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The customer loyalty trends to watch in 2023

2023 is shaping up to be a crucial year for customer loyalty. With an economic downturn on the horizon, retaining existing customers will be a top priority for brands.  New challenges will bring plenty of new opportunities too. Here are 10 customer loyalty trends to watch out for over the year ahead. 

1. A surge of new and upgraded loyalty programs is coming

2023 is shaping up to be boom time for loyalty with an unprecedented number of new and improved programs set to launch. Brands will need to take personalisation levels higher to stay ahead of their competitors. A simple points-for-purchase program will not cut in 2023. Strategies like rewarding more than just purchases, and offering a wide variety of rewards are a good place to start.

Customer account of a tiered loyalty program shown on a mobile app

2. Turning to tiers for more cost-effective programs

Following a challenging few years, brands are shifting away from the traditional discount-for-all model and instead investing in tiered loyalty programs to reward their customers. These value-based incentives give even casual members something extra to strive for, generating the kind of excitement that encourages more frequent purchases and bigger basket sizes. Ultimately, tiers are an effective way of incentivising loyalty without cutting into profit margins – a real win-win.

3. Eco-loyalty is set to flourish

As environmental awareness increases, consumers are pushing their favourite brands to become part of the solution. We expect an increase in eco-loyalty initiatives in 2023 as companies seek to establish lasting loyalty based on shared values. Early adopters include the sustainable energy provider Eneco. It achieved acclaim in 2022 with an International Loyalty Awards nomination for a loyalty program that incentivises eco-friendly behavior with rewards from sustainable companies.

Eco-loyalty example from Eneco

4. Loyalty data saves the day as third-party cookies crumble

Marketing faces a defining moment over the next year as Google’s phase-out of third-party cookies draws closer (scheduled for late 2024). In preparation, brands are turning to loyalty programs to collect the kind of data that powers hyper-personalisation. Loyalty software that can collate data from all channels will be crucial for effective campaign targeting and a seamless customer experience moving forward. If your software isn’t up to the challenge, reach out to us for a Loyalty Cloud demo to see how it’s done.

5. Rewarding engagement beyond Meta and Twitter

With customers drifting away from the social media giants, we’ll see loyalty marketing focus its attention on emerging and growing apps or platforms. We’ve seen first-hand how forward-thinking brands are rewarding customers on TikTok, Discord, Reddit and more with our loyalty software this year. Early adopters of this trend are reaping the benefits of sky-high engagement and retention rates.  

6. New frontiers for loyalty gamification

We predict the use of new technology for loyalty gamification will really surprise and delight in 2023. Keep an eye out for loyalty gamification to expand into new channels like console gaming and esports too. Case in point? The Benelux’s leading gaming retailer Game Mania started rewarding members for PlayStation gameplay in late 2022, powered by m–wise Loyalty Cloud. We expect gamification to pop up in many more surprising places throughout 2023. 

7. Redemption goes digital (and gets even more personal)

Supply chain and staffing troubles will have companies turn to digital redemption assortments this year. By fully digitalising their rewards, businesses will save money on handling costs and benefit from more online touchpoints with their customers. That means more data for better analytics, predictions and personalisation. Those who go fully digital will reap the rewards in more ways than one!

8. Partner rewards are set to scale up

Another loyalty trend to watch in 2023 is the increasing use of third-party offers and vouchers within loyalty programs. Partnering up with other businesses is a great way for companies – B2B and B2C alike – to offer an attractive rewards assortment that keeps current customers satisfied and encourages new members too. Partner rewards are definitely worth considering if you’re planning an overhaul of your program this year.

9. Blurring the lines between loyalty and customer service

Customers are more discerning than ever before: not only do they want great products/services, but also an amazing experience. Companies that recognize this and take steps to ensure all customer interactions demonstrate excellence will be poised for success in the year ahead. Loyalty management is no longer simply about rewards. It has become entwined with providing top-tier service so customers keep coming back, again and again. Integrating customer management within loyalty can helps brands turn every interaction into a loyalty-building opportunity.

10. Influencers enter the loyalty space

Influencer marketing is set to continue its immense growth in 2023. We predict that more brands will turn to social media personalities to promote loyalty programs online in 2023 in search of a personal connection that traditional advertising can’t easily replicate. Identifying a suitable influencer in line with your target demographic could be a highly effective tactic to grow your loyalty program in the coming year. Choose your influencer wisely for maximum ROI.

So there you have our 10 loyalty trends to watch over the next year. Get ready – 2023 promises to be a great year for loyalty.

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