Social media has become one of the most important aspects of digital marketing today as it has been influencing all of our lives in one or the other way. If you are not using it to promote your brand, then you have been missing a lot of easy and affordable marketing opportunities. It is one of the most easiest and useful digital platforms to increase business visibility.
Loyalty programmes have started using this platform to leverage their customers since most of communications happen over mobile phones these days. The response and actions have become faster than earlier since it’s a direct approach to hit the right customer at the right time. People receive offers as pop-ups right on their phone screens that allows them to send a response quickly. According to a consumer survey done by Deloitte Consultancy, 61% per cent of participants checks their mobile phones first after 5 minutes of waking up every morning. This is isn’t surprising since more than 31% of the global population are connected to each other through social media. No matter where you are, thousands of people are right there for you to hear what you say on your social media pages.
As social media continues to permeate every aspect of the shopping experience, it’s quickly developing into a tool that is all about building relationships with your customers. Each time your customers check their social media profiles, they get the opportunity to communicate directly with your brand. Count it from direct messages, reviews to refer a friend, your customers can interact with your brand 24/7 through a variety of social media platforms.
This proves that social media plays a huge role in reviving your customer retention policies. So what better way to engage your target audience than by integrating your social media strategy with your rewards program? Customer loyalty solutions allows customers to connect to you easily and also rewards customers who buy from you frequently. It encourages customers to buy your products or use your service regularly. The encouragement comes in the form of discounts,free products, rebates or any other form of appreciation .
Brands use loyalty programs to strengthen their relationships with customers, increase in sales numbers and most importantly turning a prospective customer into a frequent buyer. A loyalty management program must ensure that the services meet the needs of the customers.
With so many users all over the world, social media is the ultimate resource to help you create curiosity about your rewards program on a global scale. You just need to determine on which platform your target is most likely o interact. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Snapchat are adding new features to their platforms everyday and these changes bring countless number of ways to communicate and express the value of your loyalty program through an amalgamation of creative and visual content.
Loyalty programs have become the part and parcel of almost every company or brand. Engaging customers has become all the more difficult at this point in time and introducing innovative and exciting strategies to engage and bring more consumers to purchase products from partnered brands has become crucial. The tried and tested methods of gaining attention of target audiences has now shifted to a different tangent hence, learning about the new trends that are influencing loyalty programs is highly recommended. On looking deeper into this subject, these 5 trends mentioned below seem to be the most influential strategies in the realm of loyalty programs.
There are several kinds of philosophies in terms of redemption of rewards. Some reward loyalty programs by different hospitality companies are extremely straightforward, as they say on their schemes are clearly slated on website like“Accumulate 14 nights, get 1 night’s stay free.” This is to ensure that customers are redeeming their rewards instead of expiring rewards, blackout dates and continuous degradation of the value of the reward points assigned by the loyalty programs, that may discourage the customers.
Nowadays, we get to see a plethora of premium reward loyalty programs. The main reason why premium loyalty programs are becoming extensively popular is because the members want the advantages and benefits that a premium program offers and are willing to pay for it as well. In a recent consumer study from the former year, 62% of the subjects admitted that they would consider joining a reward loyalty programthat was fee-based if the provider or retailer was of their choice.
Introducing rewards that have the ability or capacity to evolve into another offer or reward or could be combined with other offers, would make reward loyalty programs much more appealing and attractive to existing and new customers. Allowing a guest to trade their offer with something that suits their requirements and preference can definitely boost a loyalty program. The concept of combining of unused rewards into a bigger and more appealing reward can be a great hit amongst loyalty program consumers.
Chatbot and AI
Though chatbots or artificial intelligence cannot technically replace an actual human interaction, chatbots seem to be the most effective medium when a customer is trying to resolve common trivial issues. Chatbots reduce the need for customers to visit the website or store, etc making it faster and more efficient due to the increased chances of reduced human errors.
The ever-growing consumer industry has been growing and changing their strategies for years. It has tried to break through from a tier-based system to a more personalized loyalty program that caters to specific sections of the target audience. In this new archetype, you would receive a reward based on your previous purchases or will be tailored to your specific needs. One loyalty program member might wish for an exclusive event entry and another might require the best suite with the fastest wifi and giving a reward based on their personal requirements would gain their attention more than generic mass-planned loyalty programs.
