It is absolutely appalling how Coronavirus has changed our world dramatically in just a few months’ time. At one end people are trying to save their lives and at the other end, they are trying to save their livelihood. But if the facts are to be believed, people are bouncing back stronger than ever and so are the businesses. In fact, according to the research data by GlobalWebIndex, one in ten Indian shoppers would buy a luxury item first after the lockdown lifts.
Also according to the Valassis consumer survey, 48% consumers will continue purchasing from the same brands they always do. Seems like the pandemic is not completely upsetting the brand loyalty. Well that’s a breather isn’t it?
So let us check out what loyalty marketing trends would look like now onwards.
Data from Bazaarvoice shows that online shopping activity experienced significant y-o-y growth in April 2020 for both page views (88%) and order count (96%). Brands must be available on ecommerce platforms now more than ever. They should reward their stakeholders with online shopping vouchers for sites like Nykaa, Fynd, The Souled Store & more.
Customers would expect easy and instant redemptions through online mediums
Spending power has plummeted drastically so it is time to be easy when giving out rewards. Brands should be careful with the medium of redemption and make it online. Customers will prefer rewards that can be redeemed online, quickly.
For example, they would avoid going into crowded and closed spaces such as theatres and would prefer coupons of online streaming platforms such as Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix etc. Incidentally, Netflix India has reported more than double rise in its subscriber base in the first quarter of 2020. While last year it forecasted the subscriber base to reach 10 million by the end of 2020, it has already touched 15.8 million during the first quarter of 2020. And now it is aiming to grab new 100 million Indian subscribers. So much for pandemic and chill.
Brands should aim at a rewarding system that has something for everyone in the family
As everybody is locked under one roof, brands would not want to upset a family member. They can include reward plans for kids like home activity box vouchers from Podsquad, Magic Crate etc. Plans for fitness enthusiasts which can have Home Fitness Vouchers from Cult.Fit, Shilpa Shetty App etc. Rewards for foodies with vouchers from Zomato, Swiggy etc., and so on and so forth.
Marketing in this pandemic era has empathy as its soul
So, whatever you do, do not miss out on showing empathy in your communication, processes, and all the interactions. Study from Qualtrics shows that 70% consumers trust brands who take care of their employees, customers, dealers, partners, and stakeholders. In the four levels of loyalty, trust plays a pivotal role. No amount of reward would make them more loyal to your brand than building a long term relationship with them, at the time of crisis.
Target marketing is the most effective form of marketing to fulfill the end goals of each business i.e. ROI and sales. Any marketing strategy that does not keep into consideration the target audiences will always end up frozen in time with no effective results. Such vague communications never reach out to the prospective buyer and fall flat on the ground. Targeting audiences is a very important component of the marketing mix.
To understand the concept even better we have chalked out the benefits of targeting your audiences which are as follows –
Set Goals and Achieve Them
There is nothing more satisfactory than the fact that you set goals and achieve them too. Streamlining your efforts towards the designated goals can help you get great ROI. Scattered efforts in reaching out to a scattered set of audiences will not be worth your while. Talk to a designated group of audiences who share similar buying decisions and have similar buying patterns.
Gather Information and Interpret
Measure the results of the campaigns you run and interpret what worked. Divide the data into fragments and understand what percentage of your customers enjoy what offers and use them too. Experiment with a different set of audiences offering them different discounts and offers. This will help you understand your audiences and reduce wasteful efforts.
Know What works for you and Why
Understanding demographics and streamlining target audience is not an easy task. It needs consistent efforts and some experiments to understand what campaigns work and what offers work for your target audiences. Take time and understand what did not work for your business and enjoy what worked of course!
Here are a few tips of targeting to your audience –
Talk to and Benefit a Defined Set of Audiences
To save in time and effort, a business must understand that talking directly to a defined set of audiences will deeply affect them and they will feel the connection. Any offer or communication that connect with the desired audiences will hit the bullseye and make way for more orders.
