Your business is flourishing. You have quite a good number of regular customers that visit you now and then. Woah, then why does the progress stagnate sometimes? Why aren’t you yet on the Forbes list of top entrepreneurs? (Just a rhetoric, you could care less)
In the modern era where every business endeavour timed with a strong strategy and an excellent customer service, is driven towards perfection, it is tough to stay afloat.
The question is not where you lag; the question is where you stand out. Do you care about your customers even after they step out of your shop?
Let’s say your customer earns a reward point through a loyalty program you launch for every meal he eats at your place and then gets a free one when he reaches a particular limit in bonus points.
He is then officially a member of your café’s customer loyalty program — and he is probably going to keep coming back so that he can earn his free meal more quickly. Isn’t that amazing?
Well, welcome to the realm of bait and gambits. The customer loyalty programs.
Customer loyalty apps are becoming increasingly popular and are especially critical to retail business success. In fact, Nielsen found that 84% of consumers are more prone to choosing retailers that provide such an app.
Customer loyalty statistics
Before getting to the nitty-gritty of the situation, let’s show you some lesser known statistics and facts about customer loyalty:
- 44% of customers are regular to brands that consistently involve them to assist design or co-create products and services.
- 41% of consumers are loyal to organisations that present them with ultimate experiences, products or services
If these numbers failed to ring the alarm, here are three main reasons that show, why you should be getting loyalty apps to earn your share of customer loyalty:
Why do you need a loyalty app for your business?
- To run up the disruption made by the new class of buyers – In today’s competing marketplace, consumer loyalty is an essential element of any growing business. It is an enormous amount of work to get a brand new consumer base with new customers, so retaining your old and loyal customers is always wiser here. Restaurants, retailers, supermarket shops, salons, fitness clubs and more rely on loyal clients and regular visits. Also, regular customers spend more time per visit and are more likely to sign up for enhanced services. If you don’t give a motivation to your clients to come back to your shop, they can promptly seek the service from a competitor even after the smallest trouble.
- The growing consumer expectations – Consumers drive your business. “They know they are always right”, it is not about the justification of the statement. But there is a certain credibility to the point that they understand they have a perpetual voice. This is because of being spoilt for choices and all of the social media options at their command if you overlook the fact they’re “always right.” The good news is that while they know they have options, just a tick or two’s length, by and large customers expect you understand this too and that you don’t get them use that twitchy clicking finger. They’d rather stay than shift to another, but only if you show them, you’re at their disposal for everything they need.
- Staying on par with the technology – Today’s technology is progressing to conquer the heart of millions. Certain technology drifts over the past five years have substantially altered the retail landscape. Today, every consumer is a digital customer, with proliferating expectations about the quality and universality of a seamless shopping adventure. Retailers who observe these trends as opportunities or intimidations have the capability to let their business stand out from others by establishing their customer relations, better leveraging information and maintaining their workforces.
An easy to use mobile app brings in customer participation and enables you to accumulate relevant data about your loyalty members.
A decent mobile app would deliver combined interacting technology with geo-location based, personalised push notifications.
It can also present personalised content to customers no matter where they are or what they are doing. This enables the delivery of a superior experience on an ongoing basis that nurtures customers.
These Loyalty apps aim to channel the essence of a customer’s Social, Local, and Mobile behaviour. SoLoMo smartphone technologies blend with Geo/Social integration competencies to gather data from Facebook, LinkedIn, geo-locations and Twitter. Many also integrate Passbook, the new digital wallet by Apple. (source)
Moreover, you can also set yourself apart by creating linked services inside your app that add value to your customers. For instance, the brand name Old Navy created a mobile app that lets you create a wishlist and purchase products directly from it. The app also has a gamified element that allows customers take a picture of the Old Navy logo from printed ads or online videos to obtain access to rewards like coupons or gifts.
What should the loyalty app offer your customers?
Before proceeding, it’s vital that we also share some key advantages from the consumer’s perspective that will entice them to your brand. Consider these before initiating the loyalty app development phenomenon for your retail business. Here are discussed:
Consumers want to be noticed. They are delighted if you ensure them their share of personalised rewards. To get this done, you need to go through the data you collected through different resources. Keep the customer action, nature, age group, etc., on the top of the list. Analysing them will help you a lot in keeping your customers hooked to your brand.
After you have successfully launched your app, customers lookout for the ease of accessibility. Are they able to validate their loyalty status and the reward status at any instant? Not only this, but they also need to track and have a control on redeeming the rewards at any given instant. The ease of access is very crucial as you might attract and retain customers but they won’t stay for very long if they have to undergo a cumbersome process of checking and redeeming their rewards.
Real-time offers are just like app updates. You analyse customer needs, their requirements and roll out attractive schemes and plans based on their behaviour and response. It can prove one of the most useful strategies in loyalty marketing if done right. You’ll have to employ your tools accurately to get this done. Consumer channels, consumer buying patterns, and other insights will assist you to analyse your consumers and their real-time requirements in a better way.
