This is a win-win situation, everybody agrees. It’s a golden opportunity to encourage sales and retain customers. Every startup and small business share the same goal, to get the customers and retain them. One good business day is just not enough, we want to have that foot and digital traffic to stay and return repeatedly. Marketers and entrepreneurs have created various strategies to maintain a stream of customers. Today, one of the most common approaches is loyalty cards to increase sales.
What are loyalty cards?
A loyalty card program is an incentive plan that enables businesses to collect data from their customers. Participating customers are offered various exchanges including product discounts, points, coupons, and others. Another purpose for the loyalty card is to make customers repeat buyers by offering them services that aren’t offered to non-participating customers.
There are a few varieties of loyalty cards your business can offer, this may include:
- Reward system where points are used for their spending. The more money they spend, the bigger their points will be. Customers earn more points the more they spend.
- Exclusive discounts for loyalty cardholders.
- Frequency program reward where more points/rewards/free items are given the more often the card is used.
Most businesses offer all these varieties for their loyalty card programs. The array of options for customers allow the business to address various customers’ needs.
Strategies in using loyalty cards to increase sales
Different techniques are available for you if you intend to implement a loyalty card program for the business.
Keep it simple
Bond Brand Loyalty reports that 56% of consumers favor loyalty programs that are easy to use. Customers prefer simpler programs with a short sign-up process. They don’t usually sit down and read the entire thing, customers usually sign up for loyalty cards after purchasing items. The faster process equates to efficiency.
Personalize your program
You can pattern your program with other businesses but it’s equally important to offer something authentic to your customers. Personalization is an effective tool to make your customers feel valued. Drop them a welcome email, thank them for signing up for the program, use their first names, offer discounts and coupons on their birthdays, and more.
Create a useful community for customers
Customers trust peers more than they trust you or your staff. Use social media platforms to create a community for your customers. Encourage customer-to-customer interaction. Many businesses put community forums on their websites to foster communication. They include topics such as best products, FAQs, service experiences, and others. Customers can also pitch in their ideas and suggestions to the forums.
Educate your staff
Your staff is as important as the program especially as they interact with the customers and answer their queries. They should know the program – its perks, its features, benefits, what makes it different from other loyalty programs, and others. Well-informed customers are easier to encourage to enroll for loyalty programs. There may be training and you can make learning enjoyable for the staff. Provide games, quizzes, rewards for staff who can explain the program in the most enthusiastic manner.
Advantages of a loyalty card program
Loyalty cards can be an integral part of a business’ marketing strategy. There are, however, other reasons why loyalty programs should be considered for an organization.
The loyalty program encourages customers to try new products and offerings. Customers purchase new items with discounts or free samples.
Referrals happen when customers are satisfied and ahoy with discounts, offers, coupons, and special offers. They are more likely going to talk about your program to their friends and families.
A loyalty card program is also a way to build trust and relationships between your business and the customers.
Using loyalty cards to increase sales
The Fast Company reports that most customers prefer small discounts as opposed to large discount offers. It also said that the loyalty program increases a brand’s market share by up to 20%. Another report by Bain and Co. said that a company’s profitability can go up to 75% due to retained customers brought about by loyalty programs.
Customer loyalty is directly tied to increased revenue. Every entrepreneur aims to have repeat buyers and grow the business. A loyalty program is an effective approach to do that.