Be Effective and Earn Customers Loyalty
Offers are lucrative and the higher the gratification the better. Ease of using discounts and discount coupons can help you as a brand to stay in memory retention resulting in getting customer loyalty. Bring effective in communication is the key too.
Opt for a Focus Centric Approach
As a business streamlining your focus can help you outshine your competitors and help you earn customers. Focus driven efforts are always fruitful in reducing errors and winning a loyal customer base.
Keep an Eye on Changing Trends
The market around is evolving each second and keeping pace with the change is the key. Keep a check on the latest trends ruling the charts and offer what you have at the right time, at the right place. This way you will hit the target audiences and offer what they want.
Putting effective efforts in decoding on how to target your audiences will eventually help in deciding offers for them. Keep in sight and stay together with the changing marketing trends will help you win business. Segregating your target audiences will help you offer them with the offers that best suit their needs. Like in the case of a company, one can easily opt for loyalty points for the audiences through loyalty program management tools.
Rewardport is an initiative that provides an end-to-end solution for any corporate in reward program management. Whether working separately or together. Through research and our collective expertise, we guide our clients with choices to help them motivate their people.
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.
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.
It is the age of the millennials — also commonly known as the Gen Y. This savvy generation not only comprises smart customers, but also include decision makers in top firms. Holding the largest share in the consumer marketplace, they have taken it hands on to change the rules of how brands engage and conduct their customer-experience design. It’s both easy and difficult to gain millennials’ loyalty. But the job is half-done once their tech-savvy psyche is grasped!
- Customer-facing technology can’t be slow or complicated
Millennials have always embraced and aligned themselves with technology. So a user experience that is not friendly, simple, fast and advanced, is generally frowned upon by consumers. Companies should be careful not to present an obsolete process or a complicated system to consumers that will keep them away.
- Smartphones have been the norm for millenials
Millennials are used to getting everything immediately and experiencing everything in real time. The queries need to be attended to as soon as possible and in an authentic language; otherwise, the customer moves on to someone else who understands him/her more.
- Purchasing, for millennials, is a social experience
Engaging on social media is a part of everyday life for millennials. Often, these posts concern their consumption activities, their next purchase or what they might be looking for. This greatly affects businesses — as the opinion and review of one consumer could influence another.
- Millennials seek an authentic and engaging experience
Which is why the company website should include a FAQ page — how to go about making a purchase, detailed repercussions of what could go wrong, or any sort of guidance. This can be done either through articles or videos — where customers can discover quick-fix methods and find instant solution to all their problems.
- Interference or help from customer care is considered tedious
This means that they are self-reliant too and do not need customer-care executives getting in the way, just to mess up their whole experience. More often than not, they would prefer self service.
- Surprisingly, they also want to co-exist
They’re open to new experiences and want to associate with the brand more than with just a transaction. To speak plainly, millennials are adventurous and seek the same from the brand. For example, a cause supported by a favourite company would also be supported by the loyal customers.
The bottom line is that — nothing with the millennials can be taken for granted. The skeptical approach of the previous generations also needs to be done away with. They move fast, like to experiment and are prone to changing loyalties only after one bad experience. It would also be good to know what the target audience is, in order for customer service to be innovative, seamless and top-notch on the whole.
The success of an idea depends on how adaptable it is to the current needs of the system. The ability to amend brand strategies is the key to longevity irrespective of the industry, including the wide domain of customer loyalty. In recent surveys, a massive 65% of the CMO council agreed upon the significance of investing in loyalty strategies. A sudden heat is expected in the arena of loyalty, sooner rather than later. A brief study of the Future Loyalty programs in the following section suggests that the coming times will be of huge significance and the right investments might ensure a smooth systematic function.
