A loyalty program is a cost-effective marketing strategy to retain loyal customers and attract new ones. A retailer survey suggests that loyalty programs are more profitable than other marketing programs as it's easier to sell products to existing customers than to acquire new customers and make a sale, especially during a holiday season.
Some incentives of loyalty programs to the customers are early access to sales, notification of new product launches, better customer service, free sample products, and member discounts. However, customers get offered loyalty programs after they have made repeated purchases. It is a reward for their loyalty.
Loyalty programs benefit organizations by reducing sales costs, higher revenue, continuous engagement, and brand loyalty. Companies also benefit by accessing customer information and creating targeted marketing campaigns. Loyalty programs are a win-win for both the customers and the retailers.
As a business, when you are offering loyalty programs, you should be clear about your CRM goals. Conduct research by surveying your customers to find out their expectations of your brand. Identify your business goals, whether it is to attract new customers, get new subscribers, or close 200 sales deals in a month. Then plan out marketing tactics for the most suitable loyalty program for your loyal customers and your business.
We have listed below the four main types of customer loyalty programs to help you identify the best program for your business and your loyal customer base.
What are the four main types of loyalty programs?
Tier-based loyalty programs
Have you ever heard of gold, silver, and platinum membership or VIP and premium members? Well, it's an example of tier-based programs. Companies can name them differently for brand uniqueness. A brand offers level-based rewards to its customers based on the amount they spend and the number of repeat purchases. With increased shopping, consumers can move up the tier and unlock more rewards. It helps the organization to segregate customers and create products accordingly. Every level includes a different level of service, discount, or perk.
Points based program
Point-based loyalty program is the most popular loyalty program as the customer is not required to pay a subscription fee upfront. It also doesn't take repeated purchase cycles to start acquiring reward points. Yet to accumulate points, the customers keep returning to the brand. Even a first-time shopper can get reward points.
In a points-based system, the customer gets rewarded with some points on every purchase. With the accumulation of reasonable reward points, the customers can get a free product or any other reward. Customers can always check their points in-store or online.
Most customers stay loyal to particular restaurants, airlines, hotels, or credit card companies to get rewards points. The holiday season boosts sales. Hence a company can provide extra points during this time to cut competition and leverage customer loyalty.
Subscription-based loyalty program
Amazon, Netflix, and other streaming services are some of the most popular companies that offer subscription-based loyalty programs. The customers are required to pay annual or monthly subscription fees upfront. It ensures the brand's customer retention. It also creates a barrier for customers who can't afford the service. Some companies also offer rewards and premium services to subscribed customers. For example, Amazon offers its subscription members free shipping, prime day deals, and much more.
Cash back program
In a cashback program, customers get a certain amount back from their spent amount. They can use the cashback on their next purchase or for any other service. It is a straightforward yet effective marketing tactic for retaining customers and improving brand loyalty.
Earlier, banks offered cashback loyalty programs on credit and debit cards, but now many online and in-store retailers offer cashback rewards due to high competition.
How to leverage loyalty programs during the holiday season?
Organizations know the holiday season is the time to generate more revenue, acquire new customers and provide value to existing customers. Loyalty programs are a great way to accomplish these goals by providing a great shopping experience.
Here's how brands can modify loyalty programs during the holiday season to maximize profitability.
Provide extra loyalty points during the holiday season to get ahead of the competition. For example, offering 2x or 3x loyalty points will enhance sales and attract customers to spend more.
Offer a great in-store experience- To generate in-store sales, offer a great shopping experience to your customers by providing extra deals, refreshments, and excellent customer service.
Provide insights on new deals and discounts to give loyal customers an advantage over new customers to get a great deal.
To attract new customers, offer promotional sales and discounts on premium memberships.
The holiday season is a great time to expand the customer base but focusing solely on profits is not an ideal strategy. Focus on providing a great shopping experience to build a long-lasting association as loyalty programs provide customer demographics to create effective marketing campaigns, improve brand recognition and increase sales by repeat purchases.
In this article, we have highlighted the four main types of loyalty programs. There are various other programs too, but these four are the preferred loyalty programs by customers and retailers.
Point based loyalty program is the most popular choice as the customer is not obligated to pay anything upfront and make repeat purchases.
Loyalty programs offer benefits to both the customer and the company. A vital requisite to designing the program is it must be credible, trustworthy, and accurately implemented depending on the customer needs and demographics. It's the best way to retain customers. After all, your loyal consumers will be your best promoters. Here are some other ways of to use CRM to increase sales.
Now that you know the types and benefits of customer loyalty programs and how to leverage them during the holiday season. Find the one that best suits your business needs and execute it to create a solid customer base and improve your brand value.
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