Trends are often a fast-moving phenomenon and is driven by various factors and the aforementioned are the biggest trends that are likely to reign in the world of reward loyalty program. They are an estimated vision of how the trends would influence the next-Gen loyalty programs.
We all agree to the fact that sustainable living leads to a better environment. Our global future entirely revolves around how we use our natural resources. Usage of solar power, eating locally grown foods, consuming less fuel are some of the few things that can lead to a sustainable future. To encourage this, loyalty card companies also have come up with various schemes that reward their customers to shop for more goods and services that are considered environment-friendly.
There is nothing better than an incentive plan that rewards its customers for a better future. Green card loyalty card schemes are basically an ethical way of rewarding people for a sustainable living. These schemes encourage people to purchase and use services that are more eco-friendly that include travelling by sustainable moods of transportation, consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables, usage of solar panels and lightning etc.
A loyalty program company implements the same concept of loyalty schemes into green card loyalty programme by purchasing which customers can collect reward points, and spend them with the partnering companies to purchase environment-friendly goods and services. There are various educational programmes and campaigns on sustainable living but the question is what’s in there for the customers to follow it. The answer is awareness and it acts as a motivational factor for consumers to adapt sustainable living.
After the implementation of these programmes, consumers are slowly inclining towards ethical consumption of goods and services, the growth is slow but constant. The loyalty programme companies choose their partners who are basically manufacturers of sustainable goods and services who also have attractive ways to present them in front of their customers.
The schemes have become popular in retail, travel industry and consumers have started using more organic products and services than artificial counterparts. For example, more and more people are purchasing solar panels, solar heaters, solar cookers, solar chargers etc. to use more of sunlight generated electricity.
This initiative taken by the Loyalty programme companies also has a huge contributing factor in achieving a nation’s financial goals since sustainable living helps saving up natural resources. And thus it helps build a stronger economy for the nation. There is a collective benefit in making greener living choices. The change Is slow but it’s progressive leads to a better future for sure.
Surfing internet on a desktop or laptop is a thing of the past. Today, smartphones have taken the concept of surfing internet to a whole new level. And thanks to its immense progression, people are connected to each other anywhere and everywhere now.
Gone are the days of traditional promotional strategies on newspapers, magazines and traditional electronic media such as television and radio. Nowadays, people checks for Google recommendation before visiting a restaurant. Most of websites adapting mobile apps and Google inc. accepting only mobile-friendly websites. And with this progression, traditional promotional strategies slowly started getting obsolete. In this growing digital age, planning mobile-friendly marketing strategies is a must since it’s has become the most convenient and cost-friendly way to reach your target audience.
It’s Fast and effective:
Mobile marketing strategies are comparatively easy to execute since it’s less time consuming and easily accessible. easy to plan and so the campaigns become easy to execute. More and more devices have been becoming user-friendly and with the advent usage of internet, companies are able to connect with their customers directly with texts and calls. Through mobile promotional strategies, a business gets engaged with the right consumers who want to interact with their brand. The right set of customers receive messages, forwards it to their friends and creates an easy brand awareness.
A personalized approach
Brands establish personalized relationships with their customers through mobile marketing.Customers can choose and personalize what they receive on their phones and allow only those offers that matters to them. Most brands promote offers through their respective apps and customers access them whenever they check their phones since no one has time to go through their mails anymore.And this is the most easiest way out there to get direct engagement with their target audience.
Also,many customer provide their feedback on social media and other e-commerce platforms and this helps the companies to decide on their future course of action.
Impact of Social media
Companies should take social media as the first option to consider while carrying out any promotional activity. The impact of social media is so huge that every small or big business houses have started handling their social media profiles seriously. From branding to customer engagement, consumer feedback to interaction, social media has it all.Consumers can get all required information about their favourite brand by clicking on a single pop-up on their mobile screens.
In a nutshell, it’s impossible for a brand to expect a successful branding exercise without promoting it digitally. Planning your strategies according to the feedback data plays a vital role in carrying out a successful branding exercise.
