27 Feb Best loyalty programs offer an integrated omnichannel experience
It goes without saying that loyalty programs loose their appeal when missing personalisation and omnichannel features. Nowadays, building loyalty schemes that retain and engage customers is a real challenge for retailers and B.D.C. decided to go deeper into the topic.
CURRENT LACK OF OMNICHANNEL & PERSONALISATION
According a recent study from Vodat, the lack of omnichannel integration between online and in-store loyalty experiences is leaving 71% of UK consumers disappointed. Nearly 65% of shoppers say that they don’t receive enough targeted offers in-store and the lack of personalisation generates frustration. Looking at in-store advancements as well as the importance of mobile in the customer journey, shoppers rightfully consider that in-store experiences and marketing communications should be based on their previous visits in order to get relevant discounts.
UK shoppers are connected and like apps that let them collect, transform or redeem points in-store and online – and more. As a result, mobile has a key role to play in the loyalty journey and it’s worth highlighting that 57% of shoppers want to engage with their loyalty programs via mobile devices (Yoyo wallet’s data).
MOBILE IS KEY
Studies have revealed that 72% customers expect to receive an immediate discount on their smartphone when walking into a store. Mobile must then become a pillar of customer loyalty because it brings proximity and immediateness. Indeed, companies are now looking to go beyond rewards to retain customers – they focus on soothing friction points. It is not just about earning points anymore, it’s about creating a seamless and convenient experience for customers. In many cases, companies are doing it by providing an app for customers’ smartphones.
The Starbucks app is a very good example because in addition to its rewards program, the customer can use the app to place an order ahead (based on previous ones), pay for the order and even access streamed music. Plus as members earn stars, they can redeem the rewards in real time. The app reinforces the Starbucks brand as an ultra-convenient lifestyle experience.
It’s hard to not mention Amazon Prime when talking about loyalty schemes. Indeed once the membership fee paid to Amazon, Amazon Prime members will benefit free shipping and… much more. The program can offer also live streaming music, movies and TV shows, storage for digital photos and more. Amazon Prime is integrated into the customers daily lives by offering apps for its websites, music, movies and more.
Yoyo Wallet in the UK provides a e-wallet solution enabling customers to get instantaneous promotions via their mobile as well as gather all their loyalty cards and payment details in one place. Caffè Nero used its technology to push personalised promotions and limited offers on new products – it increased til 6 times the number of first purchases for some products.
Customers will remember their experience with a brand long after they have forgotten a discount and it makes no doubt that companies that cultivate loyalty through convenience and proximity will build much more engaging programs. Indeed, it’s human nature to stay with a company that is easy to do business with.
Starbucks app & ease of use
GOING BEYOND REWARDS FOR PURCHASE
As we said previsouly, a performing loyalty program is not only based on rewards. Rewards or discounts are part of a trade marketing strategy and loyalty represents customer’s attachment to a brand.
The cosmetics brand 100% Pure has built an interesting program where customers get rewarded for more than purchases. They can earn points by following the brand on Facebook or Twitter, they earn points because they have been active among the community by writing a review… Rewarding the customer’s engagement among the community is crucial to build true loyalty and it’s worth noticing that points can be redeemed in-store and online.
One last example is Sephora US and its “Beauty Insider” program (launched in 2009 and counting today more than 10M members). They’ve developed a free app and went far beyond a simple loyalty points model. Based on the feature ”Beauty matches”, customers can improve ther products search and only looks from other members having the same skin type and eyes colour (users just have to fulfill their individual profile). They can also share opinions among beauty groups, share content or looks, use the community live chat to get instantaneous advice… Through all those convenient and omnichannel features, Sephora built a strong and sustainable loyalty program.