Do you want to increase sales, boost revenue, generate new leads or gain new customers? Creating a loyalty program for your local business can help you achieve that – and more. If you haven’t realized the power of mobile marketing, it’s definitely something you will need to incorporate into your marketing strategy – and FAST. After all, 37% of consumers are likely to make a purchase on a mobile-optimized site, and 27% will leave a site if it’s not been optimized for mobile according to recent statistics. Using loyalty programs – a type of marketing system that rewards consumers for their purchasing behavior – can help your business retain more customers as well as attract new ones in your local area.
1. A Loyalty program will help improve sales
Local businesses will often use a loyalty program as a powerful tool in their marketing arsenal to attract new customers and these programs have proven to be successful in a number of different industries. The reason they are so effective? Customers are rewarded for their loyalty, and will often return to a retailer once they start receiving points, prizes, or giftcards. This can have a huge impact on your businesses monthly revenue, and you’ll quickly find that the increase in sales will offset the small cost of setting up one of these programs in your business. Although slightly different, mobile loyalty apps have been extremely popular among consumers for quite a while now. Take Shopkick for example; used by 6 million people, it’s one of the most popular shopping apps on the market today. With partners such as JC Penny, Best Buy, and Target, users get points (or ‘kicks’) when shopping in one of these stores, and customers receive gift tokens for their continued loyalty..
2. A Loyalty program improves the relationship between customers and your brand
Brand loyalty is often talked about in marketing, but how often is this relationship built up through rewards and great customer service? A well thought out loyalty program can encourage your customers to return to your store twice as often and spend 4 times as much by offering something of real value to them. This makes customers feel they are valued by your company from the added value they received or unexpected discount. In fact, a great loyalty program can change the purchasing behavior of a customer completely, and what might have started out as an intended one-off purchase will often turn into a long-lasting relationship. You can achieve this by thinking outside the box by offering a dinner from a local restaurant or a babysitting service to a single mother once a customer reaches a purchase level pre-set. I have set this type of program up for local New Jersey companies and they really change the perception of a business brand because you are personalizing it, not a one reward fits all. You must also keep in mind if your customer service is horrible no matter what rewards you offer customers will not return and your reputation as such will spread quickly.
3. Loyalty programs encourage new customers to visit your store
Many ask what happens when a customer appreciates your business. They spread the word of course- which is great news for you as a business owner. Once a consumer becomes part of a loyalty program – and feel they are receiving value through the rewards you offer – they are more likely to recommend you to their family, friends and post information on their social networking pages. The result, you have a business ambassador happy to spread the word and in turn you get more leads for your business at no additional cost.
4. Loyalty programs encourage customers to purchase new products
Let’s say you own a small salon or local restaurant and a customer has purchased a number of services or products from you in the past. You can use your loyalty program to encourage them to purchase other products that might interest them. For example, handing out gift cards or rewards that entitle the customer to 50 percent off a particular product line they may not otherwise buy (even if they have never intended to purchase from this line) can help to boost flagging sales of products that you want to push that week. Keep in mind attaching an expiration date on these incentives will make customers purchase when you want so you can drive sales on demand. The rewards you offer will need to be relevant to your demographic, but you can use your marketing analytic’s and research to figure out what and when to target your customers more effectively for maximum results.
5. A Loyalty program with analytic’s provides you with detailed information about purchasing behavior
Understanding your customers behavior and what prompts them to make a purchase is one of the most important aspects of marketing – especially if your goal is to target a particular demographic with specific products. A loyalty program will help you monitor what your customers are buying, when the buy and how often they make a purchase. This is vital data you can use to fine-tune your online and offline marketing campaigns. You will find out which gift or incentive works best and over time you will be able to discover the rewards that are the most appreciated and sought after when offered.
If you’re serious about retaining customers and getting new customers in your local business, now is the time for you to set up your very own custom loyalty program. These programs can help you to retain customers, improve the visibility of your brand on social media, increase sales, monitor customer’s behavior, and attract new leads. So, what are you waiting for?