Loyalty. One of several marketing Holy Grails and something we fight for every day by looking for new solutions and better results. And, importantly, we all try to improve them, no matter what industry we work in: according to Seeing beyond the loyalty illusion: It’s time you invest more wisely report prepared by Accenture, over 90% of companies currently have some form of customer engagement or loyalty program.
Obsolete ideas versus programs of the future – in other words: go mobile
In ancient times, a whole twenty-five or so years ago, when the Internet was just crawling, building loyalty programs seemed much simpler.
People repeated their purchases, but their choice of brands and products was also much more limited. The same applied to their access to information. So, given this history, can we be convinced that the use of old tricks will affect today’s buyers?
Let's check what has changed with the introduction of mobile loyalty programs:
All those factors seem to be a milestone in the emphasis on customer satisfaction, the customer experience and quick access to the mobile app.
What do customers and retailers want?
It is rare that the needs of buyers and producers are the same since, as a rule, representatives of these groups play in opposite goals (low prices versus high margins, etc.), and the only point of contact is the moment of purchase.
However, loyalty programs are something that both sides will gain from. And both of these groups are eager to use loyalty programs but for a variety of reasons.
1. Customer point of view
The main reason why clients are happy about loyalty programs is the satisfaction and engagement they feel and the ability to quickly use the application whenever and wherever they need it.
In addition, using modern mobile loyalty programs they also benefit from:
- Fast and intuitive registration
- Exclusive offers: promotions only for loyalty program members, personalized promotions
- Frequent changes of offers
- Personalized communication
- The ability to conveniently edit profile data and consents
- Reward systems
- Elements of gamification
- Transparency of rules
- Data safety
2. Retailer perspective
The obvious benefits in this case are of course cost optimization and revenue increases.
However, many different components affect the achievement of these two goals: Quick implementation, work in sprints: program configuration flexibility, real-time communication with the client, digitization of the service, real-time reports, users may get aware of the promotion, high level SLA and data safety.
Translating all those points from technical to marketing language, what we would expect from a well-structured loyalty program is:
- Increased margins
- Increased user activity
- Increased average cart value
- Increased purchase frequency
- Increased customer information base
- Decreased promotional costs
- Increased visual appeal of the application
But how can we make it all work…?
A short recipe for the perfect loyalty program
Today's customers pay attention to the important role of real time activities and experience that they get when in contact with a given brand (including its loyalty program).
Research shows that the millennial generation values these factors more than values such as money and possessions.
So how do you design a loyalty program to suit those needs?
First of all, you can create a solution based on collecting loyalty points. In this way you not only take care of customer engagement, but also increase shopping frequency, basket value and, importantly, get more behavioral data.
Secondly, focus on gamification. Create an attractive concept and let your customers feel a little bit of competition. Design a set of scenarios to be performed by users. Each of the scenarios means performing specific actions within a given time.
For example, a user must buy 5 coffees and 3 hotdogs during the week to receive some type of prize or reward. It’s another smart way to boost customer engagement, but also a great way to reach of any business goal using elements of play and introducing an entertaining and fun element.
But remember that such arrangements need to have light anti-fraud protection.
Modern loyalty programs – is it worth investing in them?
This question seems to be rhetorical - who doesn’t want to have happy and satisfied customers?
The numbers we’ve collected* speak for themselves:
- Identified users with a personalized experience on websites provide from 2.3 to 7 times more engagement than anonymous users.
- Anonymous users on mobile app generate 1.6 times more engagement than anonymous users on websites.
- Identified users with personalized experiences on mobile app generate from ~3.5 to 5.36 times more engagement on mobile apps than anonymous users on mobile apps.
- Loyal users with personalized experiences on mobile apps generate ~ 7.02 times more engagement than anonymous users.
*Source: based on data gathered by Synerise; engagement vary by industry
To sum up, the question should not really be “Is it worth investing?”, but what is the fastest way to implement a modern loyalty program.