Loyalty program success stories of 2012 and 2013
February 26, 2013

Businesses continue to launch new and advanced loyalty and gift card programs to improve revenues with repeat customers. Experts believe that the strongest loyalty programs capitalize on the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets among consumers. Mobile loyalty programs are easy to implement, and provide merchants with a higher volume of information related to participation and customer behaviors than traditional methods, such as punch cards.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should consider launching mobile loyalty programs and procuring integrated payment systems to create the most cohesive and efficient customer experience. This approach will help merchants integrate credit card payment and loyalty program systems, cutting equipment expenditures and improving revenues.

Grocery chain's loyalty success
The Mercury News recently reported that Safeway, a grocery store chain, saw its net income increase substantially following the launch of its latest loyalty program. According to the news provider, Safeway's shares increased by 13 percent in the first quarter of 2012, and executives believe that the company's loyalty program, called "Just for U," was the true driver of stronger financial performances at its various locations.

The program was released fairly recently, and already has roughly 5.4 million participants. The source explained that Safeway's loyalty program offers coupons and other deals that are specifically tailored to each customer's specific spending habits. The store's net income increased from $517 million in 2011 to $597 million last year, representing a 15 percent year-over-year gain. 

"Our best customers have become increasingly more loyal and buying more items per trip," Steve Burd, Safeway's CEO, told The Mercury News. "That's been true now since the beginning of Just for U. We are feeling very good about 2013."

The news provider noted that executives project revenue growth to continue throughout the coming months, as initial reports of the first several weeks of 2013 were solid. The company expects participation in its loyalty program to increase, driving profit margins higher.

Restaurant sees similar results
Street Fight Magazine recently reported that the 54th Street Grill and Bar, a chain with 19 locations, saw substantial improvements to its loyalty rates following the launch of a mobile program. The source explained that the restaurant chain has enabled the use of smartphones and other mobile devices for participation in its loyalty program.

SMB owners should consider adopting mobile loyalty technology to improve profit margins and strengthen overall brand recognition. 

Nexus: G-WEBCD1