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How To Create An Effective Retail Omnichannel Loyalty Programme

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, adaptability and flexibility are crucial for the success of a retail omnichannel loyalty programme. To thrive in this dynamic… View Article

COMMENTARY

How To Create An Effective Retail Omnichannel Loyalty Programme

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, adaptability and flexibility are crucial for the success of a retail omnichannel loyalty programme. To thrive in this dynamic environment, companies must go beyond mere suggestions and embrace adaptability which also entails embracing innovation.

Indeed customer experience goes hand-in-hand with digital transformation as elucidated in our blog How Digital Transformation is Improving Retail Customer Experience.

The widespread use of omnichannel loyalty programmes is changing the retail industry. In this dynamic situation, customer loyalty has shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have for long-term success.

This analysis delves into omnichannel loyalty programmes, highlighting their unique features and underscoring their importance for the future of retail.

What role do omnichannel loyalty programmes play in retail?

To achieve a seamless omnichannel journey through digital transformation, omnichannel loyalty programmes are vital. They will help you reshape customer engagement for business success.

According to the software company Queue-it, more than 90% of companies now have some form of loyalty programme. Additionally, a staggering 79% of consumers are more inclined to join loyalty programmes that offer points, regardless of the channel they use. These programmes have evolved into comprehensive customer engagement platforms, fostering a seamless experience across both online and offline channels.

In the aftermath of COVID-19, retail omnichannel loyalty programmes played a pivotal role in helping businesses navigate the storm. The pandemic emphasised the necessity for flexible and adaptable loyalty strategies. Retailers embracing omnichannel loyalty weathered the challenges more effectively, underscoring the resilience and versatility of this approach.

What’s the difference between traditional loyalty programmes and omnichannel ones?

In the ever-changing retail scene, loyalty programmes have become critical to establishing and maintaining customer relationships. However, the approach to loyalty programmes has changed dramatically, with a clear shift from traditional to omnichannel strategies.

Traditional loyalty programmes usually stick to one channel, limiting customer interactions to just one spot, like a physical store or an online site. You earn points, discounts, or rewards based on transactions made within that specific channel. While they might encourage loyalty in that chosen channel, they often miss the mark in delivering a smooth and connected customer experience.

The opposite is true with retail omnichannel customer loyalty programmes, which mark a change in strategic thinking. The capacity to integrate a wide variety of channels in a way that goes beyond conventional boundaries is what really sets one apart.

Omnichannel programmes use a comprehensive and interconnected strategy across all channels, including but not limited to: websites, social media, email, and SMS. Both online and in-store shopping provide customers with the same great experience. They can keep earning rewards, regardless of the channel they use. Today’s consumers expect a personalised experience across all channels, and this comprehensive approach aims to meet those expectations.

In short, omnichannel loyalty programmes break down silos, creating a unified ecosystem where each channel significantly contributes. This contrasts with traditional, channel-specific loyalty programmes.

This approach increases customer happiness and loyalty. It also provides businesses with deeper insights into customer behaviour across various touchpoints.

Why should you create a retail omnichannel loyalty programme?

In the fiercely competitive landscape of retail, establishing a robust omnichannel loyalty programme is no longer just an option. It’s a strategic imperative.

Here’s why:

1. Crucial for growing profitable sales: Omnichannel loyalty programmes help to increase sales by engaging customers across multiple touchpoints. Businesses can reach a larger audience and increase revenue by seamlessly integrating online and offline channels.

2. Improves customer retention: Loyal customers build the foundation for long-term success. Omnichannel loyalty programmes aim to boost customer retention through a consistent and personalised experience, fostering a stronger bond between the brand and the consumer. These programmes increase customer loyalty, with 66% of consumers saying they change their spending habits to maximise loyalty benefits.

3. Reward customers for returning: Rewarding repeat business is a great way to encourage customers to return. Omnichannel loyalty programmes make customers feel valued and appreciated, paving the way for a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. In the context of retail omnichannel loyalty programmes building emotional connections with customers emerges as a game-changer. Discover the transformative power of emotional connections in our blog “Cracking the Code of Emotional Loyalty”.

4. Enables customers to refer friends: Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies. Customers can refer friends to omnichannel loyalty programmes, increasing the customer base through trusted recommendations.

5. Improves customers’ opinions of your company: Rewarding customers through loyalty programmes not only fosters positive opinions but also enhances your company’s overall perception. Customers value companies that recognise and reward their loyalty, which leads to increased satisfaction and brand advocacy.

