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How to Engage Valuable Customers with a Retail Loyalty Program

Posted by Sarah Kowalski on Jan 31, 2017
Sarah Kowalski

The business of retail goes far further than opening a brick and mortar store and selling your goods to the next person who walks through the door. You've invested time and money into your business and the payoff is that you've built a clientele that is just as passionate about the goods you offer as you are to sell them. With the continued rise in internet shopping along with a surge in off-price store openings, 12% increase each year in the US, it's a great time to focus on your customer engagement techniques. Use retail loyalty to hold on to your clients so they are not shopping with those other guys!

Key types of customer loyalty programs

For retailers and consumers alike, a retail loyalty program is an effective way to foster the relationship between the business owner and the consumer by offering steady clients exclusive products, promotions, or pricing on their goods and services. As many consumers find loyalty programs to be their primary relationship with a brand, you may want to consider implementing one for your growing business! The most common types of loyalty programs used today include: points, punch, paid, spend, and tiered programs.

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  • Points Program:  This is a useful system for clients who make short term purchases with high frequency. Over time, shoppers accumulate points which they can redeem for rewards, coupons, or other goods and services. These programs should be kept simple and inherent for shoppers.
  • Punch Program:  Another great option for the high-frequency spender! With every purchase, your client will receive a “punch” on their reward card. Once a set number is collected, they are awarded with a product or service of equal or lesser value. This is great for independent retailers and small businesses.
  • Paid Program:  For the shoppers who want to feel exclusive, this is a winner! By paying an annual fee, your clients are granted access to special discounts and rewards, along with getting a sneak peek of what’s to come! For some retailers this also entails getting access to various opportunities including store events along with fast and convenient shipping on online purchases.
  • Spend Program:  This is easy, fast, and effective! Shoppers are rewarded with a loyalty credit for the amount they spend at your business. It not only keeps clients engaged but has been proven to increase transaction rates.
  • Tiered Program:  For the e-commerce service providers and luxury retailers, tiered loyalty programs are an effective way to make your clients feel valued. Though not considered the best option to draw clients in on their first visit, this plan does has a proven high retention rate as it encourages clients to spend, climb the status ladder, and thus earn more rewards. A valued client is your ultimate brand advocate!

Why do I need a loyalty program?

Customers are your lifeblood, retaining their business is crucial.  A great foundation for building relationships starts with using retail CRM solutions, often embedded in robust POS software and retail management solutions. For instance, within Springboard Retail, the promotion and coupons feature allows you to customize a plan to reward your clients for shopping at your store and (importantly) track their engagement across all channels.

If you want the option to select a range of programs including points or tiered programs, consider an easy, digital loyalty solution such as Thirdshelf. For independent retailers, this loyalty marketing is a great way to attract customers with one-step sign up offers, alerts that let you know you when your client's purchasing has slowed, and an overview of how your efforts have paid off!

As you continue your adventure in retail, what loyalty plan will you choose to keep and reward your customers? Want an overview of Springboard's loyalty and CRM solutions? 

Watch a CRM Demo Video

Topics: Customer Relationship Management

Online Retail Today