One of the important sources of competitive advantages nowadays from a service provider point of view is customer loyalty. Many companies are investing in rewards and incentive programs to encourage customer loyalty. But given the ever-increasing competition, keeping customers loyal to your brand is no easy task. So how do brands build trust, drive engagement and create value for their most prized customers in today’s fast-paced world?
The Internet of Things (IoT) can help!
Today there are a multitude of objects and devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). The number of connected devices is expected to exceed 40 billion by 2024. Considering the proven value of Internet and such promising growth trends, it only makes sense to ride the wave of opportunities that the IoT will provide.
Let’s see how it works!
Innovate using IoT insights
Creating innovative experiences that remain true to the brand is one way to engage customers. We talk about virtual reality changing the landscape of customer engagement. Let’s see how it works. Virtual reality enables customers to ‘try before they buy’ products online. Now if brands tie this into their loyalty program, what will happen? Their loyal customers will have a richer experience when shopping with the brand, which will certainly move the graph upwards.
Create a new level of personalization
Internet technology can dramatically increase the ability of firms to serve and develop intimate relationships with their customers. Using analytics, brands can create an entirely customized rewards program based on individual customer preferences, history, location and more. Automated emails related to customer actions are a great way to do that.
Gain the necessary competitive advantage
In a rapidly changing competitive environment, skillful use of technology can really help you establish a niche for yourself. Let’s use the seemingly simple mobile as an example. Your customers are connected to their phones, so if you really want to differentiate yourself, use your loyalty program to go where they go most often. An example of this is Sephora’s targeting of those who use their beauty insider app. Their beauty insider app allows for a seamless omni-channel experience where one can browse online, check store selection and pick up in store, all while collecting points.
A word of caution!
The IoT experience is the most exciting technology of this decade. The use of IoT has given businesses the NEW opportunities to interact and engage with customers, as well as introduce never before realized revenue streams. Be mindful, however, of customer privacy. Remember, with IoT we are also dealing with huge amounts of personally identifiable information. IoT is all about data and insight. We must, therefore, ensure that effective consumer privacy protections are in place to protect individuals.
Above said and done, we believe that IoT has the power to change the face of loyalty programs. Given the growing use and acceptance, the loyalty program of the future will offer more relevant, personal and rewarding brand experiences.
A loyal client is every businessman’s dream. Be it any product or service, spanning the sea of industries out there, a major chunk of strategist’s energy is devoted to acquiring customers and retaining them by all means. Loyalty programs in India are one of important methods used by organizations to reward and retain their loyal customers. While different businesses may need to have specific retention plans, here are a few guidelines from which most of the businesses can benefit-
Use design thinking 101. Before thinking of various ways to retain loyal customers, it is of utmost importance to empathize with them, get into their shoes and experience the product/ service the same way the customers will.
Once a customer is acquired and served well, he is bound to return, since he begins to trust the brand. It is absolutely necessary that this trust is never betrayed. Thus brands should only sell what they stand for and refrain from overselling.
Uniformity of experience
Brands should ensure superior customer experience which is uniform across all of their offerings and across geographies as well. A customer having gained a certain experience at one store location would expect the same quality of experience at another store. Differences might mislead and confuse the customer about what truly the brand represents.
Real-time CRM and data driven decisions
With so many businesses engaging with their customers online, gathering intricate details about a customer’s needs and preferences has become the trend. Organizations that have the means to correctly mine this data and analyze it can make more informed and accurate decisions, targeting the right customers with the right products.
Data can also be used to predict which of the repeat customers are worth more. Upon segregating into high worth and low worth, customers can be offered customized offerings with preference given to the former.
Reward their loyalty
It always augurs well with businesses to reward customers for their loyalty in the form of special offers and discounts. Loyalty programs are one of the most popular tools used by businesses in India. For knowing what kind of loyalty program would work for a particular business, professional consultancy can be taken from loyalty management companies and customer loyalty marketing companies.
Customer service and ORM
Businesses should ensure that customers get quality after-service. A disgruntled customer could turn out to be a nightmare owing to the massive reach he can have via various social media. A negative word of mouth could dissuade the acquired customers from continuing with the product or service.
