4 Must-Have Features for Your Loyalty Program to Increase Sales
According to eMarketer, 58.7 percent of consumers say loyalty programs are one of the most valuable parts of the retail experience. When your goal is to motivate customers to spend more, loyalty programs can provide new avenues to get in front of your customers and get them to consistently purchase from your brand.
While recency, frequency, monetary (RFM)-based programs still have their place, the buck doesn’t stop there. These days, consumers are expecting real interactions and deeper connections. They want to be reminded of why they purchase from your brand. In fact, 43 percent of consumers have stopped engaging with a retailer's loyalty program because it didn’t offer valuable rewards.
Loyalty programs lend themselves to great personalized marketing initiatives. They build the deeper connections you want, and should be integrated into the entire customer experience. In order to avoid problems in the future, the solution you implement should have a strong foundation so your program can grow as your customer base grows. Therefore, before you implement your loyalty program, make sure you have these four pieces in place.
A Highly Scalable Cloud Environment
You might be starting with just a few locations and a simple loyalty program, and that might be manageable with your current system. However, as you build new locations and expand your offerings, you’ll need your processing capacity to expand in kind.
A cloud environment can store information your customers give to you and make it retrievable from any location. As you add new loyalty program features or expand into new locations, your cloud-based program can scale with it, providing you with the processing power and storage capabilities you need to deliver a unique customer experience.
Dynamic, Real-Time Changes
Your competition is also likely thinking about how they can deliver equally compelling personalized experiences. Events or industry news might change the playing field, and you’ll have to adapt your program and relevant marketing.
Your loyalty program should be built to incorporate changes on the fly. It will keep you nimble when your competitor announces a new addition to their program and will help you communicate with customers when something big in your industry changes.
Real-Time Segmentation Capabilities
Personalization keeps people coming back, so your marketing should be tailored to your customers. Traditional marketing might rely on outdated information to create segments that end up too broad or narrow and don’t deliver what your customers expect. Loyalty programs give you insider access to what customers really want. Your loyalty program is collecting “zero-party data” — i.e., the information customers give you when they sign up and participate in your program. With this information, you can craft much more targeted segments and drive successful personalized marketing campaigns.
A Modern API-Based Architecture
When your loyalty program expands to new product offerings, you’ll be glad you built it to easily plug into other systems you’re using. When new features become available, or you start looking into different geographies and demographics, easy installation lets you spend less time getting your loyalty program to work and more time boosting sales.
For example, running retailer Fleet Feet integrated with fitness tracking apps for its loyalty program, Fleet Feet Rewards, so customers could log their literal miles and redeem them for rewards. Customers also earn points by interacting on social media and participating in events — all coordinated by an easy API architecture. Customers wanted to be rewarded for running with Fleet Feet’s products, and the company’s program catered right to that need.
With these functions in place, your loyalty program will be adaptable and scalable to your company’s needs. You’ll be delivering unique and seamless experiences to customers and giving them plenty of reason to return to you and build brand loyalty.
Jon Siegal is the vice president of global loyalty sales at Cheetah Digital. He is focused on helping businesses use digital and social experiences to acquire new customers and grow consumer relationships.
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