By Emily Rudin
Loyalty programs are evolving to meet the growing expectations of consumers. Customers expect to be rewarded for engaging with a brand no matter how or where they make the purchase. They also expect that the brand will customize and personalize promotions so that they are hit with relevant offers and incentives at the right time.
The easier it is for the customer to be appropriately rewarded for their loyalty, the more effective the program will be at driving sales and meeting customer needs. As a result, brands and retailers are choosing more sophisticated, multichannel, and layered loyalty programs to build in a wider range of spend-based activities. There are a number of ways brands can engage customers and incentivize them for their purchases.
1. Make it easier for customers to be rewarded for spending money
Consumers expect to receive loyalty program benefits no matter how they pay for their purchases. Due to the rise of mobile payment and digital wallet services, retailers should run tender neutral loyalty programs, which means that customers can be rewarded for whichever payment method is more convenient, whether it’s cash, private label credit card, or Apple Pay. By taking this approach, retailers can improve their results while broadening your customer base to further drive shopper engagement and satisfaction.
Consumers also expect to be rewarded for every single purchase they make, and even brands without a direct selling channel are now meeting this expectation. Receipt scanning is a great technique that allows customers to collect points across multiple retailers, and can give a brand a competitive edge. Similarly, though not as seamlessly, printing codes on product packages is a good alternative to receipt scanning, and allows frequent buyers to collect points, earn merchandise, and encourages purchases.
Load-to-card programs also offer an effective commerce strategy for CPG brands that want to help drive sales and track purchases on their items across multiple retailers. Select load-to-card programs provide customers with multi-week promotions across different brands, allowing the customer to take advantage of promotions and discounts across all brands for buying in-store. This helps drive sales and ensure loyalty program members are automatically rewarded for spending in store, with only the swipe of their loyalty card.
2. Capture customer data to drive personalization
Brands are leveraging loyalty programs to capture customer data through surveys, registration forms, sweepstakes entries, and more. This combination of implicit data (gathered through activity in various streams) and explicit data (information offered by the consumer) gives a holistic view of who core customers are and what they want.
Historically, CPG and media/entertainment brands have been unable to tie back purchase data to individual consumers due to lack of access to POS data. Today, many are partnering with loyalty vendors who offer technology like receipt scanning, automatic purchase recognition, and load-to-card programs allowing them to identify and reward their customers for commerce activities. This provides a 360-degree view and unprecedented insight into the core consumer and their behaviors and preferences.
3. Design effective campaigns to increase sales on certain products
Retailers and loyalty reward providers can leverage custom product catalogs to run SKU and category-based promotions as part of their commerce strategy. By marrying together the product catalog, inventory, fulfillment, and payments, brands can identify their most profitable customers and what they’re purchasing, and design effective campaigns to increase sales on certain products and reward customers for spend.
Additionally, by building receipt scanning functionality into their loyalty programs, brands can scan receipts to identify applicable SKUs and/or product descriptions. Brands are then able to gain insight into the retailer, total basket size, and store location, for example, and leverage this data to design effective customer strategies.
4. Upsell to customers to drive more spend with your brand
Once a relationship has been established with the customer, retailers can offer them additional perks, such as member-only coupons. You can further incentivize purchases and engagement with your brand based on customers’ shopping history, as well as offer creative ways to upsell customers to drive spending. This approach gives customers an additional incentive to visit a store to make additional purchases and increase basket size.
Bonus point promotions are also a great way to drive your customers to spend more to earn more points for rewards. Driving program interest by offering bonus point-earning opportunities or giving members occasional points to reward their participation motivates spending and helps shoppers reach better rewards.
Companies that successfully build out their commerce strategy as part of their loyalty program are not only positioned to increase customer retention rates and drive sales, they’re more likely to sustain a competitive advantage and increase market share.
Learn more about the possibilities of driving loyalty marketing on multiple channels with Oracle CrowdTwist.