Communication is fundamental to building a strong connection with your consumer base. And, technology has wonderfully fostered the two-way communication between the customer and the retailer, that has led the retailers to improvise on their trading patterns.
For all this to work, you also need to provide your customers with an easy to handle platform where they can update their information and contact data at any time and also raise their queries and suggestions. For the latter, you need to be quick with your responses.
Some of the latest app ideas have come up with location accessibility as a fundamental feature of their application. The idea is to let users know where they can find their services, while they are at a place they know nothing about so that they can reach their favourite fast food chain even when they are away from home. Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts are some big names that have already implemented this feature.
How useful is this concept from the buyer perspective?
With location sharing feature, users can order food to a nearby store when they can pick it up at a later time. Zomato and Foodpanda are a perfect epitome of how useful location sharing can be. They can also check a restaurant’s hours, menu, promos, and available facilities. Customers can also be provided weekly store-specific product ads. It will be useful when they’re looking for a bargain.
Another cap in the retail chain is beacon technology; you can go even further in customer retention with beacon technology. Today chain of supermarkets can offer their customers a beacon-enabled app for iOS and Android platforms that will accumulate all the data about in-store customer pattern and then automatically give relevant ads and coupons.
Consequently, users get push notifications and ads for products, sales updates, and special offers merely by visiting the store. This feature will have your app users increase by big numbers and improve sales naturally.
- Let style do the honour
Let loose your user’s activities, let them perform some key actions through wearables, namely Apple Watch and Android Wear. The Starbucks has already run up this idea, and now their iPad and iPhone users can have an easy time checking their Starbucks card balance, looking out for the nearby store locations, and reimburse all their bills right from their Apple Watch. Unfortunately, this feature is not available for Android Wear users yet.
The retail big player Walmart has also given their retail game a surge by attracting Apple Watch fans. The organisation has built an extension for its iOS app that enables users to check items off their general store items without having to stick to their smartphones.
Loyalty apps and retail market
The retail market is one of the greatest markets that holds thousands of transactions on an everyday basis. The customers in the retail market store often and consequently have more possibilities of reverting to the digital warehouse.
The only thing that needs to be thought of is the quality experience you provide them. The reputation has established retail mobile app progress a requirement for all developers and end users.
Make sure, you have a countable amount of customers to target, but they have unlimited choices to pick from. A report offers that a 5% improvement in customer loyalty can increase average profit per customer by 25%-100%. (source)
How successful is your app yet?
The Process is not all, once you have successfully launched the app, it’s important for you to analyse how your program is doing so far. And this is perhaps the most crucial element in tracking your program’s success.
But that’s one of the toughest situations for retailers. In fact, a Forrester report found that 30% of companies cited “measuring the outcomes of a loyalty program” as one of the greatest obstruction they come across.
So how do retailers get through this challenge?
One of the fundamental drivers of the success of your loyalty program is identifying the performance indicators and addressing the issues from time to time.
And when you set up your program, it is essential that you track it to analyse it status and numbers.
You can use apps, as well as social acumens, CRM gadgets and consumer reviews to achieve the same.
Here are certain facts over which you can track to assess your success:
- No. of members
- Repeat usage
- Member expenditure vs. non-member expenses (including amount of sales, transactions, frequency, etc.)
- Pre-membership vs. post-membership spending
- Referrals of members
- Price of member registration and activation
- Plan cost and Profitability Statistics
- Rate of customer retention
- Net promoter figures
- Customer training score
- Customer lifetime worth
- Revenue per consumer including monthly quarterly and yearly.
- Activation reimbursement rate
Mistakes to avoid
What are some of the mistakes that you’re bound to make as a retailer and a rookie in the realm of loyalty programs? Let’s give you a glimpse of the mistakes so that you’re always on the safe side of the battleground no matter what!
- One of the greatest and most ignored one is personalisation. It’s important to 50% of program members, but only 22% are satisfied with the level of customisation they get. (Source). Stay updated with what customers want and switch your strategies likewise.
- Think about it: A customer who is allergic to peanuts has no advantage in a free toast of peanut butter. It gives a glimpse of a nuisance to the customer rather than something that can foster contact, and you run the risk of driving them to your contenders. First, study a little regarding every client and offer them relevant offers. This is where we need segmentation.
- Other frequent glitches include inconsistency, not tracking member and customer behaviour, keeping your needs ahead of their clients’, difficult to earn and redeem, over-communication and lack of program promotion. But if you read the steps described, you’re more likely to refrain from these pitfalls and get success for your scheme.
To create a customer loyalty program that helps your business and empowers your clients, Brian Phillipy, president of a marketing solution firm couldn’t have called it better: “A successful customer loyalty program is a blend of value, customer guidance, redemption opportunities and experiential events to the user.” An efficient Loyalty program is certainly a win-win for both the retailer and the customer.
You are not yet done. After you’ve tracked all the metrics and made it through without any mistakes. Analyse them over time to find trends. Examine what is working and what is not, work upon the figures check progress and stick to a pattern.
Success is waiting for you!