The future, in case of loyalty programs, is set to drift away from pushing marketing strategies on customers, onto a more promising approach of making the experience a little easier for the customer. With an approach as simple as deploying loyalty program to make customers’ lives easier, or providing an exclusive loyalty program that rewards via a customisable experience based on individual customers’ needs, the future has taken a turn for good. Retailers, who hope to succeed, must possess the content, a strategy and insightful ideas that can be seeded in conversation with customers to figure out their needs and compliment them in a more suitable manner.
A trend of feedback loops with personalisation and targeting engines is set to present itself to the market. The power of a positive review will dominate the centre stage – retailers and brands will be pushing to engage in conversations, allowing them to progressively learn and develop an unrivalled experience for their customers. Loyalty programs that contextualise all relevant data points shall emerge as victors– delivering push marketing messages and lucrative offers to drive customers into the stores or onto the e-commerce platforms is not going to be enough. Successful retailers and brands must know and comprehend what their customers tend to and analyse the data to fuel targeted conversations that enable the loyal customers to open up about their experiences. Negative criticism is set to trend with a strong, reassuring vibe attached to it.
Loyalty programs, if aimed for huge success, need to continue to support an overall experience of the brand, and should be designed with customers, taking in consideration the minutest of details. The retailers and brands need to embrace the need of the hour; they need to give up control. The real power of loyalty is to enable customers to voice an opinion; loyalty programs will increasingly align themselves to the customer experience side of businesses and emerge as a channel for developing connections with loyal customers on a personal level.
The future of loyalty programs needs a retailer or a brand to enable a broader range of interaction with their customers. Personalisation and customisation, are therefore the keys to ensure the right elements of customer experience are delivered to the loyal customers. They generate a high value of engagement and equally, retailers need to create opportunities through their loyalty programs for customers to engage with their interests.
Loyalty programs have the ability to connect the dots of data from across the multichannel experiences and recognise the areas to be emphasized upon. Mining the data to create these opportunities to strengthen and improve one’s service is an invaluable and relatively untapped resource for retailers. With such advancements and a rising need to acquire the customer base, the future of loyalty programs, it seems, is infinitely bright and headed towards a remarkable journey.
Retailers appeal to customers’ buying habits with incentives in order to outsell their competition. This trend has been in practice since the beginning of time. Over years, retail has continued to evolve, and following the birth of ecommerce in the early 1990s, loyalty strategies have made a migration to the digital platforms with definite motives. With all of the online and offline rewards programs emerging every passing moment, one might begin to wonder where exactly the differences lay between them. A detailed study of both the platforms leads to a clearer opinion about the debate that has raised quite a few opinions.
Offline Loyalty Programs:
Location has always held significant consideration on its part, for customers who choose to purchase products in-store, rather than an online purchase. However, additional expenses may be associated with visiting a particular store to purchase a certain product. Although, customers tend to come back on their own simply due to the close proximity to a specific store, retailers must still be aiming to appeal to their customers’ best interests with their loyalty programs. Following are some of the strategies tailored to benefit the offline sales environment:
- Social Sharing: High chances prevail that customers will browse through physical stores through social networks before the purchase. The current generation of customers, in particular, spend a considerable amount of time on mobile devices, checking into social media accounts and with such exposure, harnessing social sharing power is a genius way to entice customers to shop with you. Rewarding customers for sharing their experiences with the products on platforms like Twitter and Instagram gives retailers the opportunity to create brand influencers while incorporating their brand into the everyday social fabric of their customer base.
- VIP Tiers: VIP tiers allow retailers to acknowledge and evaluate their best customer base with exclusive benefits and rewards. Simply effective at increasing customer engagement, VIP tiered programs give the the customers an opportunity to earn more, which in turn encourages them to spend more. VIP programs have emerged as an excellent solution for brick-and-mortar retailers, because once a customer is committed, they are more likely to engage themselves with a specific store. It’s the perfect example of how exclusive benefits, as opposed to discounts, set a brand apart from the herd.
