Loyalty greatly increases chances for small-business success
November 22, 2013

Owning and running a small-business retail organization is often an unpredictable task filled with various operational challenges. However, investing in high-quality gift card programs and loyalty programs is one way for companies to increase their chances of generating steady revenue growth on a long-term scale.

According to a recent report from the online marketing company Constant Contact, small and medium-sized retailers face a variety of obstacles to growth on a regular basis. For instance, the company surveyed nearly 900 organizations about their relationships with customers and found 30 percent of respondents claimed the prospect of finding and attracting new visitors was one of the biggest challenges they experience on a day-to-day basis.

As the holiday shopping season approaches, store owners have significant opportunities to make a solid impression on consumers who may not be entirely familiar with a brand. One of the most effective ways to attract new shoppers and retain them in the future is to develop an interactive and engaging loyalty program that offers rewards for continued visits. Not only can these tools create unique incentives for customers, but they can also help spread the word about a business to a larger audience.

"Eighty-two percent of small businesses reported new customers find them through referrals, meaning satisfied customers are one of the most important drivers of new customer acquisition," said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. "Creating meaningful customer engagement, from attracting new customers to keeping loyal ones happy, remains a top priority."

The role of mobile in loyalty program effectiveness
Today's shoppers are closely attached to their smartphones and tablet devices. As a result, small-business owners must supplement their loyalty programs with advanced mobile marketing tactics. Data compiled in an infographic by the sales engagement company Sparked said portable Internet devices now represent the most reliable way to reach consumers. In recent years, Americans have started using these tools for multiple purposes in the overall retail experience. Twenty-four percent of shoppers accessed a brand website over a smartphone or tablet during Black Friday in 2012. That number measured only 14 percent the previous year.

Because these devices are also closely connected with social media tools, word can spread quickly about brands - especially when consumers share the rewards they've earned from their favorite stores with friends and family. Investing in a quality loyalty program is a smart way for small businesses to boost customer satisfaction and ultimately attract new buyers through the door.

Nexus: G-WEBCD5