Strategy

Solving the Growing Issue of Online Shoppers Brand Hopping

By
The Desiree Team
October 4, 2023
IMAGE CREDIT — PINTEREST
In the landscape of online shopping, businesses are continually seeking innovative ways to build brand loyalty without compromising their profit margins. One such strategy that has stood the test of time is the implementation of loyalty programs.

In the landscape of online shopping, businesses are continually seeking innovative ways to build brand loyalty without compromising their profit margins. One such strategy that has stood the test of time is the implementation of loyalty programs. In a 2022 study conducted by SAP Emarsys, it was found that 58 percent of over 4,000 surveyed individuals expressed increased loyalty towards retailers offering discounts, incentives, and rewards. This marked a notable rise from the 51 percent recorded in the previous year.

Customer Retention and Lifetime Value

Before delving into the mechanics of loyalty programs, it's essential to understand two critical metrics: customer retention and customer lifetime value (CLV). Customer retention refers to the percentage of customers who continue to make purchases from a business over a specified time frame. In contrast, CLV represents the total revenue a business can expect from a customer throughout their entire relationship. Both metrics are pivotal for assessing and enhancing profitability, as retaining existing customers is typically more cost-effective and profitable than acquiring new ones.

The Power of Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are structured schemes that reward customers for various actions, such as repeated purchases, referrals, feedback, or other activities that benefit the business. These programs play a pivotal role in increasing customer retention and CLV by fostering a sense of belonging, recognition, and appreciation among customers. Additionally, they provide tangible incentives and benefits that motivate customers to make frequent and consistent purchases. Loyalty programs also have the potential to differentiate your brand from competitors, build trust, reduce customer churn, and enhance brand reputation.

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Boosting Customer Lifetime Value

Loyalty programs can significantly enhance customer lifetime value by addressing three key factors: average order value, purchase frequency, and the duration of the customer relationship. By offering rewards, discounts, freebies, or other perks, businesses can encourage customers to increase their spending per transaction, buy more frequently, and maintain longer-lasting relationships. Furthermore, these programs facilitate cross-selling and upselling, generate referrals, and promote positive word-of-mouth among loyal customers.

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Designing Effective Loyalty Programs

Creating a successful loyalty program requires careful consideration and alignment with business goals and customer needs. It should be relevant, valuable, and appealing to the target audience while reflecting the brand's identity and values. Simplicity and transparency are paramount, with no hidden fees or convoluted rules. Employing gamification, segmentation, and customisation techniques can personalize and engage program participants. Regularly monitoring program performance through data and analytics and collecting customer insights via feedback and surveys are essential for continuous improvement.

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Examples of Loyalty Programs in Action

Various types of loyalty programs cater to different industries, products, or services. Point-based programs, where customers earn points for purchases or actions, are common and straightforward. Tier-based programs offer varying benefits based on spending or activity levels. Subscription-based programs require recurring fees for exclusive benefits. Value-based programs align rewards with customers' values or causes, such as donating a percentage of purchases to chosen charities or environmental initiatives. These programs are not exclusive to large brands; smaller businesses are increasingly embracing loyalty schemes to compete effectively in the market.

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Challenges and Opportunities

While loyalty programs offer numerous benefits, they also present challenges. One significant obstacle is the need for skilled personnel to run effective programs. Maintaining consistent customer experiences across multiple touchpoints and understanding multichannel interactions are also major concerns. Integration, particularly with CRM systems and e-commerce platforms, is a primary requirement for successful loyalty initiatives. It's worth noting that only 25 percent of businesses running loyalty programs have adopted omni-channel strategies, highlighting room for growth in this area.

Choosing the Right Partner

To address these challenges and maximise the potential of loyalty programs, companies are increasingly seeking partners with expertise beyond loyalty schemes alone. These partners should possess in-depth knowledge of system integration and have the capabilities to lead loyalty program projects, assist in program scoping, and provide ongoing support for program management and data analysis. Selecting the right partner is critical to ensure that loyalty initiatives not only succeed but also thrive.

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