Customer Loyalty Is The End Game For You But What’s In It For Your Customers?
If you're like me, you have all kinds of customer loyalty/repeat purchase cards causing a bulge in your wallet.
If you're like my wife, you have all kinds of credit cards bulging your pocketbook because they are all essential for earning rewards from various retailers.
Let's face it. Loyalty programs are great tools with clear benefits for both marketers and customers. But I recently came across an interesting piece of research that spoke to customer priorities. Here are the key findings from this study from Technology/Advice and reported by Research Brief:
- 80 percent of customers are more likely to shop at stores offering some type of loyalty program. Not a surprising statistic, but a nice affirmation of the value of these activities.
- The number one reason why customers participate in loyalty program is saving money (57 percent). The number two reason was receiving rewards (38%). Only four percent of the respondents were willing to participate simply to "earn rewards." So what is the conclusion here? We all want to build customer loyalty, but at the end of the day there has to be a tangible payout for the customer.
- 59 percent of people are more likely to join a loyalty program that included a smartphone app. This was the most surprising finding. Since there is an app for just about everything these days, I believe many of us in marketing feel that the appeal of apps has lost some of its wow factor. Perhaps so, but the consumer experience is everything. If an app makes it easier to participate in a loyalty program, so much the better.
So what are the take-aways here? I believe development of a loyalty program is the classic "look before you leap" situation. These programs need to be to be relevant to the needs and interests of the customer, not the marketer, and designed accordingly. Remember, the goal is not to achieve a short-term sales boost. Rather, it is to create a base of customers so engaged in your brand that they will be with you for the long haul – and probably strong referral sources as well.
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