Loyalty programs have resonating long-term benefits
October 02, 2013

Gift card programs and loyalty programs can do much more than retain existing customers. The increasing popularity of social media and other digital communication platforms has enhanced the way shoppers share positive retail experiences with each other. Many businesses have punch card programs that customers can use to receive rewards after a certain number of continued purchases. Mobile Marketing Watch said two-thirds of U.S. consumers own at least two loyalty cards.

This card-based system is effective to a certain extent, but it is relatively insular in terms of its ability to catch the attention of entirely new customers. Small and medium-sized businesses that want to increase revenue may want to consider incorporating mobile technology into their gift card programs and loyalty programs.

According to a report from eMarketer titled "Social Loyalty: From Rewards to a Rewarding Customer Experience," social media has had a profound impact on the potential for businesses to attract new shoppers by offering unique discounts and deals based on continued purchases. In fact, brands that encourage customers to share their information about their retail experiences are more likely to succeed in the long run. Many consumers also find gift card programs and loyalty programs that are fully integrated with social media are often more entertaining and engaging.

The concept of leveraging social media as a client retention strategy is relatively new in today's business world, but it plays an important role in revenue generation. The ability to provide exceptional round-the-clock customer service continues to be the most important factor contributing to loyalty among shoppers. However, the report found 20 percent of consumers view gift card programs and loyalty programs to be especially influential in encouraging customers to keep returning to the same brands on a regular basis.

Nexus: G-WEBCD5