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How a Loyalty Program Can Help You and Your Customers

Posted on 29 August, 2016

Customer loyalty programs benefit both companies and consumers. Businesses reap the benefits of increased brand loyalty, and consumers enjoy rewards reserved for program participants. Whether you’re a small business or a medium-sized company with a high-risk merchant account, consider the potential perks of a loyalty program for you and your customers.

How Loyalty Programs Motivate Customers

Effective loyalty programs offer customers something they want so that they’ll continue to do business with you. For example, you could offer incentives such as free product upgrades, a bonus item with the next order, or a discount. If you have a high-risk merchant account because your business operates in a high-volume shipping industry, such as online pharmaceutical sales, you could offer free shipping for customers. To encourage participation, make the sign-up process simple.

The Perks of a Loyalty Program for Businesses

How a Loyalty Program Can Help You and Your Customers

Image via Flickr by Aranami

Loyalty programs are a two-way street, benefiting businesses and customers. When a business convinces a customer to revisit its store or website, there’s a higher chance of converting the customer and making a sale. According to research on loyalty programs, the more often customers shop at your store, the more likely they are to continue purchasing from you.

Not only do loyalty programs cultivate brand enthusiasm and repeat business, but they also allow you to collect data. Using various marketing tactics, you can collect data about your loyalty program members, a group of people who know your product and brand well. Through surveys, email campaigns, and microsites, you can glean their opinions and track their shopping behavior. If you track metrics for your loyalty program, then you can see which incentives resonate the most with customers and which ones missed the mark.

While customers should have an easy time achieving awards, you can offer ways to earn special perks to those who go a step further in supporting your brand. For example, use incentives for leaving reviews or completing surveys. Both actions provide tangible benefits to your company.

What Makes a Great Loyalty Program

To set up a great loyalty program that benefits your business, you need to think about what types of rewards are attractive to your customers.

You can try various incentives to see which ones generate the most activity. Once you find the best options for motivating your customers, set a measurable goal and launch a time-sensitive incentive offer. Be sure to track metrics so that you can see how the offer impacts sales, social media chatter about your company, and traffic to your website. While sales are crucial, upticks in traffic and social media shares are also important to evaluating success.

However, an effective loyalty program shouldn’t let customers take advantage of your company. If you have a high-risk merchant account and chargebacks concern you, use safeguards to make sure anyone who initiates a chargeback doesn’t get loyalty program perks. You don’t want someone to make a purchase, get a loyalty program benefit as a result of the purchase, and ask for a refund.

With thoughtful planning, you can set up a loyalty program that’s profitable for you and helpful to your customers.

 

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