Innovation drives success in gift card and loyalty programs
September 03, 2013

Incorporating advanced technology into gift card programs and loyalty programs can help businesses see improvements in customer retention.

A study from Pizza Marketplace observed the habits of customers at a pizza chain with nine stores and found a significant difference in purchase behavior between those who opted to participate in a loyalty program and those who didn't. In fact, 27 percent of first-time customers who did participate returned to the store and ordered at least three additional times within the three-month study. Among those first-time customers who didn't participate in the loyalty program, only 12 percent returned within the study's time frame, and 3 percent returned more than twice.

Pizza Marketplace said other businesses can employ similar data gathering to improve the effectiveness of their gift card programs and loyalty programs.

Businesses are innovating their gift card programs and loyalty programs are in additional ways. According to CNBC, many companies are now improving their loyalty programs to resemble the rewards systems utilized by the airline industry. For example, large retailers such as Sephora, Best Buy, Gap and Starbucks have recently released tiered rewards systems for customers who reach certain milestones or make large purchases.

Regardless of the industry, many businesses are moving beyond the simple punch card strategy for their loyalty programs and gift card programs. Paying closer attention to customer data can drive long-term success and increased retention rates.

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