Loyalty programs, customer retention, and digital transformation are often intertwined, but this is nothing new. Digital transformation in particular has taken a new turn over the past two years. Companies in the mass retail and distribution sector had to accelerate their transformation much faster than expected. A necessity to provide a better customer experience…
In partnership with IFOP, Comarch has conducted a study on the expectations and perception of the French in terms of loyalty, from membership to rewards, including mechanics. Focus on 4 main issues:
- What programs are most likely to lead to participation?
- Are there statistically significant differences between sectors?
- Do all actions have the same value and deserve reward?
- Does environmental responsibility have a place in loyalty programs?
Loyalty programs change
Customers may sometimes be loyal to you, but switch to another cheaper or newer brand. Loyalty is dynamic: you have to keep giving customers a reason to come back. So having a loyalty program is a tangible way to encourage customers to keep repeating your brand.
According to the study by Comarch and IFOP, 9% systematically adhere to a loyalty program versus 6% who systematically decline it.
If nearly 40% of respondents joined a loyalty program without being offered by the brand, three main criteria related to membership were noted:
- context and complexity of joining (18%);
- Suggested rewards (30%)
- Brand (37%).
“The idea that you have to make enough purchases from the brand to be able to join its loyalty program remains a reality for customers today, and one of the main obstacles to membership. However, loyalty programs are evolving and no longer only reward transactions but also brand commitment. Therefore, they approach a much broader goal of customers who spend more, to open up to those who feel close to the brand or even those who show interest in it by rewarding them otherwise. Thus, new types of engagement programs allow for wider employment, for differentiated engagement“. Jessica Lavigne, Loyalty Counselor – Comarche
Loyalty program, a great way to generate in-store visits
Loyalty programs have been a common practice across industries for years. They provide a great channel to track customers’ purchases and preferences and to provide personalized service.
This is a great way to increase traffic to the store:
- 52% say they buy frequently;
- 67% said they are invited to go to the store.
In addition, 70% of the loyalty program members who are satisfied with it tend to talk about it around them.
What are the components of a successful program?
” Promotions, discounts and gifts have become standards in terms of customer loyalty. It was automatically mentioned in first place, and it turned out to be the expected “minimum”. Should we conclude from this that this is enough to build true customer loyalty? Other benefits […] They are becoming more popular and are often interesting sources for differentiating brands. ” Laura Docorno, Head of Customer Experience – Velvet Consulting.
Not surprisingly, the loyalty program was an umbrella channel for 91% of respondents. But while relational programs are more and more in line with the times, the respondents do not fail to give preference to the classic program paired with awards (55%).
A number comparable to respondents’ preferred rewards:
- instant cuts (68%);
- discount vouchers (60%);
- gifts (47%).
A marketing strategy that all companies should aspire to
A well-designed and well-executed loyalty program can help you retain existing customers, attract new ones, reduce sales and generate profits.
- Loyalty programs create an emotional connection;
- Regular customers have a high return on investment;
- Loyalty helps you reach new customers;
- Loyalty programs provide information about customers.
It is clear that loyalty is not limited to loyalty programs, but a relevant customer loyalty program can form a solid foundation for a successful customer engagement strategy. Although loyalty programs require a little work and planning, they are definitely worth implementing and will help ensure future business success.