The world has still not emerged out of the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, these days, customers prefer a virtual store instead of brick-and-mortar ones. Retailers are readily willing to make changes in their business structure for boosting much-needed sales. And, loyalty programs are helping them in driving brand affinity and repeat sales.
An effective loyalty strategy that worked perfectly until the last year may not remain relevant any longer. Consumers shopping on e-commerce websites and apps need versatile loyalty programs appealing enough to attract consumers on digital touch points.
1. Loyalty programs can help in increasing commitment from consumers
Due to the pandemic related lockdowns, consumers do not mind trying products from readily available brands. Thus, businesses need to establish and maintain an emotional connection.
Buyers often uninstall apps that they feel are unworthy of the space on their devices. However, the one that offers unique rewards and benefits on purchases manages to retain a special place on the phone and in the heart as well. For brands, loyalty program apps work as a connecting point, and blending them with social media platforms can make the interactions even more enjoyable. Several businesses urge buyers to share their rewards achievements with friends on social networking sites in exchange for more points. It helps in making the emotional connection even stronger. Stats shared by predictive intelligence solutions provider, Motista, point out that consumers who have an emotional connection with the business have a 306% higher lifetime value.
2. Consumers prefer opting for in-app notifications and text messages due to loyalty programs
Loyalty program solutions come with a user-friendly backend platform for administrators. They can monitor customer stats as well as feedback and use inputs to improve the digital engagement further.
Loyalty program app notifications can help in delivering a personal message right on the customer’s phone screen. People willingly keep the notifications turned on for such applications. In fact, a study by Oracle Retail pointed out 61 percent of consumers show the willingness to even subscribe to SMS alerts in exchange for rewards. App notifications are less bothering comparatively.
3. Loyalty and rewards programs can encourage app downloads
Several small and large businesses worldwide have succeeded in using social media to influence prospective customers to download their apps and sign up for loyalty programs.
First-time buyers start getting points from the first step, i.e., downloading the app and registering for the program. Points can make the initial purchases cheaper. And this works! Studies suggest that roughly 54 percent of consumers appreciate businesses that offer such initiatives, while 46 percent even agreed about making more purchases due to accumulated points.
4. Digital rewards for engaging mobile-minded audiences
The covid-19 pandemic has significantly increased the adoption of mobile wallets and mobile devices for making purchases. Thus, a digital, mobile-friendly rewards system can better resonate with such an audience.
Besides access to exclusive services, customers also prefer digital gift cards that can be encashed via digital wallets. Offering such rewards can still manage to keep them loyal towards the brand.
The pandemic has resulted in a stay-at-home economy. The accelerated online purchases have increased digital loyalty point redemptions by as much as 80 percent as per an article published by the Wall Street Journal. For the first time, digital coupons redemption surpassed paper ones during the second quarter of 2020. Even big players in the US, like CVS and Walgreens, shifted to digital from print recently.
Thanks to digital loyalty program solutions, businesses can offer relevant rewards to consumers. The Loyalty management platform can analyze customers’ spending habits, purchase history, and other factors to design the best loyalty programs. Such initiatives prove far better than distributing coupons based on zip codes in newspapers. Loyalty program members can check their points and accumulated rewards and encash the same 24*7 with apps.
AI-based tools help e-commerce players and brick-and-mortar stores detect gaps in shopping patterns and offer unique access to products from the retailer’s perspective. Personalization, combined with customer behavior insights, can help take loyalty programs to the next level. Some buyers may appreciate discounts, cashback, gifts, travel gift cards, while others may wish to opt for price-cuts on bulk purchases along with free shipping. Customized programs can be created based on the feedback to win these consumers.
Consumer commitment increases when they are treated like stakeholders by seeking feedback. And digital loyalty solutions can make this easy for firms that have just moved from brick-and-mortar business to an online one.
Put simply, loyalty programs can be aligned with buyers’ expectations due to the flexibility offered by digital solutions. These systems can also help in motivating underperforming consumers to buy more.
Loyalty program solutions can help in including gamification, competition, quizzes to improve digital engagement.
5. Loyalty programs with omnichannel experience for digital engagement
Some cities around the world consist of more underbanked or unbanked consumers. A quick transition to digital seems impossible for them due to multiple factors. However, they show interest in accumulating loyalty point/ reward cards while making cash payments at physical stores.
If given the option, such customers scan and upload loyalty cards online via mobile wallets or websites to claim benefits. So, it’s clear that creating an omnichannel experience can help in migrating untapped customer segments slowly. Several firms worldwide that relied on brick-and-mortar stores for their business have already begun implementing this strategy to attract their loyal customers towards digital platforms.
These consumers have a considerable amount of buying power. Attracting, engaging them with specially designed loyalty programs can help firms ensure they hop online or use their smartphone apps.
Talk to us today if you are interested in hearing more about loyalty programs. For more you can request a free demo of our loyalty management platform!