Customer Loyalty Going DigitalDena DaSilva
10 Benefits of a Digital Customer Loyalty Program
We all have a punch card or two for a coffee place, a dry cleaner or a local sandwich shop safeguarded somewhere (i.e. lost) in a drawer at home. These loyalty cards have proven to be great for local businesses –that is, if your customer can find them! Loyalty programs are excellent at helping you get a better understanding of customer behavior and they provide an incentive to the customer for making continued purchases by offering some form of reward. Consumers carry around a variety of these loyalty cards – however, lugging around a wallet full of paper punch cards can be inconvenient (which is how they often end up in that drawer at home!).
Taking the Loyalty Punch Card Digital
Implementing a digital customer loyalty program for your business allows your customers to use their phone as a mobile loyalty card. They can store cards in a mobile wallet for example like Apple’s Passbook app, which digitally and conveniently houses these cards all in one place, or it can be integrated into a customized mobile application, such as the coffee giant Starbucks, has more than successfully done. Gone are the days we misplace or lose our favorite loyalty cards! In this digital age where 73% of smartphone users are interested in interacting with loyalty programs through their mobile device and over 90% are likely to download a loyalty program’s application, it is time for your business to modernize and upgrade to a digital card.
Why Rewarding Customer Loyalty is Important to Your Business
It costs a business about 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. What’s more, a loyal customer has a greater lifetime value and spends 10 times more than a new customer. On average, current customers spend 67% more than new ones, so retaining them is crucial. Offering freebies, discounts, and/or other perks and rewards as incentives through loyalty programs is the way to keep them coming back.
Loyalty programs can garner a 12-44% increase in visits and revenue and they are easy to implement, very cost effective, and a tried-and-true reliable tactic in attracting new customers as well as keeping current customers coming back for more. Therefore it is necessary for companies to cultivate their customer base and reward those that give you the most business day in and day out.
The best way to grow your business is to implement a modern digital loyalty program that will allow your business to save money and allow you to better connect with your customers. In addition, your customer isn’t required to fill out an online enrollment form or carry around the cumbersome paper or plastic loyalty cards. Businesses can now reap the benefits of launching a digital loyalty program that makes use of smartphone technology to grow your business.
10 Great Benefits to Implementing a Digital Loyalty Program
1. Helps you understand your customers’ behaviors and preferences. When you get to know your customer, you can create custom rewards and alerts, something you cannot do with generic “punch card” loyalty systems. Even advanced points-based loyalty systems are sold as a one-size-fits-all program but that lack of personalization falls short in an effort to speak directly to your customer.
2. Offers an opportunity for increased spending with repeat visits. The more visits a customer makes to your business to earn a stamp, freebie, discount or reward through your program, the more opportunity there is to upsell them.
3. Easy to download and share. The passbook-enabled digital loyalty card can be shared via text or email with friends and family to “team up” and get to their reward faster! Giving people even more incentive to come into your business repeatedly.
4. Provides benefits that a competitor may not offer. Plain and simple, offer something more cutting edge and convenient than your competition.
5. Reinforces preferred customer behavior. Maybe you want to boost traffic at particular times of the day, increase sales of a certain product or service or introduce something new, you can customize your program to nudge loyal customers to adopt this behavior and earn rewards.
6. Test promotional offers and new items. Not sure which incentive will work best or which product, service, menu item will pull best with your customers? Test it out. With a digital program, it doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. You can test a variety of promotions, even a variety of creative options, to see which works best for brand.
7. Send push notifications and alerts. Anyone with your loyalty program digital card or mobile app that gets within a certain geographical distance from your business will get a pop-up message on their smartphone notifying them they are nearby one of their favorite stores/places (great for last minute “flash” sales). You can also configure your digital loyalty card in conjunction with Bluetooth iBeacons to send push notifications in-store as well.
8. Digital loyalty programs are trackable and measurable!
• Track customers and their behavior from the activity of cards
• Track activity and effectiveness of different business locations
• Track different marketing messages/creative
• Track open rates, install rates, usage rates, deletions, shares, etc.
• Monitor advertising responses to gain insights
• Measure success of your program and make informed decisions about future campaigns
9. Drive customer engagement in ways other than purchases. Your customers’ activity can be linked to their social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. which means you can give customers a chance to earn incentives through sharing, liking, posting, reviewing and/or referring your business.
10. Digital loyalty programs are more secure. Going digital means your program is more scam-proof than traditional printed punch cards. Less revenue is lost when you can’t cheat the system.
Are you the type of business that should launch a digital loyalty program?
Digital loyalty programs that provide rewards via a mobile device are a convenient and fantastic marketing tool for any small business with local reach. Any brick-and-mortar establishment that relies on foot traffic, from coffee shops and cafes, to bars and restaurants, to salons and yoga and fitness studios, dry cleaners, car washes and more, would perfectly fit the bill and benefit from a program like this. Is it time to take your business digital?