Building engaging, unique loyalty and gift card programs
January 18, 2013

Several recent reports indicate that consumers are returning to the stores in greater numbers than seen since before the Great Recession, including the latest Gallup Poll that revealed each American is spending an average of $84 dollars per day - the greatest amount since 2008. As a result, competition is heating up in the retail sector, demanding unique and engaging strategies to capture the most revenues.

Along with integrated payment solutions that make transactions as convenient as possible, merchants should consider sculpting strong loyalty and gift card programs that keep customers coming back for more. Experts believe the average consumer will be looking for intuitive, rewarding and engaging loyalty programs in the coming years, while mobile devices are serving as the newest platform to deliver these initiatives.

Testing before launch
Destination CRM recently reported that many companies are creating lackluster loyalty programs, then deploying them to customers carelessly, decreasing engagement and lowering the chances of repeat business. According to the news provider, loyalty programs need to be assessed thoroughly prior to launch, and there are a variety of methods to ensure the initiative is ready for launch prior to reaching the eyes of the customer.

The source asserted that there are technology-based issues to iron out, such as establishing how many users will be accessing systems associated with the loyalty programs and how much data will be gathered as a result. Beyond garnering loyal customers, these programs are increasingly used to collect data regarding consumer trends that help merchants establish more effective strategies, ranging from marketing to customer service.

Finally, Destination CRM explained that loyalty programs need to be driven by consumer preference, and the associated systems should be tailored to these demands - not the other way around. Trying to build a loyalty program that is system-centric will decrease engagement among users, and can deter customers from the business altogether.

Getting customer on-board
Fast Company recently explained several methods of creating exciting and engaging loyalty programs, including tiered systems that reward the most frequent customers more than newer clients. According to the source, this type of strategy can be used as a long-term method of keeping loyalty programs engaging, regardless of a customer's time in the program.

The news provider suggested companies avoid a large volume of fine print and expiration dates at all costs, as these have been shown to decrease engagement with programs.

Nexus: G-WEBCD3