By Cat Rossi
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession, the retail industry faced its fair share of challenges. To survive, retailers are adapting to new ways consumers are shopping and what makes them brand loyal. A McKinsey report found that more than 75% of consumers have tried new brands, places to shop, or shopping methods so far during the pandemic. The report remarks, “With continued pressure on household income, consumers are trying new brands and channels, seeking both better value and convenience.”
Leading retailers are investing in omnichannel loyalty and engagement programs to reward customers, collect data, and personalize experiences across all touchpoints and channels. Take a look at these four ways omnichannel loyalty programs can help retailers deepen relationships with their customers and bounce back from the pandemic.
1. Reward customers for every transaction
Retailers can leverage loyalty programs to ensure consumers are rewarded for every transaction they make. According to the aforementioned McKinsey report, more consumers intend to continue the new shopping habits they picked up during the coronavirus:
81% intend to continue to use in-store self-checkout
52% intend to continue with curbside pick-up
65% intend to continue making purchases online and collecting in-store
By rewarding customers for these new shopping behaviors, in addition to the traditional offline and online transactions, retailers can capture critical data to power product promotions and create personalized recommendations.
2. Drive brand engagement
Omnichannel loyalty programs reward customers not only for spending with the brand but for their engagement as well. Our research finds that consumers are willing to complete engagement activities in exchange for rewards. Consider including surveys, friend referrals, and reviews as point-earning activities. Having access to this valuable customer feedback arms retailers with greater conviction on where to allocate their budget and focus their strategies.
3. Offer unique perks and experiences
Customers deserve special treatment and recognition for their brand loyalty— now more than ever. Brands can achieve this by providing member-only perks and exclusive rewards. Given the rise in online shopping, perks, such as free shipping or free returns, are attractive member-only benefits. One-of-a-kind rewards that align with your brand offerings will encourage members to stay active in the program. Reward redemption data helps retailers understand what motivates their most loyal customers.
4. Recognize and encourage customer advocacy
The data collected in an omnichannel loyalty program helps retailers identify their most high-value customers and acknowledge them with surprises. The benefits that brand advocacy brings to a company are immeasurable. This tactic helps increase spending, grow positive word-of-mouth, create long-lasting relationships, and maximize customer lifetime value (CLV).
Omnichannel loyalty and engagement programs provide retailers with the consumer insight to drive critical business decisions, gain a competitive edge, and ultimately win and retain loyal customers in this uneasy economy.
Find out more about how to leverage loyalty data to personalize customer experiences with:
- How Retailers Can Leverage Loyalty Program Data to Create Exceptional Customer Experiences
- Oracle CrowdTwist Loyalty and Engagement
- Oracle Marketing