How to Increase Loyalty Program Participation

loyalty program participation increases effectiveness

Loyalty program participation and enrollment are two completely different things, even if many of us choose to ignore it. Participation is when your loyalty program members are actively engaged with your loyalty program. Just because your program has members does not mean it is performing to its fullest. In this post I will explain how to boost your loyalty program participation rates.

 

Enrollment vs. Participation

As I mentioned before enrollment does not mean they are participating. Joining a program (enrollment) is easy, but getting someone to participate for the rest of their shopping life is the real goal.

loyalty program participation vs enrollment

As you can see in the graph below, people are enrolling in more programs but actively participating in less. This is because many retailers both online and offline give a great incentive to join and stop the relationship there.

This phenomenon is likely due to the fact that retailers are offering a really good incentive to join the program (which I recommend). However, they do not follow up that strong reason to join with an engaging program. You need to create a strong reason to join your program, but also follow that up with a program that encourages participation. Your loyalty program will not be effective with a ton of inactive members.

 

Boost Loyalty Program Participation

The question now becomes, what do I do to get all the members I attract to my program to stay and participate. Here are a 5 ways to encourage loyalty members to actively participate in your loyalty program.

1. Be Transparent

A survey conducted by Colloquy Loyalty found that the number one factor for program participation is that it is easy to understand the program. An astonishing 81% of respondents said this is important to them. So how do you adjust your program to these findings?

want-ease-to-understand

You want your program to be as transparent as possible. Make sure your members know everything they need to know to actively participate. This means you will want to be very clear on how they will earn and spend points.

Have an area of your site dedicated to informing members of how many points they will earn for different actions. The most important ones to be clear on are how many points are earned on each purchase (example 5 points per $1 spent) and how many of those points are required to redeem a reward.

boost participation with transparency

The example above is from Philip Kingsley and is the first thing you see when you land on their loyalty program page. It is impossible to not be aware of the two basics of their loyalty program. If you need help setting up a loyalty page of your own watch our video “How to Set Up a Loyalty Explainer Page.”

2. Lots of Ways to Earn Points

Your members have grown tired of those standard retail loyalty programs that only give points when you make a purchase. They want a program that gives them a bunch of different ways to earn points. The same study by Colloquy found that 50% of respondents said that they participate more in programs that have a variety of ways to earn.

want-variety

This is not hard to do especially with ecommerce loyalty programs. Online stores can easily reward for other actions like: social sharing, referring friends, birthdays and more. A solution like a Mobile Loyalty App from Mass Mobile Apps makes it easy to add variety to your online loyalty program.

3. On Site Reminders and Cues

In the online world you do not have a cashier asking every person who checks out if they would like to collect reward points on this purchase. That is why you need to remind your members by placing loyalty program reminders across your website.

Anywhere you can add mention of your program to your homepage, do it. Not only does this remind existing members to participate it also acts as a point of differentiation from your competitors. If you have a program and they don’t, a potential customer will likely choose you. Flash Tattoos has a few mentions of their program on the homepage.

reminders create loyalty program participation

You can also use other on site promotion methods like: floating tabs, slider or hero images, and even pop ups (just be sure not to annoy your customer).

4. External Reminders and Cues

Reminders on your site are great, but are only effective if your customers are visiting you frequently. If you really want to boost loyalty program participation you need to also need to communicate of your site as well.

According to many studies email marketing is the most effective and easy to use marketing tool available to today’s digital marketers.

email marketing is effective with loyalty programs

A great way to boost participation in your loyalty program is to combine loyalty and email marketing into a super campaign. Use email to send notifications when your members earn or spend points. This way they will be getting constant reminders of how often they are interacting with your program.

You can also send loyalty marketing material to your members. You can let them know that if they make a purchase this weekend they will get a bonus 100 points. Or, you can just email all of your non-program members and let them know about the benefits of the program, like in the example below.

screen_shot_2015-06-24_at_7.04.36_pm_360 (1)
Combining your loyalty marketing and email marketing together is one of the most effective ways to increase program awareness and boost loyalty program participation.

