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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : February 03, 2017

Expert: How to bolster loyalty programs now

According to a recent Walker Sands study, marketers are set on increasing their loyalty spending over the next year. While loyalty marketing is always a bright idea, one expert offers tips for brands to get the most from their loyalty budget.

by Kristina Knight

First, offer the ability to earn points beyond a single purchase

"Examples include providing profile information and preferences, submitting reviews, online registration, social media shares or check-ins. To determine which activities work best for their brand, retailers should test a variety of different activities and then quantify the benefits for their brand and their customers. Since such behaviors can have significant value for retailers, the retailer will also want to make sure to award enough of a value to motivate these behaviors - while also ensuring those incentives are cost-effective," said Howard Schneider, Senior Consultant, Kobie Marketing.

Second, use elements that add variety to keep the program fresh

"Examples include offering a sweepstakes that allows customers to take part in a photoshoot, offering seasonal rewards options or rewarding customers for behaviors such as recycling or taking public transit. These types of rewards surprise and delight customers without a hard cost, and they can also tie in well to a brand's identity and values," said Schneider.

Third, make the experience seamless by using integrated mobile apps

"Elements could include scanning technology, mobile wallets, point of sale payment capabilities, order and pickup reminders, sales alerts, exclusive offers and access to coupons and points in real time. An integrated mobile app can provide a frictionless mobile experience that engages the customer online, in-store and on mobile devices," said Schneider.

Third, offer rewards that go beyond cash-back or discounts

"Examples include offering members an invite to an exclusive event, like a store opening or a sneak peak of a new product, or offering complimentary services, like tailoring or gift-wrapping. Retailers can also offer a "rewards catalog" with a variety of offers for which members can redeem their points. Points could be redeemable for special merchandise and services instead of cash discounts, which are generally a harder cost and less of motivator for repeat customers. Customers will remember special treatment long after they've forgotten a discount," said Schneider.

Tags: advertising, Kobie Marketing, loyalty marketing, loyalty marketing tips

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