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3 loyalty trends to follow into 2011
As the Internet becomes more fragmented, offline standbys like rewards programs and loyalty based marketing are moving into the space. Merchants and brands are finding that, although it is easier to target specific groups of people online, creating a loyal customer base online is just as difficult as it is offline. Here are three things you can do to increase loyalty in 2011.
"In today's crowded marketplace, creating loyal, engaged customers is more important - and more challenging - than ever," said Mark Johnson, Loyalty360 CEO.
First, stop treating loyalty like a program. What, you ask? Rather than creating a loyalty program, merchants need to approach loyalty marketing as if it is a journey with a specific goal. For example, don't just give frequent shoppers extra 'reward points'; create a shopping experience that is simple and enriching so that consumers want to return.
Second, make the program relevant. Yes, online shoppers want free shipping and related products, but they want more than that and savvy marketers will give them what they want.
"Today's customers want loyalty programs to be 'about me'. Personally relevant deals are the second most frequently chose reason for spending more with a company, mentioned by 48% of customers, according to research by Ipsos Mori and The Logic Group," writes Johnson. "Data collection and usage is extremely important in building relevancy. Brands need to use the information they collect strategically to show customers they're listening and give them what they're asking for."
Finally for cause-related programs, ensure that the cause goal is strategically linked to the overall goal. Consumers want to buy from merchants and brands who 'give back', but the collaboration needs to make sense and be relevant to the consumer. So, compare your loyalty base with known segments from cause marketing to determine what types of cause campaigns will engage consumers, enhance your brand and drive loyalty.
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