5. Obtainable Rewards

One of the biggest mistakes I see with any loyalty program is making the rewards way too hard to get. How is anyone supposed to get the 20,000 points needed for your reward if you are giving 1 point per $1 spent on your tea site. They would have to spend $20,000 to get a reward. Would you participate in that program?

Your loyalty program members become hooked on your program when they first spend points on a reward, not while they are accumulating points. That is why you need to make it easy to obtain rewards. I usually recommend giving enough points for a reward after a single valuable action like when a referred friend makes their first purchase. There is an exception though.

have more obtainable loyalty rewards

I do like offering a few what I call “asperational rewards.” These are rewards that are designed to be ridiculously hard to achieve. These give your program a talking point and can help differentiate your program. Just be sure there are plenty of obtainable rewards as well.

 

How Do I Know if Participation is Improving?

You now have a few things you can do to boost your loyalty program’s participation rate. But, before you race out and try all these new tactics at once, you will want to know how to measure success.

There are a few ways you can measure if your loyalty program is performing like: customer lifetime value, repeat purchase rate, and net promoter score. However, if you want to measure changes in your participation rate I recommend using your redemption rate.

 

Your redemption rate shows you the percentage of your issued points that are being converted into a reward. If your members are participating they will be spending their loyalty points. Start by performing the above equation today to get your base line. Then make some of the above changes and measure your redemption rate again. An increase in redemption means that your participation is on the rise.

Just remember that if your redemption rate is currently below 20% you may have a serious loyalty program problem.

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3 Time-Tested Retail Sales Promotions That Drive Foot Traffic and Build Loyalty

How do you entice people to buy more from your store? What do you do when you want customers to make purchases more frequently, or in greater volume, or if you’re looking to boost business during slow hours and more?

Whatever your goal may be as a retailer, by creating a time-sensitive sales promotion and having a good grasp on your target customer demographic, you’ll be able to incentivize the right actions, get them to respond, and grow your business in the process.

In this post, we’ll look at three retail sales promotion techniques that are worth their weight in gold when implemented effectively. They are:

So, the next time you’re stuck as to how you can increase sales, get new customers, or retain existing ones, you’ll have no trouble turning to the perfect promotion strategy for your goal.

Let’s get started.

The Power of Promotional Pricing

As a small business owner, you already know the power of discounting products to increase demand.

But which products do you give a discount on? And by how much? Or for how long? These are all questions that come to mind when considering the option of reducing prices. They’re also important questions due to the nature of how pricing affects consumer psychology.

For example, you might have heard about the power of ending prices with the number 9. Researchers have discovered that items priced at $39 sell more than the cheaper price point of $34. Or the overbearing power of the word “free,” which Dr. Dan Ariely has shown to motivate us even when the perceived value and price of two options remain the same.

Now, let’s take a look at a few of the more popular promotional pricing options that you can deploy in your own store:

  • Markdowns: This is when you reduce prices on a wide range of products in your store for all customers. This is especially effective when backed by a wider advertising campaign, be it through paid or unpaid channels.
  • Loss Leaders: When you know that certain products are in demand, regardless of whether it’s a luxury item like an iPad or everyday need like under garments, you can provide certain products at a steep discount to draw new customers to your store. Known as loss leaders, these products are great for selling overstocked items, increasing traffic to your store, and generating brand awareness.
  • Bundle Pricing: Bundling products is a great way to generate a higher perceived value for a lower cost that customers have a hard time staying away from. Whether it’s a “buy one, get one free” deal or a “3 for the price of 1” special, this tactic is great for making customers feel that they’re getting more for what they’re paying. As a bonus, this is a huge draw to then entice those customers to buy higher priced items once they’re in your store.

Retail sales to help foot traffic | Shopify Retail

Leveraging Point-of-Purchase (POP) Displays

Though you might be most familiar with POP displays from your visit to the grocery store, where you just couldn’t help but notice all those glossy magazines filled with celebrity gossip, you’ll be pleased to know that they’re one of the most effective ways for retailers to encourage impulse buying.

For example, you might have noticed that the last time you went shopping for clothes, there was a never-ending array of bins and displays filled with items that could be seen as “add-ons” or “up sells” as you make your way closer to the checkout.

The reason why these POP displays and the impulse purchases they generate are so effective is thataccording to research, almost 66% of all decisions to buy something are made while people are in the store shopping. And guess what? Almost 53% of those decisions are classified as impulse buying.

