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Like most everything else today, omnichannel loyalty is evolving rapidly.
Customers are engaging with brands on various platforms, channels, and devices, which requires loyalty marketers to provide seamless experiences at every access point.
Loyalty360 talked to Rion Haber, Director of Marketing for bLoyal, about the keys to a successful omnichannel loyalty program, and what makes it unique.
What are the keys to providing a successful omnichannel loyalty program?
Haber: Omnichannel loyalty is composed of three parts: Accessibility, benefits, and business intelligence. Companies engaging in these types of loyalty programs tend to do well with the first two, but often neglect the third. I see this as a big mistake. For omnichannel programs to be successful (like any other platform), we really need to leverage the data they provide to get the most out of them. For instance, what is your adoption rate on mobile vs. desktop? Do users of your application tend to redeem benefits at a higher rate? Why are various offers and promotions received better in one channel vs. another? How can we use this information to maximize the ROI of our omnichannel programs?
There are a lot of stories to tell here and many companies leave money on the table by not digging in to the data.
What distinguishes omnichannel loyalty?
Haber: Really, it’s the ability to meet your customers on their terms. As on-demand technologies like Uber, Amazon Fresh, and Netflix have grown, so has the customer’s expectation that they shouldn’t have to alter their behaviors to match your shopping experience—rather that your shopping experience should mold itself to their busy schedule. Omnichannel loyalty effectively accomplishes the same thing by allowing customers to access your program wherever they feel most comfortable.
Can you talk about the challenges of personalization as they relate to creating this omnichannel loyalty presence?
Haber: From an omnichannel loyalty marketing perspective, the golden chalice is to be able to provide just the right message, to the right customer, at the right time, in the right place. In an ideal world, each customer would receive personalized content, tailored just for them, and based on their individual purchase history. For instance, if a customer didn’t open their email very often, your system would automatically A/B test offers over push or text.
No one in the omnichannel space is quite there yet, but it’s a fun challenge to solve for and one that bLoyal is focused on helping our clients attain, daily.
What are brands doing well with omnichannel loyalty and where do the challenges lie?
Haber: I see brands starting to eschew the idea of loyalty as a stand-alone functionality and really question how they can fold it into and use it to enhance their overall shopping experience. This is really encouraging to me, as it represents a departure from the traditional multichannel model into a truly 360-degree omnichannel shopping experience.
We’re in an awkward teenage phase with the cloud-based technology that drives omnichannel loyalty. The Internet has only been around (in its current form) for about 20 years. There’s lots of great technology out there. Figuring out how to make it all work together in harmony can sometimes be another matter.
How can an omnichannel loyalty program exceed customer expectations and elevate the customer experience?
Haber: For so many of us these days, time is our most valuable resource. The quickest way to delight the customer is simply to make it easy for them to use your program over all the platforms, channels, and devices where they want to engage you. Customers should be shocked about how easy and fluid your loyalty program functionality is, from signup to redemption. Each channel should pick up seamlessly where the last one left off.
If you can save someone time (and I can’t state this strongly enough), you’re halfway to earning their loyalty.
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