Use marketing to drive consumer loyalty
June 11, 2013

Small- and medium-sized businesses use loyalty and gift card programs to offer their frequent shoppers additional deals. SMBs that recognize the need for electronic payment systems should consider looking to customers to identify how the business can better employ its loyalty program. Identifying areas where the company can reach out to customers on a regular basis can help SMBs generate sales. From mobile marketing endeavors to promoting that the business accepts credit card payments, SMBs can ensure consumers get the most out of their shopping experience.

Survey identifies customer trends 
During International Customer Loyalty Month in April, Impact Learning Systems asked consumers how they prefer to communicate with their favorite merchants and what they feel does not work. The survey found that when a small business uses traditional marketing methods, such as direct mail or email, consumers are apt to give the retailer their business.

Customers want to stay in constant contact, and one of the biggest trends currently hitting loyalty programs is the integration of social media marketing. The survey identified networking sites through which businesses can communicate with consumers on a regular basis as a way for SMBs to ensure customers learn about timely promotions and sales. When consumers receive information about a new loyalty program initiative, they are more likely to take part. While social media is on the rise among SMBs, many still prefer to personally connect with customers.

Consumer insight can significantly benefit retailers' loyalty programs and help SMBs drive sales. However, retailers are often unable to interact with customers one-on-one. Instead, SMBs may want to think about promoting loyalty and gift card programs through marketing campaigns. A smart move may be to implement a mobile marketing initiative that combines email and social media strategies to ensure customers are getting the optimal benefits of participating in loyalty programs.

Astute Solutions, a marketing software provider, advises SMBs looking to drive current gift card initiatives to frequently remind customers why utilizing the company's loyalty program is a great idea. SMBs may want to incorporate loyalty programs into their marketing campaigns for a holistic consumer experience, according to Astute Solutions.

Looking at marketing and payment processing together can help SMBs promote the brand and the benefits of frequenting the business.

Nexus: G-WEBCD6