Well, it’s time to start thinking about what you could do around your checkout area to get consumers to buy more.

Here are a few examples of different types of POP displays:

  • Speed Bumps: As prospective customers get closer to the end of their purchasing journey at your store, you can intentionally draw their attention to products that they may have missed by strategically placing them along the path to checkout or even as they wander the store.
  • Dump Bins: These are bins full of products once again strategically placed to elicit curiosity in consumers and get them to “dig in” and find an item that they’ll add to their shopping cart as they stand in line to pay for what they came to buy.
  • Free Samples: This is a surefire way to build demand for any new products that you may have recently added to your store. Giving away free samplers of certain products invites customers to use them at no cost and though they may not reach for the full-price version right away, you can be sure they’ll think about it the next time they visit your store.

Optimizing point of purchase displays | Shopify Retail

Getting the Most Out of Loyalty Programs

Let’s face it, getting new customers costs a lot of time, money, and effort. Providing great service and creating customer loyalty programs that get customers to come back, time and time again, is far more profitable and efficient as a retailer.

Though you may not have the big-box retailer budget to launch a full-out customer loyalty program, rest assured, there are some great alternatives that also happen to be very cost effective as well.

The most beneficial of those alternatives would have to be a Mobile Loyalty App.  Your business can now implement a full blown loyalty program that will rival those of the big-box-retailers.  Mass Mobile Apps provides a solution that will meet all your needs!  With their solution, in exchange for rewarding your customers for shopping, you will be given the ability to reach them like you have never had before.  Each customer must download your app, and register in your program, and in doing so they provide you unprecedented access.  You are now able to send “Push Notifications” directly to their mobile devices, which appears just like a text message. With a wide variety of features that are designed to enhance the customer experience, and provide the retailer the most up to date marketing tools available.

Another alternative would be email marketing. It’s an effective way to drive customer retention and loyalty and starts as quickly as when you collect customer’s email as they checkout, and then email them about exclusive sales, discounts, coupons, and other promotional offerings for a limited time period. Not only will this incentivize them to visit your store again, but it will also increase the perceived value they have of being on your email list.

One simple way to do that in your store is to use a really handy app by MailChimp called Chimpadeedoo, which you could use alongside your iPad POS system. They’ve also got some great in-depth case studies I suggest checking out. For example, in one case, a retailer saw their email list grow from 250 to 10,000 subscribers in just one year.

Chimpadeedoo sales promotions | Shopify Retail

Another app you might want to check out is Belly, which helps local businesses connect with customers through a customer-facing mobile app and merchant iPad app, and helps you build loyalty by rewarding your customers each time they visit and make a purchase from your store.

Lastly, Don’t Forget To Track Your Efforts

In order for you to get the most benefit from running a sales promotion campaign, you must track the percentage of sales resulting from the promotional campaign. Ideally, you should be able to assign tracking codes or discounts to certain products within your POS system and generate a report to see how well you’ve done since first launching the campaign.

The other important component is setting a timeline for each campaign, not just to help your customers act faster, but for you to start looking at promotions from the perspective of seasonality. That will also help you to be far more strategic and give you enough time to plan everything in advance so as to ensure you’re not wasting your efforts.

How iOs 10 Empowers Mobile Marketers

 

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Apple’s iOS 10 updates are coming this fall — the public beta is now available for download, so the official release is likely closer than we think — and the host of changes will have a significant impact on mobile marketers. How can you be poised to take advantage of the changes when they launch? Here’s a quick primer.

SiriKit

This is one of the bigger changes. SiriKit opens Apple’s virtual assistant to developers, meaning they can build voice controls into their own apps. Siri will be able to order you a Lyft or Uber with a simple voice command.

Your move: Integrate your app with Siri as much as you can. It will help your product stay top of mind with consumers if they can call it up with a simple one-liner as they lie in bed on a weekend morning.

