Emerchants: How to develop an effective loyalty programme

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Competition among ecommerce sites is fierce. Not only do emerchants need to put into place a strategy to attract customers, they also need a strategy to keep customers loyal. Remember, it is far more cost effective to keep existing customers loyal, than to acquire new customers. Implementing a loyalty programme is a great way to get customers coming back. Be aware that it is essential to have an efficient CRM software to make the most of your loyalty plan. Here are a couple more tips to help you put profitable loyalty scheme into place!

Loyalty programme

What loyalty programme should you use?

A loyalty programme enables you to keep your customers up to date with all the news regarding your brand and of special offers. It also enables you to develop a connection with your customers and develop a relationship that inspire trust.  There are two main types of loyalty programmes that can be combined.

Programmes based on communication

These type of schemes aim to inform customers about the latest news regarding your brand, as well as your expertise in your sectors. All this is done while tracking the customer throughout their loyalty cycle.

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Programmes based on rewards

Schemes based on rewards enable users to accumulate points, promotional offers or coupons following their purchases. Customers are rewarded for their loyalty with gifts, invitations and more.

What are your objectives?

When putting together your loyalty plan you need to set you objectives. What exactly do you want to achieve? Increase purchases? Increase traffic to your site? Get more information on your customers? Further enhance customer satisfaction? Through defining your objectives you can tailor your loyalty programme to achieve them.

Why segment your loyalty programme?

Before creating a loyalty scheme, it is important to segment your customers based on a number of criteria and objectives: average basket total, purchase frequency… By segmenting your customer base you will be able to categorise the level of reward allocated according to the customer profiles: the more loyal the customer, the higher the level of reward. This technique allows you to both adapt the program to suit your clients, but also to encourage the least loyal customers to become more loyal in order to profit from better offers.

What relationship to have with your customers?

Developing an effective loyalty program requires you to listen to your customers and their needs. Communication needs to be a two way process and you need to put an effective feedback system into place. Trust is becoming harder to acquire and one way of facilitating it is through listening to your customers and responding to their needs. The more you are listening to your customers, the more you will understand what motivates (needs, expectations) and prevents (constraints , concerns) their purchase behaviour. Rewarding your customers for their loyalty should be at the heart of your loyalty strategy. This should create should create a commitment from your customers with regards to your products, brand and online presence.

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What measures should you use to keep customers coming back?

Any loyalty program requires you to put into place a number of actions in order to inform customers regularly of your gratitude for their loyalty. Although emailing operations remain one of the most popular ways of doing this, it is important not to limit your communications to this single medium. Be sure to use all possible channels in addition to the traditional loyalty card. Do not hesitate, for example, to highlight your loyalty scheme via your website or mobile application (if you have one). Regularly send newsletters to your most loyal customers to maintain customer relations and take the opportunity to offer gifts for birthdays. Remember that exclusive offers are always a good idea! Use social medias and your blog to communicate with customers, in addition to your website. Remember, the more you know about your customers, the better you can target them with your offers.

How to evaluate the impact of your loyalty programme?

The success of a loyalty programme is measured by its ability to generate ROI. Through a loyalty programme, you will be able to observe the evolution of your customers’ in order to decide if the scheme is effective. If you want to set up an optimal loyalty program, be sure to include sufficient budget and think of the added value in the medium and long term.

Source : Loyal Panda

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Kathryn Bird