Tips to cultivate strong loyalty programs
January 04, 2013
The national economy continues to fight back from the lull of the Great Recession, and several segments have started to experience more significant improvements in the past few months. Merchants can capitalize on increased consumer spending and sentiments through loyalty and gift card programs, as these will often yield better customer experiences.

Chief Marketer recently interviewed one expert, Dana LaSalvia, regarding the best practices for loyalty program development in 2013. According to the news provider, merchants of all sizes should follow a checklist that accounts for trends in consumer preferences, shopping behaviors and economic conditions.

Chief Marketer asked LaSalvia to describe the most challenging issues merchants face when building a loyalty program.

"Strong, focused and frequent communication is key to maximizing performance of all loyalty-based programs," she explained. "Ensuring that the end-user (consumer) fully understands the benefits and requirements of participation. One of the challenges that always comes into play is total program participation. So, your communication strategies need to speak to all demographics and create a buzz. Consistency and a strong marketing push is key."

LaSalvia suggested that businesses work to personalize their loyalty programs as much as possible, targeting their specific pool of potential customers and catering to their needs. Merchants that use a cookie-cutter approach will often drive away customers, as will those who send the information regarding the programs to any and every name they can find.

Finally, she told Chief Marketer that shoppers prefer merchandise rewards to cash or other options, while the general process should be easy and intuitive for the customer.

By cultivating a strong loyalty and gift card program, and using integrated payment systems to incorporate various strategies, merchants can expect to see higher revenues from repeat customers and improved brand image.
Nexus: G-WEBCD1