New Messaging Features

This one is pretty big, too. In an effort to compete with WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger, Apple added a variety of new messaging features in the iOS 10 updates:

  • There’s an iMessage App Store coming. Users will be able to add third-party functionality to messaging (i.e. stickers and GIFs).
  • Calendar scheduling and mobile payments. (More on the mobile payments in one second.)
  • Powerful iMessage capabilities. Send full-screen messages, hand-written notes, ‘invisible ink’ messages that are only revealed if swiped by the recipient (a little Snapchat touch there), and a ‘Tapback’ functionality to quickly reply with a pre-set message. You can also easily replace words with emojis, i.e. “Going for pizza or burgers” becomes “Going for 🍕 or 🍔.” Venmo, anyone?

Your move: As messaging functionality (and fun) continues to increase with iOS 10 updates, it’s time to consider investing more in SMS marketing. Coca-Cola, is wasting no time getting in on the action, as they’re poised to spend 70% of its mobile budget on SMS in the next fiscal year. It also means users want messaging that has the tone and feel of a personal message. Embrace emojis! 😜

Mobile Payments

 We’re arriving at a tipping point for the adoption of digital wallets, and the iOS 10 updates might push Apple Pay to the forefront.

in the U.S., we’ve had magnetic stripes on the back of our credit cards for a generation. But these days, chip technology is becoming more prevalent in the U.S. It’s called EMV, and most chip-card reading terminals can work with NFC, or near-field communications. NFC is a set of standards for portable devices. It allows them to establish peer-to-peer radio communications, passing data from one device to another by touching them or putting them very close together.

This new system supports contactless payment, which means a whole host of digital wallet options are opening up as the U.S. fully transitions to chip-based credit cards.

Your move: It’s a great time to adjust your app’s payment options. Digital wallets will foster ease of payment, and ease of payment could be huge for customer retention and acquisition.

Expedited app reviews

 Currently the cycle takes about 4-10 days. With iOS 10 updates, the expectation is 1-2 days.While Apple still reviews about 100,000 apps/week, it’s devised a faster process. This means that from the point of submission, you could be ‘live’ in front of consumers within about 30 hours.

Your move: Have your ducks in a row for rollout before you submit your app, because it’s not a potential two-week waiting game anymore.

Revenue Splits and Subscriptions

 Apps that use subscriptions will see a 70 (developers) / 30 (Apple) revenue split in year 1, and then in year 2, it will become 85-15. Subscriptions will now be available across allcategories, whereas previously it was limited to only a few.

Your move: Do subscription services make sense for your app? To qualify, you’ll need content that is updated or delivered on a regular basis — or you need to provide paid access to an ongoing service within the app, i.e. massive multiplayer online games.

Paid App Search

This will be new feature — but unlike Google AdWords, only one ad result will show at the top of keyword searches in the App Store. Mobile marketers can bid on keyword searches, but the competition for some might be very tight,and relevancy is going to play a key role here. Apple is apparently going to parse the app descriptions for relevance, which is the first time they’ve done that in any iOS release.

Your move: Write compelling, targeted descriptions of your apps if you plan to keyword-bid at any point.

Simple unsubscribes

 iOS 10 Mail will offer simple unsubscribes from marketing list e-mails, which is a potentially great feature for users — and makes prioritizing permission-based subscription more important than ever for email marketers. The exact repercussions of this will evolve once iOS 10 gets out of beta, but standard email marketing approaches will become even more important. In essence: good subject lines, relevant content, and offers and personalized approaches that resonate with consumers.

So, where should you start?

This is a jumping-off point for your thinking about iOS 10, which will likely be live by the end of September. For now, we recommend brainstorming strategies around how to use messaging more effectively (one of the bigger changes) and utilizing SiriKit to integrate with the voice of the iPhone.

See Original Article Here

4 Ways to Build Trust with Your Customers

What efforts do you take to build trust with your customers? Building solid, trusting relationships with your customer base is one of the best ways to retain them. In fact, News Cred’s recent study revealed that among millennials, the top three brand loyalty drivers include a great product (77%), followed by brand recognition (69%) and trust (69%).

Research also shows that retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. The longer a customer is loyal to a brand, the more money they spend. What does that mean for your bottom line? According to a study cited by Retention Science, increasing customer retention by just 5% increases profits by 25-95 percent.