A well-executed retail omnichannel loyalty programme can do wonders for a company’s long-term success. It brings various benefits, including driving increased sales, retaining customers, and fostering positive brand associations and brand awareness.

What to think about when creating a retail omnichannel loyalty programme?

Developing a successful retail omnichannel loyalty strategy necessitates careful thought and strategic planning

Consider the following key points:

  • New data pools

It is critical to use new data pools to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences. Businesses can build a more complete customer profile by combining data from various sources, including online and offline interactions. This data-driven approach enables personalised experiences and targeted rewards, increasing the effectiveness of the loyalty programme.

  • Integrations of CRM and loyalty software

It is crucial to have seamless integration between customer relationship management (CRM) systems and loyalty software, such as Comarch. This integration provides a consolidated view of customer interactions across multiple channels. Businesses can provide a consistent and personalised experience by consolidating customer data. It also makes it easier to track and analyse customer engagement by streamlining the management of loyalty programme information.

  • Loyalty software examples

Choosing the right loyalty software is essential. Antavo, Smile.io, and Yotpo Loyalty are some examples of market-leading solutions. These platforms provide businesses with the tools they need to build and manage a successful omnichannel loyalty programme, with customisable features, robust analytics, and seamless integrations with various channels.

  • Understanding the customer journey

Create a map of the various touch points at which customers interact with your brand. Determine key engagement and reward moments, ensuring that the loyalty programme adds value at each stage. Aligning the programme with the customer journey increases its relevance and effectiveness, resulting in a more pleasant customer experience.

  • Promotion of your omnichannel loyalty programme

Any loyalty programme’s success is dependent on promotion. To raise awareness, use a variety of channels, such as social media, email marketing, and in-store promotions. Clearly communicate the programme’s benefits and emphasise how it improves the overall shopping experience. To encourage sign-ups and engagement, consider offering exclusive promotions to loyalty programme members.

 

A well-executed retail omnichannel loyalty programme necessitates careful planning. Businesses can build a customer loyalty program that boosts loyalty and contributes to overall brand success. The key lies in focusing on new data pools and integrations, selecting the right loyalty software, understanding the customer journey, and effective promotion.  You might also find it beneficial to check out our blog on “Enhancing loyalty schemes in the modern retail sector”.

Examples of companies with the best loyalty programmes

A well-designed loyalty programme can be a game changer in the highly competitive retail industry. Several businesses have perfected the art of loyalty programmes, establishing the gold standard for customer engagement and satisfaction.

Let’s look at some standout examples that have nailed it:

  1. Sephora: Sephora Beauty Insider, the company’s loyalty programme, is a standout in the beauty and cosmetics industry. Customers can progress from Insider to VIB (Very Important Beauty Insider) to Rouge, unlocking increasingly valuable rewards. Exclusive access to product launches, birthday gifts, and personalised beauty recommendations foster exclusivity and personalised service.
  2. Starbucks: Starbucks Rewards, the company’s loyalty programme, exemplifies building customer loyalty with a seamless and rewarding experience. Each purchase earns you loyalty points (stars), which you can redeem for free drinks and food. Starbucks has also integrated mobile ordering and payment into the app, providing members with even more convenience.
  3. Amazon Prime: While not a traditional retail loyalty programme, Amazon Prime is a prime example of loyalty on a grand scale. Subscribers enjoy free and fast shipping, streaming services, and exclusive deals. The comprehensive offering has resulted in a fiercely loyal customer base, demonstrating the power of a comprehensive loyalty strategy.
  4. Nike: NikePlus, the company’s loyalty programme, goes beyond traditional point-based systems. Members get first dibs on new product releases, personalised training plans, and exclusive member-only events. Nike builds a community of brand advocates by aligning the programme with its customers’ active lifestyles. They feel connected and appreciated.

These examples demonstrate that a successful loyalty programme is more than just offering discounts. It is about providing customers with a one-of-a-kind and valuable experience. By providing exclusivity, personalisation, and tangible rewards, these businesses have not only retained loyal customers but also converted them into brand advocates. This results in long-term success in a competitive retail landscape.

Final thoughts

It’s clear that omnichannel loyalty programmes are more than a trend – they are a strategic imperative. The upcoming Retail Omnichannel Futures 2024 live event promises a treasure trove of insights.

Join the event to hear expert speakers share insights on seamlessly blending online and offline channels. The conference will delve into the significance of customer engagement, omnichannel loyalty programmes, and creative data use for personalised experiences.

Don’t miss the chance to revolutionise your approach to customer loyalty—register for free and unlock the future of retail.

 

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