The use of customer loyalty programs has hugely increased over the last decade.
It’s not hard to understand why considering all the positive implications and revenue which can be generated from such programs.
If you are not familiar with these programs, not to worry. They are fairly easy to understand and implement. Some are more simple and easy than others, but when implemented well, most every one of them has the great potential to bring positive gains to your bottom dollar.
Let’s start though by talking about what they are and why they are important.
Customer loyalty programs come in many different forms and vary based on the type of business.
Grocery stores are one of the most common types of business to offer loyalty programs.
These programs are very easy for customers to join. All they need to do is fill out a form with their basic information on it and they are given a loyalty or rewards card with a barcode on the back they scan whenever they make purchases.
These programs are very attractive for customers because they get special discounts or “points” on their purchases every time they make them. The intention is to create customer loyalty for the store.
What does customer loyalty bring you?
- A steady flow of repeat business/customers.
- Regular customers will tend to buy more at the store where they get more in return.
- Customers loyal to your store will share their positive experiences with friends and family.
- Loyal customers are typically happy customers. You want your customers to be happy and enjoy their shopping experience, right?
- You will benefit from being able to track your loyal customers’ buying habits, which means you can create sales specific to what your customers buy most.
These are just a few examples of the benefits of having a loyalty program in place. Every business owner wants and should encourage repeat business. It is your bread and butter, so to speak.
The more customers know they are getting some sort of immediate return on their purchases, the more customers will be apt to join and become regulars themselves. And their friends too!
The last “benefit” in the list above is one which should be of particular interest to you if you are interested in catering to your customer’s specific needs.
Let’s say you own a grocery store and you want to start a loyalty program. Once you’ve set up the loyalty program and have integrated it into your POS system, you will be able to review data and track your customers’ buying trends and see what items are “hot” currently in your store.
This can help in numerous ways. Here are a few:
- Seeing your customers’ buying habits can help you design specific promotions or sales which will encourage them to buy more of those particular items.
- Knowing a customer likes a certain brand of one particular item will help you when it comes to ordering other items from the same brand your customers might also like.
- You can suggest other items they may like based on what they normally buy.
- Coming up with promotions and sales based on “hot” buying trends will encourage your customers to buy more with each visit.
- The more they buy, the better for your business!
Some small businesses have smaller scale loyalty programs in place which can still be very effective in encouraging customer loyalty.
For instance, a local coffee shop could have a punch card system in place. With each purchase, their customers get a punch in their card and once they’ve reached the maximum amount of punches in their card, they get a free or discounted coffee or other item.
Many of these smaller businesses have switched to a card with a barcode which is scanned with their purchase. This helps them avoid the would-be cheater who punches their card at home to skip to the head of the class and get something for free which they didn’t actually earn.
The newest and most cost effective loyalty programs — and the ones with the most potential for growth — are digital. These include an app customers download to their phones and at checkout, simply scan the business’ QR code, thereby giving them rewards, points or punches in their digital card.
The reason this has so much potential is you, as the business owner, can make up any discount or special you want and broadcast right to all your VIP members’ phones via the app or by text!
Plus you have real time data on your customers when you log into your dashboard, so you can see what they buy the most, how often they shop, and other useful insights which help you craft specials they’re more likely to buy.
No matter what the customer loyalty program, the benefits are endless for your business. We’ve only named a few of the more immediate ones you’ll notice will give you instant advantages.
Of course, the most important benefit is more revenue and profits flowing into your bank account.
Do some exploring/research on different customer loyalty programs to find out which will best suit you and your business. There’s one out there for every business! And the programs these days, especially the digital ones, are highly customizable.
Give the guys and gals over here at RedFynn a call at (888) 510-9871 if you need some help implementing a rewards program to suit your business needs. Or even if you just want some more information. Our customer service team is happy to help with no obligation from you.
We are kind of great at this kind of thing. Talk soon!