Needless to say, building trust with your customers is a worthwhile and profitable endeavor. Here are four ways to build trust with your audience:

1. Communicate with customers on a regular basis

You shouldn’t just contact customers when you want them to make a purchase. If customers feel like every communication is a sales push, you’ll dash any hope of building trust.

Instead, communicate with your customers on a regular basis. Consider emailing a regular newsletter, sharing links to helpful articles on your social media channels or providing how-to articles on your blog. Customers appreciate useful information that makes their day a little better.

For example, if you run a fast casual restaurant, create a monthly newsletter that highlights upcoming menu items and welcomes new staff.

If you run a cleaning company, share an article about best ways to clean up nail polish, like the example below.

Every interaction builds trust. Plus, if customers hear from you on a regular basis, your occasional promotional email won’t feel out of place. It’s just another message from a friend.

2. Provide quality customer service in your store

One of the best ways to gain trust is to offer your customers service they can’t find anywhere else. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure your service inside your store is top-notch:

Make sure your staff is friendly
Create a welcoming environment that keeps customers coming back. Train employees to nurture your customer relationships. Don’t assume employees know how to interact with your audience, show them.

Collect and use feedback
Ask your customers to provide feedback and use it to implement changes that can improve their experience. Collect feedback in store and online.

Show gratitude
Make sure your customers know that you appreciate them. Send exclusive deals to your most valued customers, host a customer appreciation event and set up a loyalty program that rewards your customers for their continued support.

3. Consider providing customer support on social

With so many of your customers using social media, using these platforms to offer service and support is quickly catching on. Xbox, a popular gaming system, offers customer support through Twitter. Customers can tweet questions and get live help. It’s so popular Xbox has created multiple accounts to handle the massive crowds.

If you plan to offer support on social channels there are a few tools that can help. ZenDesk, for example, offers software that manages customers’ requests and creates a self-help arena for customers to troubleshoot issues on their own.

Desk.com is another option. It creates a universal inbox where you can help your customers through social sites like Facebook and Twitter all from one dashboard.

Your online service should compliment your service efforts in store.

4. Own up to mistakes

Customers reward companies that are honest and transparent. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Whether you missed a service appointment or have products on backorder, it’s important to communicate with customers about any problems that affect them.

As soon as you’re aware of the problem, reach out. For example, when Adorama fell short on cameras, an email was sent to explain that the item was on backorder. Notice the company apologizes for the wait and offers additional relevant information like how to cancel an order.

Correct A Mistake Quickly

Research shows 95% of complaining customers will forgive a company if a problem is resolved in the next interaction. So, in addition to being honest, you also need to act quickly. Customers expect swift solutions.

How do you build trust with your customers? Feel free to share any additional strategies or tips.

5 Reasons Retail Brands Need An App To Succeed in The 21st Century

 

Think of the stores and lunch spots you frequent. Odds are, a few of them, if not more, have a corresponding app. And if you’ve ever used their app, you know it makes for a much more seamless in-store experience from start to finish. Retail apps make it easy for people to repeatedly convert, turning the occasional customer into a brand loyal powerhouse and it’s paying off for them in a big way. Need proof? Howard Schultz credits Starbucks’ investment in mobile as a key reason for their all-time high revenue. Starbucks’ app has grown 23% over the past year alone, eclipsing 11 million users.

It’s clear that apps have become the 21st century loyalty card, and when done right, are an explosive revenue driver and cost saver for retail brands. Read on to learn five reasons retail apps have become an essential part of the modern brand’s marketing strategy, and why it’s no longer optional for retailers to have one:

 

1.) Mobile Orders & Payment Drive Repeat Business

While mobile orders and payments are a fairly new retail app feature, they’ve more than proven their value already. By launching order ahead within their app that already accepts mobile payment, Starbucks delivered the one-two-punch necessary to accelerate performance. As of Q1 2016 close, a whopping 21% of Q1 2016’s orders and $6 million in revenue were attributed to mobile order and pay.  Why the success? Starbucks has eliminated the friction from your morning coffee routine. Being able to order and pay for your coffee ahead of time using the app means avoiding long lines and transactional woes, equating to more frequent visits out of sheer convenience.

