Loyalty Programs: Are You Showing Value Beyond the Points?

point based loyalty programs

Consumers are always looking for a bargain, or at least some kind of discount on their purchases. Whether it’s a lower price or a rebate, they know they should get a better deal. That’s why 86% of them will join a loyalty program that gives them points on their purchases and rewards them for their loyalty.

On average, consumers are enrolled in more than 13 loyalty programs, which is a lot, but they are only active in half of them. That’s a big problem for retailers—getting customers to actively engage with their loyalty program. It’s not an easy challenge to overcome, because consumers have a lot of expectations before they even sign up.

Some common reasons for lack of engagement are:

  • Takes too long to sign up.
  • Cost associated with signing up.
  • Asking for too much personal information.
  • Benefits aren’t worth the hassle.
  • Takes too long to earn enough points.
  • Always forget their loyalty card.

The best way to overcome these challenges is to show them the value of their commitment. Loyalty programs should offer more than just points on purchases. If they don’t, then they aren’t truly engaging with their customers.

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Value Strengthens Loyalty

Offering a point based loyalty program is a great start and captures their attention, but the key to engagement is showing value. It strengthens the relationship between customer and brand. Here are some of the best ways to show value and entice customers to join a loyalty program.

1. Mobile Access

97% of millennials said that they would actively engage with loyalty programs when made accessible on their smartphones. And 75% of all consumers feel the same. This doesn’t necessarily mean through an app, because over a quarter of millennials want to receive alerts from their loyalty programs through text. And email is also available on smartphones, which gives retailers another platform for mobile access.

2. Unique Experiences

Retailers need to make their customers feel special. A great way to do this is provide unique experiences reserved for loyalty program members. Customizing rewards lets them feel like they are being recognized as more than a regular shopper. Instead of discounts on merchandise, retailers can offer free shipping, exclusive gifts, or VIP events when customers reach certain milestones with their points.

3. Knowledge and Insight

Customers love it when retailers and their employees act more like consultants and less like salespeople. This means training employees to have enough knowledge about the program that will satisfy the toughest of customer questions. It also means training them how to interact with customers in order to get them to sign up. They can’t be too aggressive or passive. Positive engagement requires proper timing and self-confidence.

4. Frequent Communications

This doesn’t mean flooding their inbox with daily specials, even if it is a corner deli. In one survey, 85% of respondents said that they would like to see an email at least monthly from their favorite brands. Over 60% said they wouldn’t mind weekly emails. They want to see the latest promotions, which doesn’t mean that they will read them, but it has to be there when they do. Or else the competition could step in and steal them away.

Getting Beyond Points

Retailers understand the need to engage more with their customers. One of the best ways to do it is through a loyalty program that offers more than just points. They need to show value by giving  perks that matter. This makes them feel special and want to come back, again-and-again.

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