Over the past few years, one of the things that have proven to be significant game changers in retail and other industries is consumer sentiment. The lucrative top loyalty programs can strengthen businesses by incorporating the feedback of its existing customers, as this is the only way to provide “value” to the consumers. One emerging trend that we have seen in the recent past is point based loyalty cards. According to Collinson Latitude, 60 percent of the respondents like the option of redeeming their earned points through both online and physical outlets.

There are several retail giants who have brought about a revolution with the introduction of world-class customer loyalty deals and discounts. They are some of the world’s top loyalty programs that we can all learn something from. Of course, all businesses with a solid clientele have the opportunity to maximize their return on investments by introducing programs that will help in retaining the customers. But, what do the top consumer loyalty agendas of renowned organizations have to teach us? Read on to discover how you can gain an unparalleled response with your rewards programs and enhance the consumer experience.


Learning from Top Loyalty Programs; Starbucks:

Up the Game by Enhancing Mobile Phone Experience

Arguably, Starbucks is known for its trend-setting reward programs as it without a doubt is one of the top loyalty programs. Tech Crunch reports that 85% of the consumers make use of their smartphones to place orders and this is exactly where Starbucks hit to increase the brand loyalty. Centring its consumer incentives on the mobile phone users, Starbucks introduced three outstanding features:

  • Gamification: Starbucks has incorporated elements of gamification into their loyalty program customer rewards as shown in the video above. Their platform has different tabs including the Map (gamified journey), Challenges (ways to move forward), Journal (collection of rewards) and Play (where you can play to earn rewards).
  • Social Media: The program allows you to earn rewards when you invite friends to join and each item you redeem or play allows you to share it on Facebook, Twitter or download it to share elsewhere. This social element spreads the word to increase brand awareness and user acquisition within the loyalty program.
  • Paying Ahead and Getting the Order from the Nearest Franchise: One of the reasons why Starbucks lures more consumers than its competitors is that it enables people to order and pay ahead through the mobile app. The extraordinary part is that after you have placed an order, you can simply head out to the nearest franchise and get your drinks and food without waiting in the line.
  • Virtual Wallet: The next big thing that Starbucks did was to let people load money in the loyalty app, which enabled them to make purchases later on. The Consumers Starbucks Plastic Loyalty Cards had 1.2 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2016.
  • Mobile App-based Loyalty Program: Conventionally, businesses introduce loyalty cards but Starbucks mobile app was a differentiating factor for a decisive victory in the eyes of the consumers. Customers can now gather stars or points through purchases from the mobile app and get a free drink through the earned rewards.



Learning from the MAC:

Provide Incentives that People Actually Look Forward to Receiving

What’s the point if the consumers are not interested in the rewards that the companies offer? Exactly the issue that cosmetics company MAC tackles with their online, tier-based loyalty program— making the membership absolutely free to become the basic level select member and enjoy the perks. Consumers do not have to make an initial purchase to become a member and this marketing strategy infuses brand loyalty amongst the users, as they would want to try out new products along with complimentary gifts. Here is how the tier-based customer loyalty offers are structured:

Mac Top Loyalty Programs


  • Seduced — Tier One: This is the basic level tier and there is no need for the individual to buy a product to join this tier. The members can enjoy annual gift simply for being a member, sample products, and access to limited edition products. The select members also get to choose their favourite eye shadow, lip gloss or lipstick for a complimentary gift if they return six empty containers.
  • Devoted — Tier Two: By spending $150 annually, the members can get all the advantages of tier one as well as expedited shipping and access to collections before anyone else.
  • Obsessed — Tier Three: This is highest class of the members and it can be unlocked after a consumer spends $500. The member will get exclusive limited editions, improved samples, get the opportunity to shop before anyone else, a couple of makeup applications, expedited shipping along with the benefits of tier one and two.

Loyalty Program Incentives

MAC’s loyalty program also offers consumers incentives just for signing up, as shown above. This encourages people to take action and answers the question on everyone’s mind, “Why should I be part of this?”. Start your loyal relationship off on the right foot with consumers by offering value right off the bat.

With their recycling program and allowing people to choose from their preferable merchandise, MAC has encouraged its consumers to remain engaged with the brand all year round. Treating the customers with an “exclusive” treatment is also of the reasons why MAC’s customer loyalty gaining tactics are becoming successful.


Learning from AmazonFresh:

Provide Value to the Customers

There are plenty of loyalty trends that are expected to take care of the existing customers and facilitating their retention. But, what is really the key to keep the members happy so that they continue buying from you? Well, unless you provided actual value to the customers, sooner or later, they are bound to ditch your services or products for another. A crucial lesson to learn from AmazonFresh, a grocery service subsidiary of Amazon, ensures that the customers get something of an essence for showing brand loyalty. For nominal additional monthly subscription fees, the Amazon Prime members have these benefits:
Amazon loyalty program

  • Simplicity: This is one of the keys to Amazon’s customer rewards program, allowing users to understand right away why they need to sign up and what they’ll be getting in return.
  • Valuable Perks: Unlimited grocery delivery to the prime members in places where AmazonFresh service is live;
  • Large Selection: Order a host of grocery commodities, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, frozen foods, household goods, beverages etc. online or through the mobile app at a fair price. From other Amazon services or products you always have seemingly unlimited options to choose from.
  • Prime Options: Allows customers to buy from the local shops like Dickenson’s Farmstead Meats and Amy’s Meat. Buying food locally is a popular customer trend that Amazon taps into.

Over the course of last few years, Amazon loyalty programs have had several subscription approaches but now the grocery service has morphed into a superior form by lowering the subscription fees.


Depending on your services and products, you can learn a lot from the companies with a strong retention rate. Unleash your true power by announcing a loyalty program that promises to provide value, allows people to choose their perks exclusively, and gives them feasibility to connect with the company through mobile phone devices.

Liking the idea of setting up a Loyalty Platform? Check out these 5 simple step to getting your very own Loyalty Program!


Toni Arco

Popular Posts