For sellers around the world, the post-covid market has been immensely challenging. From a business point of view, there is an air of uncertainty. In order to counter this tough period, brands started shifting their operational strategies. And one such notable shift is the increased focus on customer retention.
Why is customer retention important? Simple, existing customers might be passionate about your brand, or they might already know what you have got to offer. These factors make them extremely valuable assets for your business. Nonetheless, your competitors might try snatching them away with attractive incentives and even the most loyal ones might get tempted.
But don’t worry, you can prevent it by devising an effective loyalty program for your customers. In the retail industry, loyalty programs are one of the most effective tools for boosting customer retention and revenue. If you haven’t implemented a loyalty program for your business yet, let’s check out some of the most innovative examples for inspiration.
Back in the day, when Starbucks launched “My Starbucks Rewards” through the mobile app, it was a fresh and innovative strategy that not many brands even dared to attempt. But this untested business strategy clicked exceptionally well, and Starbucks witnessed positive results in terms of customer retention and revenue.
Nowadays, many retailers use the Starbucks loyalty program model as the benchmark. Simple and straightforward, Starbucks provides loyalty points to customers for making a transaction through the mobile app. Customers can use these loyalty points for future purchases and avail discounts or offers.
By centralizing the majority of the transactions, Starbucks was able to gather information on the customers. It provided vital insights on customer behavior and preferences, and thereby Starbucks was able to tailor personalized promotions and rewards relevant to the customers.
A blog post about loyalty programs is incomplete without talking about the famous personal care and beauty products retailer Sephora and its tiered, point-based loyalty program – the Beauty Insider. Customers who are Beauty Insider members can earn one point for every dollar they spend in the store and climb up the tier from ‘insider” to “VIB”, and to “Rouge.”
One of the biggest barriers with the Sephora brand is that the products don’t come cheap. So, climbing up the ladder is not as easy as it might sound. But Sephora also provides perks to the customers who are unable to spend much. With highly targeted email campaigns, Sephora provides the members with “member-exclusive” deals and special offers, which will offset purchase prices without bringing down the total value of products.
With attractive benefits like birthday gifts, exclusive events, giveaways, and product launches, Sephora’s rewards program goes beyond earning discounts. It helps in creating a positive connection with the customers, thereby boosting customer loyalty and revenue immensely.
Can loyalty programs be used to boost social media engagement and user-generated content? The cosmetic and skincare retailer brand Tarte certainly seems to think so. As consumers started turning towards user-generated content like video makeup tutorials, reviews, and much more for making purchase decisions, Tarte decided to capitalize on this growing trend by incentivizing it with loyalty programs.
Tarte’s customers can earn reward points for posting a selfie with the company’s products, conducting video tutorials, or writing online reviews. By transforming them into brand advocates, Tarte shows that loyalty programs are not only about encouraging the customer to spend more, in fact, they are tools that can help boost brand awareness and authority.
Like Tarte, Torrid, the American retail chain focuses on using loyalty programs to boost its customer engagement. With a tiered, spending-based program called “Torrid Rewards”, the company offers reward points to customers who purchase its products. But that’s not the only way for customers to earn points.
When the customer engages with the brand, they receive points for their actions. For example, if a customer performs a simple action like opening a marketing email sent by Torrid and clicking through it, they will receive a point. Or, if a customer shares a picture of the Torrid products with the brand’s hashtag, they will earn 25 points. Likewise, if a customer writes a product review with a photo, they will receive 25 points.
By gamifying its loyalty program, Torrid ensures that the brand engagement is at an all-time high even if the customers are not ready to re-purchase at the moment.
5. The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a brand that is well known for its commitment to corporate social responsibility, and the company perceives loyalty programs differently. Although it follows the common shop-more-to-earn-more model, the “Love Your Body Club” loyalty program acts more like a community.
The Body Shop’s mission statement focuses on inclusivity, and the customers gain one point for each dollar they spend. Along with it, the customers get invited to membership events and they receive a $10 worth reward on their birthday or when they hit the 100 points mark. But what sets The Body Shop apart is that the customers can opt to use their points as discounts or donate them for charity as per their wish.
As a seller, if you are passionate about social and environmental causes, you can take a leaf out of The Body Shop’s book and implement loyalty programs that will help you bring about a change in society.
Loyalty programs are much more than thinly-veiled marketing gimmicks in these unpredictable times. They play a crucial role in protecting your most valuable customers and inspire them to be an integral part of your brand. They create desire, spark conversations, and aid you by bringing value to your brand.
But creating an effective and innovative loyalty program takes incredible work behind the scenes. You need to dedicate time and effort to understand the customer requirements and align them with your loyalty program. The examples that we have mentioned in this blog post will help you gain a basic understanding of loyalty programs and how they offer value to the members. Use them for inspiration and create unique programs that will complement your brand image.
Vajro is here to help as well. We have aided numerous clients with their digital transformation journey. Our instant mobile app factory will deliver your dream mobile app within a short span of time. And with integrations like Rewardify, Loyalty Lion, Flits, etc. Vajro will help you drive retention and revenue through your mobile app. To know more, book a demo now.