03 Feb

Why businesses need to consider loyalty programmes

Modern marketing tools are key to powerful customer service.

If repeat business is about regular customers, then loyalty programmes is the mechanism businesses can use to attract and retain these customers. In the new digital economy, competition is at an all-time high, which means every single company must consider the advantages that a credible loyalty programme offers.

This is according to independent customer relationship management (CRM) specialist LoyaltyPlus. With over 25 years’ experience in the development and application of cuttingedge programmes and partnerships, the company is a recognised leader in helping businesses ensure their customers remain loyal to their brands.

LoyaltyPlus says the advent of e-commerce, driven by digitally empowered tech-savvy consumers, compels businesses to invest in loyalty programmes or modern marketing tools. These facilitate the development of a relationship with each individual customer through multiple touch points in the organisation.

As visioncritical.com attests, digital transformation has ensured e-commerce and mobile shopping have entered into the mainstream. Consumers and service providers, suppliers and receivers, distributors, resellers and other channel operators are no longer operating in the same environment.

Technology from smart devices to wearables to ad-blockers now drives product marketing and selling; it also largely influences consumer response.

LoyaltyPlus has undertaken extensive market analysis and has gathered insight based on its years of experience and continuous research. It has used this data to underline several factors that business owners must bear in mind when considering loyalty programmes.

One of the main considerations is customer retention – a loyalty programme should reward repeat custom and help foster a relationship of trust, mutual attraction and benefit between the consumer and the brand.

This translates into additional transactions, which means an increase in revenue and an improvement to the bottomline.

Annexxcloud.com published a blog about customer loyalty and said according to its research, loyalty programmes increase overall revenue by between 5% and 10%.

Customer data is another consideration or, more specifically, gathering and strategic use of data to build customer databases and engage these for direct, tailored marketing communication.

It is like having a captive audience, says LoyaltyPlus, and the ability to use information gathered to direct services to address their needs. Data is the end result of market research and initiatives designed to better understand the market a brand is serving.

Another feature that loyalty programmes brings to the table is customer value or the ability to quantify the value of a customer to the brand – ie, LoyaltyPlus adds that by using a programme, a company is able to accurately measure critical consumer behaviour, including the amount a customer spends, how often they shop, where they shop, what is purchased, etc. This helps a business to tailor its loyalty programme and relevant rewards.

One of the more dominant discussions around loyalty programmes is that they serve as a credible, reliable and ‘always-on’ channel to communicate with the customer.

LoyaltyPlus emphasises the marketing pull that this channel has – a link to the customer that offers insight into the life of the customer, what he or she likes and dislikes. This means marketing and promotions can be customised to appeal immediately to the customer. It is a cost-effective and powerful way to influence consumer decision-making.

LoyaltyPlus also highlights the cost efficiency factor associated with loyalty programmes.

Gomerchant.com suggests it can cost up to 25% more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. The rationale for a business is that rather than invest more capital into trying to secure new customers, it is far more prudent to invest in a loyalty programme that can be built over time and will ensure beneficial engagement between all parties.

LoyaltyPlus suggests there are numerous benefits associated with loyalty programmes, including the ones mentioned before, but ultimately, it is about using a digitally empowered marketing tool to retain and reward customers, and thereby increase market share and continue to lead in target markets.

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