2.) Modern Day Consumers Value Convenience

Speaking of convenience, marketers everywhere will tell you that the modern day consumer values it over most other factors. The most seamless way to deliver convenience to consumers? Via an app. Hence why startups like Uber and Instacart have found unprecedented success, and now retail brands are following suit.  While Starbucks got a jump on mobile order and payment, other big names from Walmart to Target have plans to capitalize on this trend and ensure they don’t get left behind. Retail apps ensure users have relevant information in real time, from offers to sales, rewards card numbers and even payment information. Basically, retail apps grant consumers the ability to control their entire shopping experience via their phone.

 3.) Apps Enhance The In-Store Experience

Retail giant Walmart’s investment in mobile comes at a time where brick and mortar stores are struggling to stay relevant in an ever dominating ecommerce world. Their app allows customers to access deals, create shopping lists, refill prescriptions, and more. Walmart’s hope is that by enhancing their in-store experience with the help of their mobile app, consumers will opt to shop with them rather than with online competitors such as Amazon.

Proving just how committed they are to the digital transformation, Walmart has even geofenced their stores so that customers can check-in via their app upon arrival to see relevant store information and sales as well as have online orders ready for pickup. In addition, their “Savings Catcher” app feature allows users to scan the product barcode to ensure lowest price guarantees. And with the launch of Walmart Pay on iOs a few weeks back to streamline the checkout process, it’s clear that Walmart is doubling down it’s investments in mobile as a way to win over consumers in the digital age.

4.) The Ability to Personalize Loyalty Programs & Rewards

Another reason retailers should invest in apps? They grant you the ability to reward users and drive repeat conversion through tangible rewards. Consumers are much more inclined to download and use your app if they know they’ll be rewarded, and apps give marketers the power to create a personalized rewards program based on the individual user. For example, Starbucks loads a free coffee coupon for users on their birthday.  Building a rewards program into your retail app based on frequency of purchases is a great way to incentivize consumers to continually convert. Popular salad chain SweetGreen has a rewards section to their app where they showcase your progress and how close you are to your next reward. This tactic is more powerful than a printed coupon or a loyalty card because consumers are able to visualize and understand just how close they are to their next reward.
5.) Retail Apps Increase Efficiency and In-Store Execution

Having all of a shopper’s pertinent information and rewards in one digital place is not only beneficial for the shopper, but the retailer itself. Howard Schultz told analysts that Mobile order and pay has significantly increased line efficiency, minimizing wait and those deterred by long lines. Granting shoppers the ability to order via the app also means less resources are needed in-store. Finally, mobile apps allow for digital receipts, significantly cutting down retail paper cost and waste.

 

The Future of Retail

If  Black Friday 2015 was any indication, mobile is becoming the modern day consumer’s ideal medium for shopping. However, there is a way for brick-and-mortar and the digital world to coexist. A mobile app that enhances the in-store experience is a perfect way to bridge the gap between eCommerce and traditional retail, promoting a highly personalized and efficient store interaction.

Brands like Starbucks and Walmart understood that their business model wasn’t in tune this shift in consumer behavior towards mobile and needed to act fact. Their sense of urgency is validated by a study confirming that 1 in 5 smartphone users will use mobile pay this year. And with that number trending upward, It’s now clearer than ever that if retailers want to remain a priority to consumers tomorrow, they need to make mobile a priority today.

Want to learn everything you need to know about how to transforming your retail brand from digital to mobile? We’ve got you covered. Contact us today and see how we can help you grow your business.

apps4yourbusiness

How to Create an Exclusive Loyalty Program!

Exclusive loyalty programs

Very few retailers will dispute the value of a repeat customer, and many are even familiar with how to create a loyal customer with tactics like personalization and loyalty programs. But many people a have a very narrow minded idea of what a loyalty program looks like.

Traditionally loyalty programs seemed to be all the same. They either gave a customer a percentage back as points, and that customer could redeem that for a discount. Or, they gave shoppers something for free after a certain number of purchases. Like in the following example.

Not an exclusive loyalty program

Example of traditional loyalty program

As you can see these programs are still popular today, but are not the only way to structure a loyalty program. Many retailers today especially those looking at luxury brand loyalty want to construct exclusive loyalty programs. These programs create an aspect of exclusivity and avoid discounts.

