For loyalty marketers in the retail industry, a new year offers the chance to assess the marketplace and commit to business-related resolutions. Here are seven that address key issues in 2014.
1. Tune in to the Omnichannel Approach
A step beyond multi-channel, omnichannel covers all customer touch points with a comprehensive, integrated, uniform strategy.
Customers see little difference between making a purchase at a retail location, from home via the web or by mobile app while sitting in a coffee shop. An effective omnichannel strategy offers seamless transitions between those options while maintaining the customer’s individual experience preferences.
Ultimately, well-planned omnichannel programs create opportunities and facilitate regular, meaningful interactions to keep customers engaged with the brand.
2. Get Segment Specific
Current technology provides member segmentation specificity that was unattainable just five years ago.
Loyalty marketers should take the time to thoroughly review databases for behavioral indicators that may offer new opportunities. After determining the right motivators, they can develop an offer to capitalize on that behavior.
Most importantly, a system for measurement should be set up before beginning implementation. Testing concepts and programs with smaller groups can generate insights that can be applied to broader audiences.
3. Different Tiers, Different Strategies
Classify members based on their actual or potential value and assign them to tiers with separate marketing strategies.
The top tier should receive special status with an emphasis on soft benefits and exclusive rewards. High-value members just below the top tier exhibit the potential to join the premier group and should be cultivated accordingly.
The next tier typically represents the bulk of the member database; the right mix of hard and soft benefits can move the needle with this group. Tiering strategies work because program resources can be allocated according to value in a more overt, motivational fashion.
4. Use Mobile Apps APPropriately
LoyaltyOne’s 2013 Social Word-of-Mouth study reports the average smartphone owner downloads 26 apps but uses only six of them daily. Clearly, the real estate on a consumer’s main screen is hot property.
The savvy marketer, recognizing an app’s potential, gets highly engaged customers to raise their hands then builds the app around customer preferences and behaviors. The APPropriate use of apps increases transaction volume and total earnings, and maintains those higher numbers over the long term.
5. Honor the Information Exchange: Restore the Faith
LoyaltyOne research shows that consumers in 2013 reported significantly lower expectations around the benefits of sharing personal data.
Restore consumers’ faith in loyalty programs by using data to improve customer service, make the buying process easier, send communications based on customer preferences, tailor offers to customer purchases, give preferential treatment and provide access to exclusive offers and events.
Honoring the information exchange means identifying each customer’s top purchasing priorities and delivering relevant offers at precisely the right moment.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Dynamic
Retailers can combine loyalty membership data with current technology to send individualized prices in the form of electronic coupons via email, or via the retailer’s web site. The coupons can be added to the customer’s loyalty card for redemption at the register.
Retailers can also send electronic coupons via text message or apps to a customer’s mobile phone — enabling redemption by scanning barcodes or QR codes at the register.
Shoppers will react favorably to highly relevant personalized prices delivered in a dynamic way that satisfy their specific needs.
7. This Above All…
Be true in 2014 to the real meaning of loyalty by committing to the development of long-term customer engagement strategies that foster sustainable, profitable growth.
American entrepreneur and orator Cavett Robert once said, “Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” Here’s hoping you can keep these loyalty marketing resolutions and enjoy a successful year in 2014.