When you think of a loyalty platform, what comes to mind? Is it a custom-branded app? Is it a stamp card? Maybe somewhere in between?...
Each loyalty program caters to a different customer group, and therefore best fits a different type of business. When considering what platform might be the best fit for your business, the main criteria to consider is the following...
1. Who is your customer demographic
Are they students? Young working professionals? Parents with kids?
How often do they like to interface with their screens?
What do they value about your business... The price? The quality? The atmosphere?
2. What is your location
Are you located in an urban core? Are you outside of the city? Are you rural?
Do you have direct competition in your neighbours?
3. What is the ticket price on your product/ service?
Do you cater upmarket or to the average consumer?
Do you match competitor pricing?
Asking yourself the above questions will help you map your business and customer base. With that in mind, let’s talk about the various loyalty platform options!
1. Marketplace App
A marketplace app such as FiveStars, Belly, or Vicinity is like sticking your business in a digital ‘mall’, rather than being a street-front boutique. While it definitely increases eyes on your business, it also increases competition. More customers can discover your business, promotions you might have running, etc.! Customers are able to leverage marketplace apps to then hunt for the best rewards and deals, and make purchase decisions based on this. While this may not be driving loyalty, it is definitely a viable way to drive new traffic for a relatively low cost.
2. Your Own Custom-Branded App
This is your business’ very own personalized loyalty app, and is one of the various solutions offered by ReUp! With a custom-branded app, your business and your customer loyalty comes first. A custom-branded app is popularized by your existing customer base. Maybe someone in line sees the person in front of them interfacing with the Bob’s Coffee App and decides to also download it. Maybe in-store signage, offers, and rewards prompts customers to download the app. While this solution doesn’t focus on driving new traffic, it works to solidify an existing customer base. A custom app encourages customers to stay longer, spend more, and maintain their loyalty to your awesome business!
3. Non-App Loyalty
This solution is ideal for businesses in more rural areas that might be serving a customer-base of a less tech-savy demographic. The semi-tech solution offers rewards for customers opting to input their phone number or email into a database. The customer can receive a confirmation message, and subsequent messages reminding them when there might be an in-store offer, or when they may qualify for a reward. The customer’s spending habits can be tracked and linked to their profile. A loyalty stamp cards can be easily lost, thrown away, or turned down based on low wallet real-estate. This solution is basically a digital stamp card!
4. Self-Serve Loyalty
Self-serve loyalty allows customers to opt-in to a loyalty platform on their own terms. This might be through a phone or tablet located in-store. The solution operates on similar terms as above-- with exclusive rewards and promotions offered to customers who input their email or phone number. It doesn’t require the downloading of an app, and is therefore catered to a less tech-savy customer demographic. Businesses can leverage the inputting of (specifically) email addresses by sending out a weekly or monthly blog or newsletter!
5. Physical Card (hybrid gift and loyalty card)
This solution is great for full-service restaurants. The customer base in this situation is not likely to be coming in daily. Instead, loyal customers may be coming in once a week or a few times per month. Offering a ‘smart’ gift/loyalty card allows customers to receive exclusive offers once loading money onto their card. It is able to track spending habits and retrieve data associated with each individual customer profile, and offer rewards and promotions based on this data.
So there you have it! The 5 main customer loyalty platforms, who they serve, and how you as a business owner might be able to leverage their diverse range of benefits. When it comes to loyalty programs, remember to consider the good, the bad, the why, the how, and the who. Stay tuned for more on this!