From the perspective of an outsider, a loyalty program may not be outwardly different from one another. But from the perspective of a business analyst and a professional entrepreneur, there might be twists and turns toward achieving the same overall goal. The most significant overall goal of all loyalty programs is to retain loyal customers so that they keep coming back to buy from your brand product or service.
Similarly, the little tweaks here and there that each business type makes in using the loyalty programs may be the required joker to beat off competitors and win over customers’ hearts. The specific little changes may make all the difference. Antavo illustrated this comparison to buying cards. While some prefer fast sports cars, others enjoy family sedans or space buses to be their choice.
When we think of customer loyalty programs this way, there might be a general need to convey people from one place to another. But the kind of cars to purchase may be different in terms of family size, capacity to maintain, the average coverage distance per week or month, and other reasons. Moreover, the relationship may not be this simple, as it may include some more complex interactions among factors that may not all be identified here.
What is Special about Retail Loyalty Programs?
In a retail loyalty program, this system is built from the ground up to answer the industry’s challenges. Besides, the market also contains a relatively higher propensity to buy as more and more products are increasingly available through retail business platforms. Furthermore, retail loyalty programs are quite different from brand loyalty programs, according to experts.
Also, some items a customer may not intend to buy until they discover the value of the other items apart from the primary one. For instance, a customer who walks into a store to get a new laptop from a specific brand may also buy a new mouse or mouse pad even if the other items belong to a different brand. On the other hand, what happens if the customer gets a free mouse and a mouse pad after acquiring a new system? The other items are purely extra value for the purchase.
Brand vs. Retail Loyalty Program Approach
While brands purely seek to engage with customers to spread the news about the brand through awareness and advocacy, retailers are customer-driven, striving to beat the brand competition to reach and retain as many customers. Also, brands focus on building a great name and standing out, but retailers point out why they are better than the competitors. However, several brand loyalty programs began to borrow retail businesses’ ideas to cement their market position.
Both brand and retailer loyalty play essential roles in building and sustaining a business, depending on the same age. For instance, brand loyalty programs are set to achieve the long-term goal of building and improving customer engagement. But the retailer loyalty programs are intended to make the buying process smooth and easy to bring about repeat purchases. In other words, brand loyalty wants the customers to continually engage with the brand, while retailer loyalty programs are transaction-focused.
Best Loyalty Program Features for Retail Business
Since retail loyalty programs are intended to ensure that customers make quicker, more comfortable, and more repeated transactions, it is crucial to consider the specific features that the program should contain. These features determine the effectiveness of our loyalty programs and impact business sales and revenue. The competition in the market is still genuine, and each brand is looking for a way to edge out others.
For instance, some common loyalty reward programs for returning customers may include free shipping, extended return periods, vouchers, and promo cards. Many store users still enjoy having these extra values. However, as a brand plans on these strategies, competitors can also figure out these common ways and replicate them. Your store may not be the only one giving out bonuses, coupons, free shipping, and other incentives.
Therefore, companies are thinking of innovative ways to achieve the set goal, such as recognition loyalty, a more complex approach to achieving customer loyalty. As these customers repeat purchases, the company gets more value and makes more sales amidst other benefits. Below are some of the essential features that can promote retailer loyalty program effectiveness.
- POS Integration
One of the multichannel available to retailers is the connection involving POS devices with a QR and barcode scanning feature. With this particular feature, business owners can have a unique identifier for each customer and keep records of transactions. Also, the unique codes can be integrated into mobile-friendly pages for each member, while there might also be a mobile pass display. The cashier can then score the customer’s usage on points from purchase.
- Digital Loyalty Card such as Mobile Wallet
Loyal customers can also use digital loyalty cards in mobile wallets to use in native apps. These mobile wallets can also serve as a mobile pass for each unique customer, helping the store manager identify how many times the customer uses the card and how much money they spend. The ease of enrollment, application, and reward of use all contribute to this method’s effectiveness.
- Push Notifications for the latest updates
Push notifications are also a meaningful way to send instant offers to customers and app users. Apart from the apps, business owners can also integrate push notifications into a website so that users can also enjoy optimum product and service delivery without missing out on any introductory offer. On the other hand, business owners can also use location-based push notifications with automatic installation when they are near the store or surf the web for similar items.
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is a compact system to beacon technology, and it enables members to interact with a retail store with their exclusive offers. For instance, a TV screen with NFC tags prompt passersby in the vicinity through colorful animations and fun-type displays. Once the customer responds to this NFC tag or prompt, the program redirects them to the enrolment page to get the reward.
Retail business owners can uncover a whole new loyalty program design that strengthens their customer retention ability. Apart from these strategies’ expertise, it leads to a win-win situation for all parties. The retail business can also wade off all sorts of competition and stick to customers who repeat purchases by giving them much more benefits from these programs.