The loyalty program concept has long been adapted across a wide range of industries and verticals, from travel and hospitality to food and retail. But recently, emerging digital capabilities have ushered in a new era of loyalty program possibilities.
Using the latest digital technologies, brands today have limitless opportunities for enhanced, real-time engagement with their established customer base. With these innovations, apps and mobile sites can now:
- Deploy targeted, individualized push notifications that anticipate a customer’s unique needs.
- Dynamically create and respond to data-driven customer segments to help ensure promotions are acted upon.
- Predict customer intent and offer more rapid avenues to purchase.
- Adopt proven gamification techniques to create goals that encourage repeat usage and boost user engagement.
- Use AI to create just-in-time campaigns with little to no human involvement.
And that’s just the start.
Increasing value in digital loyalty programs
If your current loyalty program is not netting the returns you anticipated — either in participation number or resulting sales traffic — you may need to reevaluate your approach.
Here is how you can embed added value into your digital-driven loyalty programs.
1. Making the benefit of participating obvious and available
Does your program lead to free products or discounted services? Upgraded experiences? Faster delivery times? Whatever the perk is, make sure to market its value clearly, so users immediately sense the advantage of using your loyalty program — and using it frequently. Additionally, don’t hide the program from customers. In fact, consider requiring all front-line employees to talk with customers directly about the program during every encounter.
2. Delivering personalized messaging
Today’s digital tech enables delivery of highly individualized communications to targeted users, so don’t settle for an outdated, universal marketing approach. Research suggests customers not only expect but prefer when brands deliver personalized offers based on their browsing and purchase history — and they’re more willing to provide personal data to brands who do so.
3. Appealing to multiple types of customers
Spend some time envisioning your company’s typical user “personas” and their likely needs. Develop loyalty program incentives that can appeal to users from across an array of demographics and spending thresholds. Ask questions such as: What does the customer expect to get out of the loyalty program? How does the brand intersect with their daily lives? What specific benefits of the loyalty program are they most excited about?