Carefully sculpting loyalty programs for maximum engagement
January 18, 2013

Competition in the retail sector continues to heat up, as consumers returned to stores in greater numbers during the last quarter of 2012 than seen since before the recession. As a result, merchants are turning to more unique and streamlined strategies to boost revenues, including the adoption of integrated payment systems and the launch of loyalty and gift card programs.

However, because so many retailers are beginning to create and deploythese types of initiatives, consumers are increasingly searching for the most engaging and convenient options on the market. Businesses need to move past traditional systems that were once effective in boosting loyalty, and use strategies that will capture the attention of the average consumer.

Focusing on engagement
Fast Company recently explained several ways in which merchants can create more lively and enjoyable loyalty programs for customers, asserting that strategies need to be based on the preferences of increasingly savvy consumers. According to the news provider, new trends in consumer behaviors, especially those regarding increased use of smartphones and tablets, should be the first targets of loyalty programs.

The source explained that merchants should create agile, tiered loyalty programs that reward the most frequent customers with the highest amount of rewards. As the average loyal customer spends far more money in a store than anew client, frequent buyers should be the main focus of strategies, and can be included in marketing efforts to show new customers the benefits of becoming more loyal to the brand.

Further, Fast Company explained that consumers are increasingly deterred by loyalty programs that have a high volume of fineprint, especially regarding expiration dates. Merchants should avoid including these requirements and statutes in their programs, as they will likely impede the efficacy of the overall strategy.

The source added that merchants can use business partners to create even more engaging and desirable loyalty programs, offering deals on a variety of goods as part of a more wide-reaching initiative.

Bringing it mobile
More consumers than ever before are using smartphones and tablets to price compare, purchase goods and search for the best loyalty programs. With integrated payment solutions, merchants can create the most convenient experience for customers through the incorporation of mobile and credit card payment options with loyalty initiatives. This type of strategy will improve engagement and loyalty among consumers, while also keeping the associated costs low for merchants.

Nexus: G-WEBCD4