Don’t Underestimate Loyalty Programs

Lilly Thuma Picture

by Lilly Thuma | Last Updated: Nov 6, 2020

I am way more likely to buy something if I am going to get something in return. Whether that’s points, free drink, money back, discount, or anything else. And I am not alone in that. There are 3.3 Billion consumers already in loyalty programs, and 84 percent of those consumers have made redemptions from loyalty programs. So, loyalty programs are clearly working to keep consumers engaged with brands, and with the state of the world today, brands need that engagement now more than ever. Builds Trust Building trust is always a good thing, both in relationships with people and relationships with brands. When a consumer trusts your brand they don’t only buy more from you, they also tell others to buy more from you. Building this trust is one of the biggest benefits of a loyalty program. The aspect of trust has become more important in 2020. 90 percent of consumers say they are either equally loyal or more loyal to brands than they were a year ago. Plus, 57 percent of consumers say they are likely to spend more on brands to which they are loyal. Therefore, implementing a loyalty program for your brand can really help improve sales. In fact, loyalty leaders have seen ROI grow 2.5 times faster than others. Consumers Want Rewards Consumers also want rewards. When your consumers get something back from their purchase it entices them to keep purchasing from that brand. So, if you want a successful loyalty program that builds the trust we just talked about, you need to know what kind of rewards your consumers want. About half of consumers are willing to join a loyalty program just to get everyday rewards. While everyday rewards are great, I would encourage you to make your loyalty program a little more exciting. One way to do this is through personalization. 87 percent of consumers say they would let brands closely monitor their activity if it means their rewards would be more personalized. In addition to personalization, try to make your loyalty program fun. An overwhelming amount of consumers say they would engage more with loyalty programs that included new tech like augmented reality, chatbots, or smart devices like wearables. And finally, don’t make your loyalty program difficult to use. I hate to break it to you, but this means you probably shouldn’t use a native mobile app for your loyalty program. 58 percent of American consumers have said they are less likely to join a loyalty program if they have to download an app. So please, don’t put them through that misery and instead consider using a Progressive Web App (PWA). Loyalty Program Masters Still, have no idea where to start with your loyalty program? Let’s look at brands that are already doing it well. Home Depot Home Depot just upgraded its loyalty program to make it more convenient for its users to use. They moved their loyalty program completely onto mobile complete with a virtual ID for all loyalty members. This means members don’t have to carry around a card or key fob, making it easier for members to access their rewards. Additionally, they have implemented bonus points into the program which gives consumers incentives to buy more to reach the next membership level. Plus, they have included gamification strategies to make their program more engaging. Tim Hortons Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes, is rolling out a new drive-thru ordering screens at those three restaurants. These upgraded drive thrus will come with digital screens, predictive selling technology, and integration with the brand’s loyalty program. So far, Tim Horton's is the first loyalty program to be implemented, with Burger King and Popeyes expected to follow suit. This integration now makes it very easy for consumers to access the loyalty program and allows for it to be contactless. The biggest takeaway here is that you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a loyalty program, especially now when building relationships with consumers is so important. If you haven’t implemented a loyalty program yet, the time to do it is now, and if you already have one, evaluate how you can make it more engaging.

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