And now, the pandemic has made loyalty solutions and membership programs even more crucial to merchant success.
Merchants discovered loyalty’s real value last year
Loyalty and membership solutions aren’t just a way to shower discounts and freebies on return customers. They also showed their indispensable value as a communications tool when COVID-19 cut consumers off from many brick-and-mortar businesses last year. Merchants who amassed a base of opt-in loyalty users had carte blanche to message these patrons about schedule changes, shutdowns and other need-to-know information.
And the use case is proving to be highly relevant beyond the pandemic. Loyalty platforms can keep businesses close to their biggest and best supporters, ensuring merchants can reach their customers unable to visit in person. These kinds of touchpoints will keep the merchant’s brand top of mind.
Merchants should also start thinking of their loyalty and membership solutions as a jumping-off point for new ways to interact with their audiences. Your clients can leverage these platforms as a way to extend compelling new offers to keep members interested. Or merchants can try their hand at gamifying loyalty and take a cue from Starbucks’ success. The coffee chain has rewarded mobile app users with a gold star, and after collecting five, members leap to free green-status perks like drink refills on the house. Merchants can mimic this approach and give customers fun reasons to keep coming back. Plus, gamification translates to real improvements in engagement (47 percent), loyalty (22 percent) and awareness (15 percent).
Go deep on data
Operating loyalty solutions and membership programs helps merchants connect the dots on customer behavior online and off. Businesses gain deeper data on purchasing trends that happen in a store versus the web, and can better understand how their patrons respond to offers, calls to action and more. Instead of simply guessing what customers want, membership solutions and loyalty platforms give merchants concrete evidence about what people are buying. These solutions arm businesses with critical insights into the inventory worth buying and where to upsell, cross-sell and more.
Also, data gathered through loyalty and membership solutions helps merchants make the most of their marketing dollars. A hot-selling item probably doesn’t need to be discounted, but the right sale or special could shift slow-moving inventory. Smarter marketing-dollar allocation will grease the flywheel and drive bottom-line results.
With more consumers hopping from one channel to the next without a second thought, merchants need to lean on loyalty solutions and membership programs to keep up with their customers’ digital and physical breadcrumbs. In a digital-centric world, loyalty solutions aren’t optional add-ons but business-critical tools separating standouts from stragglers. With so many choices out there, you can help your clients make sense of the breadth of options on offers.
Datacap has already gone through the hard work of integrating top loyalty solutions and membership programs, offering turn-key plug-and-play services for merchants looking to level up. Contact us to learn how loyalty solutions give your merchant base the upper hand over their competition.