What Loyalty Program Will Best For Your ecommerce Business in 2019
Olga always goes to the same baker she’s been going to for years. There’s a second one a bit closer to her house, wit
h better and fresher bread. Why does she keep going to the first one?
Well, they know her name, they always save her a loaf of her favorite rye bread, and they sometimes give her a complementary slice of the pie of the day.
She will forever choose the first bakery. Because loyalty is powerful. And loyalty programs are the best way to show your gratitude.
Keeping current customers happy can be 5-25x cheaper than finding new ones. If customer retention isn’t one of your primary objectives, you could be losing out on a big slice of cash.
Loyal customers don’t only equal cost savings, but also increased profit, since they are more likely to recommend their brand to their friends and family. And word-of-mouth marketing is the best method of attracting new customers that will also become loyal.
Customer loyalty programs have been around since as long as businesses have. But it’s not only Olga’s favorite bakery that benefits. Online businesses and ecommerce stores can reap great results from rewards programs just as well as brick-and-mortar shops.
Loyalty is king. Amazon, the Goliath of ecommerce, has an estimated 70 million-90 million members signed up for Amazon Prime in return for free two-day shipping and other advantages. On top of that, 45% of Prime members buy from Amazon at least once a week, and Prime members spend nearly 5x as much as non-members.
There are a volley of options to keep your customers loyal, happy and coming back with a smile. What ecommerce solution would be best for your online shop? Below, we discuss the different kinds of retention programs that could work for your business model.
1.Reward Customers For Social Media Engagement
The most common loyalty program is one where customers earn reward points for every purchase. Instead of this, a more fruitful model would be rewarding them for marketing your brand.
Let us repeat: asking your own customers to do your marketing work will make them more loyal to your brand.
And they don’t need to be marketing or advertising specialists to do this. With Facebook influencing over half of consumer purchases, simply sharing and engaging with your content is marketing enough. The more you reward and acknowledge them for being brand ambassadors, the more loyal they’ll be to your brand.
Large and small businesses alike can create a loyalty card for customers that are sharing their social media posts with their own community.
Encourage your customers to share your Facebook posts or blog posts. For every like and comment they get on the share, they stack points they can later redeem to retrieve a reward. This method works well for any brand that uses a content and social media marketing strategy.
There is no better method of social media management than turning your customers into nano influencers. Plus, recommendations from close friends or family is the number one most influential factor in purchasing decisions.
Tip: If you’re using a points system, make sure to keep it simple and direct. Don’t make your customers do math acrobatics to figure out what the rewards are. Keep it intuitive.
2.Use A Premium Loyalty Program Model
If you don’t feel like tracking points, you could opt for a one-off or annual VIP fee. Drawing from Amazon’s Prime membership, you could offer your clients exclusive benefits in return for an annual membership fee.
Amazon’s strong point is that they directly address their customers’ pain points. They figured out what was a barrier to most customers’ purchases (shipping costs and waiting time) and removed it for their VIP members.
What’s more, members can try the benefits of the program immediately and for free (with a 7-day trial).
Tip: Make sure your loyalty program offers true rewards. Not just early notifications of your best deals, but actual rebates, free stuff, vouchers or even cash.
3.Partner With Another Brand For Special Offers
This works great for niche brands. For example, if you are an ecommerce site that sells scuba diving gear, you can partner with a scuba diving centre, offering package accommodation + gear rentals + diving in exchange for their membership with your brand.
It’s a win-win-win situation. You’re driving customers to the centers, as well as offering the center discounted gear. The scuba diving center, in return, would sell your products at their location and promote your brand. And finally, clients get discounts on both ends.
Tip: Choose a brand that you can provide value to and that can provide value to your customers.
4.Use A Tiered Loyalty Program To Encourage Interaction
Tiered loyalty programs offer different rewards depending on how many milestones the customer has met. The more milestones you complete, the greater the rewards you reap. These tiers are usually measured by how much money the customer spends, but can also be measured by how much they engage with your brand on social media channels.
Building a tiered loyalty program is a way to gamify loyalty. It makes it fun for people to try to reach a certain level of points and get rewarded with free gifts.
After all, who doesn’t like to compete for the grand prize?
Plus, if you show your customers how they rank among themselves, not only do they become part of your brand’s community, but you spark their sense of competition. Everyone likes to be number one.
Don’t forget to display the customer ranks to everyone.
The person on the top will naturally want to keep that spot, and they’ll keep engaging with your brand to stay number one and reap the greatest rewards.
Tip: Save the best rewards only to the most loyal customers.
5.Use A Community-Based Reward Program
Build a community around your brand and reward customers for being involved. This works best for lifestyle brands that have strong family and community values. Make your community inclusive but exclusive at the same time — joining is free (anybody can join), but you gain reward points from engaging and interacting with the brand.
For instance, users could get points by simply joining the community.
Tip: Make sure to actively engage with your customers. Respond to all their comments, where possible, and recognize them for building your brand’s community.
Loyal customers are brands’ most important asset. Incentivizing customers to be loyal to and promote your brand is one of the best investments you could make.
Find the loyalty program that works best with your sector.
Want to know more about how to turn your customers into brand ambassadors? Get in touch with us for a chat!