 

Tips to Create an Exclusive Loyalty Program

Before I get into some tips, I want to clarify what is meant by an exclusive loyalty program. I do not mean that you should only accept certain people or exclude shoppers from your program. What I mean is that you should make your program feel like it is providing exclusive benefits to your customers. Here is how to do just that!

1. Points Only Products

This is one of my favorite ways to create an exclusive loyalty program! A points only product is a product that is only available for purchase with points. This is a great alternative to providing a discount with your loyalty program.

Points only products work by creating a catalog of products that are not available to be purchased in any currency besides your points. This allows you to provide additional value to your customers in the form of a gift rather than giving them a discount on a purchase. Like this example from Strivectin.

create an exclusie loyalty program with points only products
You can make any product available to be purchased with points, but to create a truly exclusive loyalty program you should make some products only available with points. These exclusive products create desire in your customers that is stronger than the desire to get a discount.

exclusivity through rewards


Theory11 does a fantastic job of this by providing limited edition versions of cards that are not available for purchase anywhere besides as part of their elite program. Limited edition items are great products to offer as part of an exclusive loyalty program.

Another way to get customer engagement is to offer aspirational rewards. These are rewards that cost a lot of points and a customer will have to work very hard towards. An example of this is Juleps’s Mini-Cooper.

Is a loyalty program right for you skinny banner

 2. Experiential Rewards

Another way to create an exclusive loyalty program is with experiential rewards. These rewards are similar to points only products because you are offering something that can only be redeemed with points. However these rewards focus on creating an experience for your customers. A product has a lifetime, but a great experience can last forever.

I have seen experiential rewards offered in many ways, but the important thing is that the experience you provide matches your brand image and your customer demographic. You want to create an experience that will drive your customers to take action.

Some great examples I have seen:

Theory 11

What they sell – Cards for magic tricks and magic accessories

Experiential Rewards – Skype session with the team and one on one training sessions

exclusive rewards
These experiential rewards have all been redeemed but were available in the past. The site even had a meet up with David Blaine as a reward. All these experiences match perfectly with what they sell and stand for.

Sephora

What they sell – Cosmetics and supplies

Experiential rewards – Exclusive shopping events, invites to Sephora parties, and access to the beauty studio

Beauty insider explainer

Sephora does a fantastic job of motivating shoppers to engage with their program. I will discuss them further in the next section, but they are also doing a ton of other things right with their loyalty program.

Other Experiential Reward Ideas:

  • Meet and greet with the CEO or a Celebrity Endorser
  • Tickets to industry events or shows
  • Early access to sales and promotions
  • Vacations
  • One on one consultation (explain which products will work best)

Once again the important thing here is to match your experiential rewards to your brand and customer base. If you want to give your loyalty program an exclusive feel you will need to provide rewards that get your members feeling that way!

 

3. Status Based Tiers

Nothing gets a customer feeling like they are part of an elite club quite like status based tiers. These are tiers that separate your loyalty program members into groups. The purpose of this is to get members competing to be part of an exclusive group.

create an exclusive loyalty program with tiersThese tiers work best for exclusive loyalty programs when the tiers are tied to a status. You can show status with a special card like Sephora’s VIB card or Starbucks’ Gold Card. Or you can show status by providing upper tier members with special benefits unavailable to those in lower tiers.

Just be sure that you are actually creating exclusivity for those in the top group. You should aim to have your best 5% of customers in the top tier of your program. This ensures that those seeking the status will be motivated by the exclusivity.

tiers that create exclusivity
You can read “Tiered Programs, Why They Are Great for Customer Loyalty” for more information about creating tiers in your exclusive loyalty program. I would also recommend looking into Sephora’s program for a great example.

 

An Exclusive Loyalty Program

Creating an exclusive loyalty program that does not focus on discounting is definitely possible! You just need to be sure that you focus on creating rewards and benefits that match your target audience.

Do your customer value having things before the general public? Offer them early access to ne products for their loyalty. Do your customer love being unique? Allow them to redeem points for limited edition items that are not available anywhere else.

There are tons of ways to create a loyalty program that feels exclusive. The important thing is to use tactics that will work for you. Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.

Is a Loyalty Program Right For Your Store?

 

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Author:  Alex McEachern