Ecommerce loyalty programs – your sticky pad to retain Online Customers
Retailers have used loyalty programs to build their customer base. Online retail is no different. It is all the more difficult to find customer loyalty in online retail due to the excessive competition. Which is why it’s important to have an intelligent strategy to sustain the shoppers’ attention.
One of the easy ways to do this is by creating a loyalty program for your customers. You will be surprised to know how much customers look forward to loyalty programs. Amazon Prime is a typical example of a loyalty program. Paying members have access to special offers, and get an edge over non-members.
How do you benefit from loyalty programs?
Not only do you get a regular pool of customers, but there are quite a few more direct and indirect benefits that you can reap from your loyalty programs. We have listed out a few:
Increases possibility of repeat purchase
This is the most obvious benefit of a loyalty program. The moment you offer a membership, be rest assured that the customer will return for subsequent purchases. Although you can argue that the customers who sign up for an exclusive club are those who are regulars. Design your loyalty program to suit the customers’ preferences and convenience to make the best of it.
Your programs give you clarity on your shoppers’ preferences. It acts as an informal market research that helps you identify which of the buying plans are more popular, what kind of products and payment methods they prefer, and what fuels their buying behaviour.
You get your own bunch of brand ambassadors. A 2016 study by brand loyalty builders Bond Brand Loyalty has shown that 73% of program members are likely to recommend it to their social circle if they are happy with it.
It is cheaper to retain customers than create new ones. Experts everywhere are unanimous on the opinion that it is far more economic to keep your existing customers happy than create a new bunch.
Your loyal customers are more inclined to a conversation than the others. This can help you get critical opinions on vital issues that will help your business grow.
What can you do differently?
Your loyalty program has to be unique to your brand, product and your customers. One size cannot fit all. Here are some generic tips on how you can engage your customers and beat the competition:
Keep it personal – The Bond Brand Loyalty study shows that only 22% of the respondents were happy with the extent of personalisation. See how you can cut and trim the program to give maximum benefit to your buyers’ preferences. You can divide the program into different categories (apparel, accessories,) and hand out the benefits accordingly. You can also offer special deals and discounts on birthdays or other special occasions.
Reward-based programs – This can take any form – either the ‘more you shop the more you earn’, or an incentive to the shopper who writes the most number of reviews on social media. A referral benefit is also a good idea.
Cross benefits across stores – You can tie up with your fellow businessmen to offer your shoppers benefits at their enterprises. If a customer is interested in gardening (and this is not your area of operation), give them a voucher to a gardening supply store on purchases worth a specific amount.
This need not necessarily be in the online sphere. You can also tie up with physical establishments like coffee shops or vehicle service centres and give your customers vouchers or discounts on their services. This will again entail some efforts to personalise from your side. You could hand out surveys to your loyalty program members to find out their preferences and suitably set them up.
We hope these pointers will help you get a good idea on how to formulate your customer loyalty programs. If you need any help in planning your loyalty program strategy, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s largest ecommerce service provider, and we can help you with all your needs.