to make the necessary advancements in what you offer to keep them coming back.
According to Forbes, providing rewards around engagement encourages users to come back, benefiting a business far beyond that first purchase while also benefiting the customers with a tangible reward. This tactic creates the much-sought-after customer loyalty, providing a long-term financial benefit to the business by creating customers who keep coming back. Happy customers who are surprised and delighted by your offers will come back to your store generating more revenue and increasing profits, making you a happy business owner. It’s a win-win for all!
At Simpliconnect, we're committed to helping you make your loyalty program easy and accessible and, above all, useful for your customers. Questions? Contact us today.