Going beyond rewards with app-based loyalty programs
The marketplace is inundated with mediocre rewards-based customer loyalty programs, that do nothing to inspire users to take real-time action, but that doesn’t mean they can’t evolve to drive higher levels of customer engagement and improve marketing performance.
Loyalty Programs attempt to drive sales and create repeat customers but in fact, many programs teach shoppers to be disloyal using discounting as an incentive, which is often why you find them shopping around for the best loyalty rewards programs, based purely on the deepest price cuts. Retailers need to look at moving beyond complex points-based rewards systems to rather adding value to create and retain loyal customers.
Creating loyalty in today’s competitive climate is about immersive and engaging relationships at an individual level, it’s about creating a convenient and personalised experience for the customer. Loyalty programs are the ideal platform to do this, having evolved from card-based programs to omni-channel apps that can be used on customers’ smartphones or tablets that integrate with retailers’ inventory systems to ensure stock levels and can even take it a step further by helping find ways to solve customers’ problems.
These app-based loyalty programs already add value to customers’ busy lives through convenience alone. For example, a retail loyalty program app using Artificial Intelligence (AI) can design offers specific and unique to each individual shopper, perfectly meeting their needs.
The opportunities that an app-based loyalty program offers, grow exponentially as retailers look at using their inflight analytics to track and adjust campaigns to offer significant rewards for guided behaviour. Using predictive analytics to understand impact and profitability of campaigns, retailers can set themselves apart by timing offers appropriately and delivering rewards immediately after participation as a thank you to customers for their loyalty.
The convenience of an app-based program is a big driver of loyalty. If you offer an easy way to do business, are creative with your offerings, provide individual offers and targeted promotions where your customers feel valued, they will stay loyal to you.
According to Kobie Marketing in the US: customers will remember their experience with a brand long after they’ve forgotten a discount. Companies cultivate true customer loyalty by making customers’ lives easier and making sure each engagement (whether in-person or in-app) offers unbeatable value.