More Retailers Offering Customer Loyalty Programs Across Channels
A key trend to emerge from Total Retail's second annual Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers report was that retailers are allowing their customers to access, earn and redeem their loyalty points across the different channels in which the retailers operate (e.g., online, store, mobile, app, etc.). Of the 100 retailers analyzed for the report, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) said they enable customers to earn and redeem loyalty points across channels vs. just 42 that did so in 2017. Twenty-two of the 74 retailers enabling cross-channel loyalty, however, said they had some exceptions within their programs. Clearly, retailers are adapting their businesses to account for the omnichannel nature of today's consumers, and this extends to their loyalty programs.
A strong customer loyalty program — including valuable benefits and functionality — can be a tool for preventing customers from switching to a competitor based on factors such as price. This is especially important today, in the age of Amazon.com. Maximizing customer loyalty is an important point of focus for every retailer. In fact, generating customer loyalty is much more cost-effective than constantly relying on new customer acquisition. So, what are some ways to increase customer loyalty? Here are three examples:
- Create a loyalty program. One of the best ways to keep customers coming back is to reward them for their loyalty. In fact, a report from Bond Insights earlier this year found that consumers spend 37 percent more with brands when they are a loyalty program member. Loyalty programs can offer points, discounts, gifts and exclusive offers. Why do loyalty programs work? Customers want to feel appreciated. After all, they can choose to spend their money anywhere, and they’ve chosen you. That’s not a small gesture, so you should return the favor through a loyalty program.
- Make customer service a priority. If you want loyal customers, amazing customer service is a must. A customer evaluates every interaction he or she has with your staff and makes a judgment call about your service. When a customer waits in line, makes a return, calls about a broken product after a purchase, asks a question on Facebook, or works with an employee to find the perfect gift in-store, they’re keeping score. That means your in-store staff must be friendly, helpful and efficient; your customer support team should be easy to access and able to solve problems in a timely fashion; and your business should work to answer questions quickly — even on social media.
- Make it easy for customers to do business with you. Make life easy for your customers, and they’ll keep coming back. Think about how you can make the customer experience simpler or faster. Consider streamlining your checkout process so customers can get in and out, answer questions on social media rather than forcing customers to go through an automated maze of menus over the phone, and offer auto-billing.
Total Retail, in conjunction with Radial, a leading omnichannel commerce technology and operations provider, released the second annual ranking of 100 publicly traded retailers based on their omnichannel capabilities and programs offered, as well as the execution of said programs. Download this resource to benchmark your company’s omnichannel strategy against the competition. See the areas in which you’re strong and, conversely, where you’re deficient, and then create a plan to take advantage of potential opportunities.