As a business owner, you have to strive to keep your existing customers happy and at the same time gain new customers. And one way you can do this through a customer loyalty program. They can help increase brand loyalty and sales, and when done right, they will also attract new customers.
There are different customer loyalty programs that you can implement. Depending on your business, you might use just one type, but you could also run multiple programs. It’s up to you!
#1 Points program
You’re probably already familiar with points-based rewards. They are one of the oldest and most common loyalty programs. The reason for their popularity is due to their simplicity both for the customer and for brands to implement.
With this form of loyalty program, each time a customer makes a purchase, they earn points. The larger the purchase amount, the more points they receive. Once enough points accrue, customers get a discount, cash back, or a free item.
#2 Tiered membership programs
Tiered membership programs place customers in different tiers based on their spending. As customers move up through each tier, they unlock increased benefits, rewards, and perks such as substantial discounts, free shipping, and VIP tickets to concerts.
Tiered reward programs not only increase brand loyalty, but they also make customers feel as if they belong to an exclusive group, and the higher the tier, the more exclusive they feel.
#3 Spend programs
A pretty straightforward loyalty program to implement is a spend-based one. The concept is simple. As customers spend money, their overall spending is calculated, if they reach a certain spend within a set time frame, they receive a gift card or credit that they can use for future purchases. Spend-based programs are a great way to increase customer transaction amounts.
#4 Coalition loyalty programs
These programs work great for businesses located in shopping malls or on busy high streets, where there are lots of retail outlets. However, coalitions are not limited to businesses near you.
The basis of a coalition program is this: You form alliances with other businesses, and when a customer purchases with one of your associates, they earn points that they can redeem (one they have enough) for a discount with any of the other brands within the coalition.
Now, on the surface, this may seem strange. I mean, why would you give someone a discount for points they gained with another retailer. The answer is simple; you get more sales and new customers. By forming such coalitions, you tap into the customer base of other businesses. These are customers and sales you might not have gained otherwise.
#5 Paid premium memberships
Instead of asking customers to gain points to receive discounts and rewards, you could ask them to subscribe to a premium membership program. The most famous example of a premium program is Amazon prime, where members get free shipping, discounts, and access to the Amazon streaming service.
If you opt for this type of loyalty program, offer a lot of value to members. The perks and benefits they receive should be super exclusive and offer more combined value than the price of the actual membership subscription.
#6 Charity programs
Charity loyalty programs (also called value-based programs) are very common. They are also easy to start. Basically, every time a customer spends a certain amount of money, you donate a percentage or a fixed sum to a charity.
For these programs to be effective and create a sense of brand loyalty, the charity you select for donations should resonate with your customer base. For example, if you had a kid’s clothing store, you could choose a ‘children in need’ type charity.
Now it’s your turn
If you don’t already have a loyalty program in place, there is no time like the now to set one up. Remember, the main aim of any loyalty program is to provide value, both to your business and customers.