While there’s no denying that loyalty programs can be highly effective at creating repeat customers, the fact is: the old loyalty program is broken. If consumers can add items to their shopping list using voice commands, order food delivery from their tablets, and pay for purchases with their smartwatches, why would they be satisfied with the archaic plastic loyalty card? Let’s discuss some of the reasons why it pays off to build a mobile-first loyalty strategy.
The problem with traditional loyalty programs is that most are merely transactional, providing a one-size-fits-all experience that relies on weekly email deals, occasional rewards, and generic coupons sent to all members.
Consumers now want to engage with brands and cultivate deeper relationships with them. They want to be loyal…if only brands would give them a reason to be. In fact, 83% of consumers would have a more positive view of a brand that delivered personalized loyalty messaging, like points and rewards, exclusive content, and birthday and anniversary messaging.
And brands are starting to get the message. Savvy brands are now using digital loyalty program via mobile as a way to foster a two-way connection with consumers, to fabulous results. We recently released our Elevate Your Loyalty Strategies with Mobile report, and wanted to share a few key points from it.
Why Your Brand Needs a Mobile-First Loyalty Strategy
We’ve become a digital nation. That means we need to use digital strategies in order to continually engage our audiences. Consumers want to be loyal to our brands, but we need to give them a reason to.
It starts with having a loyalty program that fits their needs: one that is personalized for their shopping preferences, and easy to access. Here are a few other reasons why you need to update your loyalty strategy:
Customers want a loyalty program that’s accessible anytime, anywhere: 73% of adults are likely to join a loyalty program if points and rewards are automatically updated and immediately visible on mobile wallet loyalty cards.
They also want a seamless and fast enrollment process. They’re fed up with harriedly scribbling down their contact info on a paper loyalty program enrollment form, while the rest of the checkout line glares at them. With mobile loyalty programs, retailers can implement automatic loyalty enrollment (ALE) for frictionless and quick loyalty onboarding. With the tap of their phone to the payment terminal, shoppers can enroll in seconds.
Having in-real-time access to customer behavior data, you can personalize the offers you send loyalty members. For example, you could send anyone who’s already been in one of your stores this week a secret offer for 30% off if they come back in the next few days. Or else you can discount a specific type of item a loyalty member frequently buys.
When you pay attention to what your customers do, you can better deliver offers that they want, increasing their average spend with you and getting them to visit again and again.
Tips for Mobile-First Success
The key to implementing a loyalty program through mobile that succeeds is really paying attention to that data and tweaking your offers, rewards, and notification frequency accordingly.
You’ll need to promote the mobile loyalty platform across all marketing channels to ensure maximum enrollment or conversion. Place signage throughout your stores, particularly at checkout, but also send emails to notify your subscriber base that they can now rack up loyalty points and redeem offers with their phones. You can include a link to sign up via email or SMS.
With your new digital loyalty program, you’ll have the opportunity to drive traffic to your physical stores, but you’ll need the right offers to do so. Leverage geolocation push notifications to ping shoppers who are near a store with enticing offers.
Those push notifications will also be handy in encouraging loyalty program members to redeem a mobile wallet offer before it expires. You can even increase the value of the offer as the deadline draws near, giving even more reason to use it.
Today’s loyalty strategy keeps the consumer at the heart of its focus, not the retailer. When you provide value to your customers, you create a long-lasting relationship with them.
About the Author
Maria Gianotti is the Director of Demand Generation at Vibes. She's passionate about growth marketing and educating other marketers on the tremendous potential of mobile. Currently, Maria serves on the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association's San Francisco Chapter as 2019 President-Elect.Follow on Twitter More Content by Maria Gianotti