retail loyalty programs

When full-scale commercial television programming began in the USA in 1947, customers were amazed by the twice a day 15 minute news broadcasts. Today it is difficult to imagine a world where on demand streaming services of almost any content we desire is not available 24/7.

When it comes to customer loyalty, whether your brand likes it or not, a similar sea change is occurring. No longer are customers happy to get a discount code for every certain amount spent on your product or service. Customers have choice at their fingertips and if your loyalty program isn’t providing the type of multichannel rewards which are now available to them, they will look elsewhere. 

Just as you wouldn’t play a computer game with only one level, customers need to be engaged, not merely given the odd treat. Fortunately, with the right customer loyalty program software, this level of multichannel engagement isn’t just feasible, it’s easy.

 

The SaaS Model

Software as a Service (Saas) has been a multi-billion dollar industry for the best part of a decade, proof positive that customers desire the kind of functionality of loyalty which they come to expect from other services. When it comes to customer relationship management, customers like to feel that their actions have a positive impact and they want to feel it as immediately as possible.

This means having a centralized loyalty software which records their actions across multichannel platforms. It used to be you could cut out coupons from the packaging of your cereal box, collect enough to stuff in an envelope and wait three to five weeks to have your prize sent to you in the mail. It is hard to imagine many customers getting excited about loyalty rewards if this is the effort required for often minimal pay-offs.

With SaaS, customers can buy a product, scan in the bar code or QR code and see their account automatically rewarded. If this is a points based reward system, then they will collect the points and see them reach further towards their loyalty goal. Some points of sale will be able to do this for the customer, providing a gamified experience which enhances engagement and encourages sales.

 

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Harnessing Trends

With multichannel distribution, you get the opportunity to not only meet the customer at every point of sale, but you get to see how this reflects on the customer. Customers understand that loyalty works both ways. By providing them with incentives and rewards, customers provide you with a customer profile which helps you know where and what to market.

By looking at the trends of customer spending, you can see the best kind of rewards not just for your customer base, but for the individual customer within it. This way, customers feel like their loyalty is rewarded with a tailor made service which provides the kind of incentives they are looking for. By recording and analyzing customer data from these different channels, you are able to provide customers with rewards they didn’t even know they wanted.

Your brand will not only be able to find out where customers are spending money, but also troubleshoot reasons why they aren’t spending money in other channels. By comparing these different distribution channels, you can see what works and what doesn’t. For some companies, this could mean taking your product strictly online. For others, the multichannel data analysis will help highlight new marketing avenues to explore.

 

Reward Multichannel Actions

With the proper customer loyalty program software, you will be able to keep in touch with your customers automatically. Any action they take will be fed back into their software and allow them to see how purchases with your brand are improving their day-to-day. This means from the initial sign-up, you will be able to keep them informed of new initiatives and also being there to respond to feedback.

However, utilizing this multichannel system, you can also reward them in a similarly immersive approach. It doesn’t mean simply buying your product. Once they buy what you are selling, you can provide opportunity to get even more rewards. A simple example might be filling out a survey about this individual purchase or about their customer experience in general.

If you ask customers to do this for nothing, it is likely they will click past and get on with their day. Furthermore, it could even cause them to create a negative association with your brand. However, if doing so will help them meet their customer loyalty goals, then the incentive is built in to your loyalty program.

However, an even better way to build up their loyalty points is to make the reward system more inventive and that’s why multichannel loyalty programs are the best. Whether they make a purchase in-store, online, through the app or even with a third party service, you can make sure their loyalty is rewarded and your brand is kept positive in their minds.

 

Promote at All Times

Multichannel loyalty programs also need to make sure any interaction with your brand has the potential to be used as promotion. One of the major ways this can be enacted is through social media.

Having all of your social media accounts linked through the same loyalty program means you can keep an eye on trends and also provide rewards through these incredibly important modes of marketing and promotion. You can match yourself against competitors and ensure your brand is seen in the best light possible.

More than this, you can allow customers to take their loyalty actions in new places. Sharing posts about your brand or promoting their use of your product can reap them benefits with your loyalty program. You can use affiliate marketers to make this social media promotion even greater and encourage referrals for new loyal customers in the future.

If you want your customers to be loyal you need to engage in a way which means you are not forgotten. Customers will find the best channel to get the best deal for themselves. If your loyalty program doesn’t provide your presence in all these channels, it’s likely the customer will go with someone who does.

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