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How to Implement An Effective Loyalty Program in Retail

August 30, 2019
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A loyalty program in retail can go a long way toward improving the customer experience. Shoppers are more likely to purchase from brands that value their interests and reward them for purchases.

Top brands are able to increase their market share while emerging brands can build brand equity to increase awareness, sales, and revenue. Implementing an effective loyalty program can be done in 5 quick steps.

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Collect Audience Insights

Before building a successful loyalty program in retail, it’s important to know who the desired audience is and if there is a need for rewards. Purchase history, customer demographics, and customers’ path-to-purchase are all valuable points of data that can help determine the viability of a loyalty program. Once it’s determined that your business can benefit while offering rewards to customers, you can start building the program.

Collecting audience insights are essential to retail success. This data can help not only determine if it’s a good idea to launch a loyalty program, but it can also help in creating offers that resonate with customers’ interests. Offers that increase customer engagement can improve both website and in-store traffic, as well as a retailers’ revenue stream.

Offer Rewards that Improve Customer Experience

Today’s retail landscape is saturated with retailers offering access to their exclusive loyalty programs. However, some companies offer customers more perks than others. Retailers can ensure customers favor their program by leveraging audience insights. Knowing your audience will help launch a program that improves the customer experience.

Customers want to feel appreciated and creating a loyalty program that offers rewards can engage them further. For example, welcome rewards, gift cards or bonus items after spending a certain amount, birthday discounts, or general membership discounts are four ways to capture the target audience’s attention. Encouraging them to shop at your store and earn loyalty points can also lead to increased referral traffic. Customers are more likely to refer friends to stores where they have a positive experience.

Promote Exclusivity for Loyal Customers

While there should be a conscious effort to promote loyalty programs and encourage memberships through a simple question at checkout or traditional marketing campaigns, there should also be a feeling of exclusivity. In addition to feeling valued, top customers want added benefits for choosing your store. Loyalty programs that offer cards may use a design that shows sophistication.

Loyal customers should have access to exclusive benefits like member-only events, pre-sales, and rewards for meeting spending thresholds that are unavailable to general customers. Participation in a rewards program gives the customer the added value needed to choose one brand over another.

Build Awareness For A Loyalty Program in Retail

Retailers that introduce new loyalty programs or rewards must ensure customers are aware of the new offers. Marketing efforts should be steered toward driving membership. Additionally, sales associates should ask customers about their enrollment status and offer quick enrollment if the customer has not registered yet. Stores can offer associates bonuses or additional employee discounts for increasing loyalty program enrollment. Online, promote social sharing of purchases and loyalty program achievements.

Awareness of loyalty programs and increasing membership are two primary objectives of successful retailers. Greater awareness and membership counts mean an increase of shoppers and ultimately greater sales. Given that customers have so many choices for retail purchases, organizations must differentiate themselves with a loyalty program that meets customers’ needs.

Personalize Offers and the Customer Experience

Effective loyalty programs also include personalization. Going beyond adding names to emails, personalization leverages information from audience insights to create unique offers for a retailer’s most valued customers. Retailers can take note of birthdays, important milestones, and favorite brands to present relevant rewards to increase customer satisfaction.

Happy customers and ones that enjoy their experience with a retailer are more likely to return and recommend the company to family and friends. This can cultivate a larger group of loyal supporters, ultimately growing the brand. Retailers with effective loyalty programs are able to enjoy greater brand equity and more sales.

Runit’s cloud-based integrated inventory management and POS system enables retailers to create an effective loyalty program for customers. Rewarding loyal shoppers can build trust, brand equity, and more to grow the bottom line.

To learn how you can implement an effective loyalty program in retail, contact a member of our team today.