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3 Ways Retailers Can Leverage Loyalty Programs for Growth

Jessica Kaufman
September 16, 2020

3 minute read

Over the years, the concept of brand loyalty hasn’t changed, but a brand’s approach to customer loyalty and retention has. Customers are shifting their loyalty to brands that deliver exceptional customer experiences, through more relevant personalization. Whether the interaction occurs online, in-app, in-store, over the phone, or on social media, brands that recognize customers across all touch points are driving more loyalty.

Businesses no longer control the customer journey, so they must react and adapt in real time to customer behaviors and cues. According to a recent survey by Accenture, 93% of consumers believe it’s important that every interaction they have with a brand is excellent. Smart brands exceed customer expectations in every interaction and understand that unlike marketers, customers don’t think in terms of “channels.” Customers engage in ways most convenient for them at a given time and place.

Retailers are also changing approaches given the new economic landscape. Their biggest challenge now is staying relevant.

According to Gartner, 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers. With this in mind, let’s take a look at 3 ways retailers can leverage loyalty engagement programs in the next normal.

Maintain communication

The current climate means brands have to promote products and services when encouraging spend behavior can be seen as insensitive. Smart companies will create open lines of communication, engagement, and feedback which are key competitive differentiators for success. Brand marketing has a tremendous role to play in guiding consumers towards behaviors that are most appropriate in uncertain times.

Accelerate the adoption of new technology

Brands can meet customers where they are faster and react in real time by leveraging technology that supports new business models, payment, and delivery options. Rolling out new offerings like online shopping for household items and groceries, curbside pickup, contactless payments, and extended return options will help naturally lead the transformation and build trust amongst your consumers.

Deliver frictionless and relevant digital customer experiences

Now, more than ever, brands are striving to make their experiences frictionless. Retailers can no longer depend solely on driving in-store traffic. Recognizing every customer across all brand interactions will ensure brands engage with customers in a relevant, consistent, and personalized way. By driving digital engagement, brands can make their digital experiences more than just transactional touchpoints.

In this new landscape, retailers can disrupt or be disrupted.

Loyalty programs are a key differentiator for brands and can be used to better connect with customers and foster an engaged community. They can, for example,

  • Accelerate the training of new customer behaviors with the exchange of loyalty currency (i.e. complete your first online order for bonus points).
  • Go beyond transactions to offer meaningful brand interactions (i.e. complete your extended preference profile for points).
  • Attract new customers via referrals from your best customers (i.e. refer-a-friend to join the loyalty program for points/reward offering).

Loyalty marketing unlocks more opportunities to collect rich first-party data in order to personalize experiences in real time.

To learn more about how loyalty can help your brand grow, check out Oracle CrowdTwist.

Jessica Kaufman
Jessica Kaufman is your snowbird-in-training (moving from New York to Florida 2x). Some of her favorite things include trying new restaurants (especially pizza), watching her favorite sports teams (Go Gators!), and exploring new places. Jessica is a Product Marketing Manager at Oracle with more than 10 years of industry experience.
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