Despite it being a slightly low-key celebratory day, it has gained enough popularity on the social media at least. And hence, capturing a huge section of audience becomes quite easy on different social media platforms. Here are a few ways, you could cater to your employees/audience and market the idea of Father’s day to them:
Promote on Email
Irrespective of your company being the type that celebrates such days or not, or if you don’t specifically cater to the type of audience that does, promoting in-house events related to the day or events that are in correspondence to the same can be promoted within your target audience. Building up on catchy headlines/subjects for such promotional emails are highly likely to attract greater audience.
It can be a significantly healthy and fruitful idea to have your company approach local restaurants, eateries, bars and even fitness centers and partner with them and host vents or promote deals and offers that cater to the audience who are likely to be attracted by the same. Some offers such as ‘Bring your dad & the beer’s on us’ or ‘Like father-like son fitness challenge’, etc can prove to quiet a hit amongst younger generations.
Rule on Social Media
Having set up a contest specifically promoting the bond between fathers & children can be a great idea too. Running a contest that encourages people to post selfies of themselves with their father or having to write the funniest incident they shared with their children/father can also turn out to be a successful strategy to grab attention. Having the winners announced & distributing a promotional voucher or even a freebie of your own brand can do the company a whole world of good.
Spoilt for choice
Making your audience/customers part-take in events organised by you that celebrates father’s day & having fun games and rules set up for the same could be quite interesting. Partnering with fashion brands or clothing lines can also be an off-beat option but still quite impressive, though mothers are more likely to be interested in the shopping part, but that’s where it gets better. Your sale/event can have all the members of the family invited and participate in a game that requires them to select pieces of clothing each & the father gets to pick his favorite which can be given to him as a prize or at a discounted rate, etc.
These are some of the fun, interesting and practical ways to market Father’s Day to people in a more economical, interactive and impressive way for a wide range of audience.
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The face of customer loyalty is changing constantly with the increasing cut-throat competition between companies. There are a hell lot of retail options available to customers. So what makes a person choose one over another? And there comes the most basic customer retention techniques- rewards for their loyalty. They have made themselves as Loyalty Rewards Company – a give-away reward to retain their customers. But is it the future? Do customers really want to be engaged in this way only?
The future is Artificial Intelligence. AI will help in gaining a foothold in this very competitive environment. AI consists of speech recognition, natural language understanding for creating better intelligent assistants. They will help customers with accessing information and completing tasks. AI will result in better business processes and customer orientation. The urge is there from customer side to make it more personalized and nothing can do it better with Machine Learning, which is a part of AI. Companies like Nectar are leveraging upon the technology giving their customers more personalized offers and they are very successful. As more customers use their Loyalty Rewards Programs and other digital channels, the better the machine learns about what is relevant for them. Customers are more likely to shop with retailers that deliver more personalized experiences.
Machine learning will totally eliminate the guessing work, it uses the data & analytics to provide the most likely predictions. Loyalty Reward Management programs basically will be utilizing the customer’s prior behavior on certain set of rules. For example, AI facilitates virtual assistants that can monitor the customers on the basis of their engagement in good behavior and then they could be rewarded for it. This reward would lead to more loyal behavior, and all of this will be done without any human interference. Further, this will significantly reduce the marketing cost since they would be targeting only the most relevant customers.
In the very future only, machine learning and AI would be touching every industry and customer loyalty is no different. A Loyalty program company which will use AI and Machine learning will no longer have different teams working on different campaigns for designing and managing offers schemes and discounts for their customers. So, with the help of Machine learning, they would not have to push 200 offers to everyone, but to push 20 offers for 20 type of audience which would have a higher conversion rate with low cost.
Also, the ability to deliver real-time personalized offers based on the ever-learning algorithms will completely replace the traditional loyalty programs. AI will disrupt business functions in nearly every industry. Different loyalty rewards companies are heading towards adopting this technology for better retention of their customers.
