If you have an e-commerce business, adding a customer loyalty program can be a great asset to your company. On average, it costs up to five times less to retain a current customer than it does to attract a new one. A customer loyalty program demonstrates to your customers that you value them and their continued patronage.
In our last post, we took a look at the concept of a customer loyalty program and how implementing one can benefit your company. Today, we highlight some key elements we recommend considering when creating your own customer loyalty program in order to make it a success and stand out from the crowd.
Important Customer Loyalty Program Elements
From points systems to membership tier levels, there are numerous forms your customer loyalty program can take. No matter which way you decide to structure it, there are some additional elements to consider ensuring your program is hitting all the marks. Let’s look at some of these.
Customer loyalty programs are becoming an industry norm with many businesses offering some type of loyalty program. To stand out from the crowd, consider offering value-added services in addition to your standard program. By offering additional value, you are helping to establish and maintain a connection between your company and your customer.
Value-added services help to establish and maintain a connection between your company and your customer. Click To Tweet
For example, you can create a community of like-minded people for your customers. Say your business is to sell bikes. You can begin fostering a community atmosphere by creating a forum on your website. This forum would help customers connect with other customers who share a passion for bikes. To go one step further, your company could host bike events catered exclusively to your customers. In both scenarios, you are offering the value of community on top of offering great products for purchase.
In addition to the loyalty program, these additional value-added services help keep your company top of mind for your customers. It also gives customers reason to recommend your company to their friends, which helps to increase your overall customer base.
Traditional customer loyalty programs are structured so that a customer receives a reward after making a purchase. While there is nothing wrong with this model, consider expanding the reward system to encompass other favorable actions undertaken by the customer.
For example, what if you have a customer that absolutely loves a specific product that your company sells. This product lasts the customer a long time, so they do not make frequent purchases. However, in between purchases the customer often goes online and recommends this product to their friends.
In this scenario, the customer may not rack up a lot of loyalty program credit because of their infrequent purchases, but they do drive a lot of referral traffic to your site. If you offer rewards for referrals in addition to purchases, you may see an uptick in traffic from sources that you may not have been exposed to without your loyal customer’s help.
Offer Reward Variety
Despite its claims, one size does not fit all. The same is true for rewards. What might be enticing to one person might not be exciting to another.
When deciding on a reward structure for your customer loyalty program, take your customer demographics into consideration. If you cater to a diverse crowd, why not offer a varied selection of rewards that a customer can chose from. This helps to ensure that the rewards offered have the greatest appeal to your customers.
Credit card companies use the reward variety tactic in their loyalty programs. Using the credit card allows customers to earn points which can be redeemed once they reach a certain threshold. The credit card companies then put together mini stores that offer numerous products and experiences that the customer can purchase by redeeming their points.
It’s important to note that this technique does not just apply to large companies that can afford to offer 100+ products as a reward for customer loyalty. Smaller companies can also offer a selection of rewards, which may or may not be tangible goods. Depending on the characteristics of your customer sub-groups, you may find offerings of unlocking additional content or discounts have greater appeal than offering a Bluetooth speaker or fishing gear.
Market Your Program
The final element that we will be talking about today is marketing. You may have developed the best customer loyalty program out there, but it will do you no good if no one knows about it.
It’s important to promote your program so that customers know about it and are excited to be a part of it. Be sure to advertise the advantages of the program and make the sign-up process quick and easy to complete. This ensures that customers will sign up for the program once they know it exists.
When developing a customer loyalty program for your company, its important to take a moment and think about all the loyalty programs you yourself belong to. Think about why you signed up and if you are taking full advantage of the program. Use those personal insights to help guide your own program. By spending some time on the development and including some key elements into the program, your customer loyalty program will be an asset to your company for the long-run.
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Jolene is a strong operations, compliance, and paralegal manager. She also loves to research and write about business as well as personal topics that help others.