Building and nurturing a loyalty program is important for ecommerce companies looking to incentivize repeat custom. By rewarding loyal customers, you aren’t just making them feel valued, you’re also likely to reap the rewards.
The average repeat customer spends 67% more in months 31-36 of a relationship with a business compared with the first six months. It also costs 5% more on average to entice new customers than it does to keep existing customers.
With the right approach, your ecommerce company can spend less in customer retention and earn more profit as a result. A loyalty program can help you to achieve just that.
What is a Loyalty Program?
A loyalty program is designed to encourage customers to buy from you again and again. It does this by rewarding customers for continued business and engagement. Loyalty programs can take many different forms but they all share the same strategy – the more the customer spends or engages, the more they’ll receive in the form of a reward.
The reward can be discounts, gifts, coupons, and even first look access when it comes to new products. The aim is to keep adding perks so that your customers are encouraged to return.
Why is a Loyalty Program Important?
Loyalty programs have multifaceted benefits that are simultaneously good for customers and good for business. By showing your customers you appreciate them, you keep them connected to your brand and spreading the hype. A customer loyalty program can carry your business far.
Here are a few reasons why you should be nurturing your loyalty programs
When customers feel valued, they’re more likely to keep coming back to you. 73% of consumers say a good experience plays an important role in influencing their brand loyalties. By showing your customers that their business means something to you and that they aren’t just another number, you have more chance of delivering the positive customer experience they are looking for.
Trust is one of the most important words when it comes to ecommerce companies and encouraging repeat business. When a customer trusts you to deliver a good product and a good service, they’re more likely to vouch for you with their friends and colleagues. Trust can increase your brand visibility, attract new customers, cement relationships with existing customers, and increase revenue.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most authentic and effective methods for growing your brand. The best way to encourage referrals is to treat your customers well, deliver a good experience, and reward brand loyalty.
Different Kinds of Loyalty Programs
Here are a few different types of loyalty programs you might want to consider.
One of the most popular forms of loyalty programs is the points based system, which can be rewarding as long as you keep it simple. A good example of this is your local coffee shop that offers you a free drink if you purchase a certain number of drinks, and provides a stamp card to keep track.
A tiered based system offers customers the incentive to spend more to get bigger rewards. With a tiered system, smaller spenders earn smaller rewards and bigger spenders can move up the reward ladder. This method can be good for nurturing those long-term value systems and also work well for ecommerce companies who have a higher price point.
The VIP based loyalty program asks customers to make an investment upfront. While it can be counterintuitive to charge customers to be rewarded, it can work if the benefits are big. Fabletics offer VIP status with big rewards, and it’s a marketing strategy that has helped them to grow. Amazon Prime also offers a VIP based loyalty program, where an upfront or monthly fee earns benefits such as faster shipping or free delivery.
This can be a good rewards scheme for companies that fit well together and want to offer co-branded benefits. Two companies that create a coalition-based rewards program also have the added bonus of expanding their audience.
How to Improve Your Program
If you have a loyalty program up and running, here are some tips to improve the service and nurture a deeper connection with your audience.
Drama free digital
In case you didn’t get the memo, going digital should be your go-to priority for all channels, and this includes your loyalty program. This will make your loyalty program so much easier, especially if you are relying on cards, paper, and stamps. If you can transform that process into one easy-to-scan app, you can streamline the experience for yourself and your customers.
Make it personal
Epsilon notes that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. This statistic should remain at the forefront of every move your ecommerce company makes – even when it comes to loyalty programs.
By aiming to personalize your loyalty program (welcome emails, birthday notes, check-ins, tailored offers), you’re further cementing the commitment and boosting trust, connection, and engagement.
Encourage word of mouth shares
You’ve probably already come across a company offering a refer-a-friend reward system. It’s a great way of encouraging your loyal customers to become advocates for your business and boosting your reach. By offering rewards and discounts to the existing customer for every new sign-up, and rewarding the new customer, everyone’s a winner.
Valuable customer service centers around listening to what your customers actually want. By continually asking for feedback about your loyalty program, you can tweak your set-up so it incorporates what your customers really want. Not only will this make your rewards program more attractive, but it deepens trust and connection when a customer sees that their voice matters.
Loyalty programs should be continually evolving. All ecommerce companies know that times change and customer behavior shifts, so continuing to nurture and tweak your rewards system is a valuable process. By staying committed to your customers and rewarding loyalty, you can keep growing your brand and your profits too.