The vast majority of retail companies use some sort of loyalty program. They do this because the data is clear that investing in customer loyalty leads to a high return on investment.
The problem with this is the Retail Industry is extremely oversaturated with transactional based loyalty programs. To be exact, Cap Gemini reported that 97% of loyalty programs out there are transactional based.
Customer experience is not improved the slightest with these programs, everyone knows the drill, spend $1000 and you’ll get a $20 coupon in the mail, or some other variation of this. They’re all the same, give us your money and we will provide small discounts in return.
Customer loyalty is defined at the result of a continual positive emotional experience and high perceived value of an experience with the brand, which also includes the services or product. So, if these transactional programs are not creating a positive experience for the customer than how will they ever create true customer loyalty?
Simply put, they won’t.
But do not fear, where there is a lack of innovation there is opportunity.
The opportunity lies in a new and improved experience by mixing the elements of gamification and social media. It is no secret that social media plays a powerful role in customer loyalty and experience, in fact, 69% of Retailers see real opportunities to use social media to improve customer experience according to Boston Retailer Partners. On top of this, 51% of American Retail professionals have stated that social media drives customer acquisition and 44% said it drives retention (Emarsys).
If everyone agrees that social media plays a crucial role in customer acquisition and retention as well as experience, why are so many retailers holding on tightly to their transactional based programs?
According to Accenture, Retailers have stated the following loyalty program challenges:
- Staying up to date with underlying tech or investing in tech (40%)
- Keeping up with loyalty program competitors (33%)
- Managing the financial complexity of the program (33%)
- Having the right talent to manage the loyalty program (30%)
Now, what if there was an all-in-one, easy to use loyalty platform that mixed the elements of gamification and social media together for you? This solves the top issue of staying up to date with tech, keeping up with competitors, managing the financial aspect with order management and hiring the right talent since this platform is so simple anyone could use it.
I think we can all agree that retail loyalty programs could use a little innovation, especially since they have not changed in concept since the 1700s with copper coins replacing today’s points.
Today’s global society is more connected than ever, and consumers have all the power to read reviews, check social media and do their own online searches before they ever engage with a brand. Rewarding your social communities with a unique experience engages them and creates a positive experience without forcing them to buy your product, which in turn creates a strong sense of trust and loyalty.
With the average American household holding 29 loyalty memberships and only being active in 12 of them, it is time we change this statistic and provide consumers with a true loyalty program that doesn’t force them to work for a small discount. This doesn’t mean your brand needs to increase their loyalty program investment, on the contrary, through contests, draws, digital scratch offs and more your brand is finally able to engage a large population without discounting!
The lottery is a proven concept that can engage many people without breaking the bank, which applies to all these of the possible reward options. So give your consumers what they want and increase your own results by driving their behaviors through an enjoyable unique experience!
If you’d like more information about how gamification and social media increase loyalty please reach out to us today!
In the meantime, check out why your brand needs to maintain a presence on Google+!