Loyalty programs date as far back as the 18th Century, when merchants used to give repeat customers copper tokens which could be used to redeem discounts on future purchases. Even back then they saw the benefits of a loyalty program!
Since then, the concept behind loyalty programs pretty much remained the same right through to the 21st Century. Paper punch cards commonly reward customers with “a free X with every 5th purchase” (for example).
The arrival of digital loyalty programs ushered in a new era of personalised customer experiences that has revolutionised brand loyalty for the better.
The emergence of mobile loyalty apps has further enhanced the customer experience, and now the parameters of what brands can do with loyalty apps are limitless.
Here are just a few of the exceptional ways you can use a digital loyalty rewards app to your advantage.
The Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs
Learn how to create a successful loyalty program that retains customers and boosts sales.
1. Personalised Experiences
The majority of customers carry their mobile phone with them all day. When a customer gives you their phone number and/or email address upon signing up to an app, you have the opportunity to get directly to them. You can offer customers a much more personalised experience with your brand than what was possible before smartphones.
You can send your newest loyalty program member a welcome email introducing them to a exclusive VIP club, and speak to them directly by using their first name.
There’s the opportunity to send them a code on their birthday that they can use to redeem a free gift in-store, and check in with them via SMS and push notification when they haven’t visited the store in a while.
These little gestures provide a unique experience with your brand, which lays the groundwork for the next point…
2. Tailored Rewards
Perhaps the most crucial thing to be gained from digitalizing your rewards program is obtaining the answers to questions like “what are my customers buying?”, “how much are my loyal customers spending?”, “how frequently are they making purchases?”
The answers to these and other key pieces of information, allows you to tailor your offers to appeal to each individual customer’s specific needs.
For the customer who only ever buys formal menswear, why not send him a push notification offering him a limited-time 30% discount on all collared shirts, satchel bags and dressy shoes purchased in-store or online?
3. Spontaneous rewards to stay 'front of mind'
Extra features like “Birthday Club” (where loyalty program members receive a free or discounted product on their birthday each year) make customers feel important and appreciated by your business.
Meanwhile, side promotions like Scratch & Win campaigns (where customers are prompted to “scratch” their fingers over their smartphone screens to reveal instant prizes) incorporate a bit of fun and games into your program and keep customers engaged.
Remember: the rewards of the Scratch & Win campaigns aren’t actually as important as the fun associated with the game itself.
Small tokens of gratitude – like a free coffee here, a discount there, or perhaps entry into a draw to win something bigger – are enough to excite your customers and keep them on their toes.
Read more about what gamification is and how effective it is in incentivising customers to use a loyalty program.
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4. Convenience and Ease of Use
A 2018 CodeBroker survey of more than 440 millennials belonging to loyalty programs from various industries found that an astounding 97 percent agreed they’d actively engage with loyalty programs if they were able to access their rewards information directly on their smartphones.
Let’s not forget that millennials currently have more spending power than any other generation. It’s worth paying attention to their needs and expectations… and then delivering!
A recent Vibes report stated that nearly three-quarters of smartphone users are eager to have all their loyalty programs stored on their devices in one handy spot, for convenience and ease of use.
These days, we use our smartphones for just about everything. We very rarely leave the house without them. It only makes sense that loyalty programs would evolve to become highly interactive mobile apps.
5. Direct Communication with Customers
Most digital loyalty providers provide the ability to communicate directly with loyalty program members through the loyalty platform.
For example, the Stamp Me loyalty platform enables merchants to send Push Notifications and SMS directly to their customers with just a few clicks of a button, or even automatically.
This simple action is an incredibly powerful tactic, as it allows a business to deliver the right messages, at the right time, to the right customer.
For example, a digital loyalty program can be configured to automatically send the following text message to any customer who hasn’t made a transaction within 7 days:
“It’s been over a week – we miss you! Come in and enjoy a free coffee on us.”
The customer who receives this then feels recognised and appreciated, and the business is suddenly at the forefront of their mind.
The list goes on!
There’s no limit to the innovative ways in which brands can use a digital loyalty app to engage customers in new and creative ways, but embracing these five points will certainly get you off to a good start!
Are you looking for a digital loyalty program for your business? Check out the Stamp Me Loyalty App.
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