The loyalty trend you can’t afford to ignore

Four opportunities to reward non-transactional behavior

The traditional spend-and-get approach to loyalty is simply not enough to foster genuine, lasting relationships with today's consumers. You want your customers to feel valued, understood and appreciated – both before and after a transaction.

With research indicating returning customers spend 67% more than new customers, frequent non-transactional incentives and rewards should be a core aspect of your loyalty program. The fact is rewarding non-transactional behavior is more than just a trend – it's key to customer retention.

Let's look at four major opportunities to reward non-transactional behavior and which brands are getting it right:

1. Reward interactions

Have they shared your social posts? Reviewed a product? Completed their online profile? These are all opportunities to reward your customers. The lure of distant points redemption is not enough to ensure repeat business. Find your customers where they are, discover their touchpoints and reward them for this engagement with your brand.

Getting it right: Fashion brand Kipling has effectively embraced their customers as brand ambassadors through their Kipling Friends program. Reward points are awarded for sending friends invitations to join the Kipling site, converting invitations into customers (when the friend registers) and for every invitation that leads to a sale. Customers can also earn points through gamification with the retailer's in-app Monkey Game, allowing them to catch Kipling's signature monkeys. As a result, customers can build their points quickly, which generates excitement and the ability to redeem their points on a new purchase.

2. Offer added value

The perception of value is crucial for your customers – this is a make or break for your loyalty program. Get it wrong and the dreaded retention rate drop is not far behind. Get it right and your customers remain incentivized to continue participating. Think perks and rewards to ensure they feel your loyalty program is of benefit to them.

Getting it right: Global restaurant chain La Place has achieved success with their Extra's loyalty program in part due to the promise of a new offer with every visit. The reward may be a special discount, free item or a surprise which is always personalized – so no free coffee for tea drinkers. That's what makes it extra relevant to the customer and increases their perception of value.

3. Make it personal

Treat your customer like an individual. From offers based on their interests to ­­­­­product recommendations based on their purchase history, there are countless ways to tell your customer you value their loyalty. To put it simply: personalized interactions mean better customer experiences.

Getting it right: Dutch fashion retailer Shoeby offers a personal 'StyleID' feature as a core part of their Shoeby Style program. Customers are incentivized to provide personal information varying from their hair color to body shape. They then receive personal member communications and accurate product recommendations across email, the webshop and app. The result is a hyper-personalized, omni-channel member program which uses available customer data in the broadest sense to create relevant and personalized communication, content and promotions.

4. Surprise and delight

Triggered messages via e-mail, geo push or sms are a great way to surprise and delight your customers instantly. Using customer-centric insights can help ensure your efforts are highly relevant. From a free birthday gift to an exclusive deal for your best customers – the opportunities to surprise and delight are endless when you let the data be your guide.

Getting it right: Hunkemöller moved from a discount-driven loyalty approach to the truly customer-centric MyHunkemöller program. Customers earn Passion Points in fun and engaging ways, including a gamification feature which sees them spin the 'Wheel of Passion' for the chance to win extra points. Customers are also surprised with Bonus Passion Point events and access to exclusive Member Days, not to mention regular offers and discounts.

Want to know more?

We design, deploy and manage highly effective omni-channel loyalty schemes worldwide that help brands build better relationships with their customers by understanding, engaging and rewarding the right customers for their loyalty. Our team can advise and support you from loyalty concept to program management. To find out more, contact us.

Written by Ties Top, Managing Director (m—wise)

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