Online Loyalty Programs: One of the most significant reasons people prefer to shop online is discount prices, which doesn’t come as a surprise given the fact that many such people don’t even have a savings account. Online shopping has taken the commercial merchants by storm, and is soon to dominate, which raises a need for loyalty programs to ensure a customer base. With the facility to shop around and buy at the lowest price in a matter of seconds, there are many ways ecommerce merchants can work to keep their customers hooked.
- VIP Tiers: VIP Tiers is a perfect example of some of the strategies which can be incorporated in both online and offline platforms. Tiers are especially known to industries like supplements and cosmetics because they have intense levels of competition. Brands that reward customer loyalty with benefits and transactional rewards are more appealing in a more obvious sense. Offering customers access to exclusive events or product launches are some of the many ways that retailers can give recognition to their VIP customers, considering that these loyal customers are responsible for a majority of their business.
- Engagement Touch Points: One must provide the customers with ways to engage outside of the shopping cart if one wishes to make his online brand stand out. With a rising trend of using smartphones for all manner of online activity, people are searching for experiences that complement their lifestyle. Referral programs are an excellent way to encourage customers to engage with one’s brand throughout their everyday necessities, and can be seen as the evolution of the old school reward systems.
No matter what you’re selling, where’re you’re selling; whether it’s online or offline, a loyalty program is a proven way to acquire a huge customer base. Through exclusive rewards, beneficiary initiatives, and social awareness, one can treat customers to a lifestyle and loyalty experience unlike anywhere else, making one’s brand a priority for them, every time they go shopping.
Imagine you had been given a loyalty card when you visited your favourite food chain and have been advised that every time you returned to have a meal you will be stamped on their card and upon the completion of this card, you would get a free meal. I bet you’ve experienced that too: you buy something and sooner or later after the purchase either immediately or within a few days or perhaps weeks you get hold of a proposal from the store to come again and make another purchase which is free.
This is a motivating factor. Lots of huge retailers do this kind of thing because it works, and because they understand something that many small commercial enterprise owners don’t: it’s an awful lot less complicated to turn an existing purchaser into a repeat patron than it’s miles to win other new customer completely.
The probability of promoting to a brand new purchaser is 5 to 20% however to an existing customer is 60 to 70%. Make a purchaser sense importance, you’ll by no means have a product or price gain once more, they can be effortlessly duplicated, but a robust customer support tradition can’t be copied.
Here are few amazing examples of loyalty programmes conducted by the means of loyalty management companies
Companies provide purchaser incentives for giving splendid reviews. These opinions make them feel important and additionally boom your advertising. Local search directories will let you share coupons and discounts on their web sites. Special coding on Facebook can let you percentage special offers for fanatics only. You can provide a giveaway for individuals who upload a video review. The possibilities are limitless, and the better your provide, the more reviews you’re probably to receive.
Do you sell a product which very few have heard of? Then go the Maca Team’s loyalty program way. Ask your client’s to give you a few referrals and earn some more money or a new item. A loyalty program offers them an incentive to now not simply refer their buddies, however additionally converts those new customers into dependable customers rather than a one time transaction.
Referrals are an critical component of any food and beverage loyalty rewards program!
The Oberoi Group is said to have the best luxury resorts in India. Oberoi Advantage is very different to different loyalty programs given by hotels in that there may be no accrual and redemption of points. Instead, the advantage is straightforward and attractive live for five nights at Oberoi residences throughout India and Dubai, and acquire a unfastened stay or a room upgrade. This can also be redeemed at homes in Indonesia, Mauritius and Egypt.
In addition to extra miles, Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club allows individuals to earn tier elements. The membership inducts people on the Club Red tier, then bumps them as much as Club Silver after which Club Gold. The secret’s to offer benefits in the early levels to hook the client into coming back. Once they do, they’ll realize that “gold” reputation isn’t not possible, and gives simply cool advantages.
Like a few loyalty programmes however do no longer understand how to put into effect, there are loyalty rewards companies, who simply would be more than happy to help you.