Loyalty programs have slowly made their presence felt across travel, retail, financial services, and other business sectors. And since technology is progressive in nature, they are seeking for some kind of disruptive innovation that would turn them more consumer-friendly. Currently, companies are trying to implement new technologies that would suit their ever-growing needs. Blockchain is the next level innovation in this aspect and according to experts, it will bring the same change to banking what internet bought to media. Blockchain has become the first native digital currency for peer-to-peer value exchange.
It acts like a redemption for consumers since it provides them a single platform to access multiple loyalty programs. For example, imagine keeping only one wallet for all loyalty points and you don’t have to hunt for different options, limitations and redemption rules. Apart from that, there are a host of benefits for which Blockchain will redefine the future of all financial transactions in near future. Let’s explore.
1. It’s fast
The decentralized approach of blockchain diminishes the complications between buyer and merchant. Many stakeholders make e-commerce transactions unnecessarily complicated by involving parties that makes the process complicated by adding additional function and bureaucratic steps. Blockchain eliminates the need of a centralized authority, so the money can travel instantly in real-time.
2. It’s cheap
Blockchain reduces a lot of costs. All kinds of loyalty and financial transactions run through a lot of complex network of vendors, banks and payment processors. Blockchain removes all unnecessary third parties by allowing cheap and timeless peer-to-peer transactions. For any online transaction, a consumer ends up paying somewhere around 7% extra which can be minimized by switching to alternative mood of payments.
3. It’s Transparent
Transparency is one of the most salient features of Blockchain. Since it follows a distributed public ledger system, it’s possible to track every bit of information of a transaction. In e-commerce, marketplaces and brands usually keeps all information by themselves and charges the trader to pass them. Blockchain solves this issue by making all data visible and allows all involved parties to access data for free.
5. It’s easily accessible
Blockchain is digital in nature and by implementing it, a lot of additional costs can be minimized. By nature it’s less costly and has lots of potential to divert people’s minds to purchase and participate in global economy. And since it’s decentralized, the same loyalty points can be used for various purposes.
Blockchain is almost similar to the existing loyalty and transaction programs, except that it is cheaper and faster. In a country like India, it’s still early to declare it as the ultimate redemption for the existing loyalty programs since Indian government has not completely legalized it yet. But its transparent nature is a major step towards democratizing economy and bringing the power of economy back to people.
The e-commerce industry has revolutionised the way consumers think and purchase items. People love to shop online for all the convenience and benefits e-shopping brings with it. Consumers can shop anytime and anywhere for everyday or luxe products, save fuel cost, avoid traffic jams, and bypass crowded payment queues. The list is just endless. On top of that, a good customer loyalty program — that is simple to access — keeps the customers motivated and hooked for a substantial period of time.
The old patterns of consumer behaviour do not hold true in today’s digital age. So a customer loyalty program, that is constantly evolving according to millenials’ demands and industry trends, is definitely the way to go. A successful loyalty program depends on how effectively the consumer data is studied. With the right approach and proper discipline, a set of new benefits excites customers to shop at a reasonable cost. The old benefits, that are no longer serving any purpose, are eliminated from the program.
A game-changing loyalty program not only leads to an increase in sales but also results in new customer acquisition and better reputation for the business. A better brand image is definitely a good sign for overall business operations.
According to studies, it is the idea of a reward that makes most customers happy. The idea of saving money only comes after that. Since any great loyalty brings with it new customers and ups the sales, it helps the brand to reduce marketing costs to a great extent. On top of that, existing customers are far more likely to buy from the same brand again and again. Therefore, to keep them loyal is far more handy than to target new customers. Also, since these customers are already familiar with the company’s products and services, they are more cost-effective to serve! Reduction in cost to company and honest feedback are the two things that a business can rely on their loyal consumer base for.
Although many e-retailers understand the concept of customer loyalty fully and how important it is, many of them are lacking in effort for a sustained loyalty program. So there seems to be a disconnection. Still others don’t keep an accurate tab on how these programs are performing, even after they have been set into motion. The idea is to recognise the prime market and construct a plan that makes new customers loyal and keeps the loyal ones excited and looking forward to the brand’s new products. This has also proven to be helpful in beating competitors — that serve the same products and services — thereby gaining an edge over them!