Zinrelo’s leadership in loyalty rewards is contingent upon its expertise and adaptability. Founder Jai Rawat recently spoke with Loyalty360 about the strategies needed to stay relevant in the present landscape.
Rawat notes that while many aspects of customer loyalty have changed, others are more or less permanent. “If you look at loyalty in a broader spectrum, many of the qualities that generate customer loyalty have not really changed; customer service, product selection, quality, price. I think that’s still important.”
Of course, many things have changed though. He says, “What has changed in the loyalty rewards space is that the customers are valuable to business, not just because they’re buying from them, but there is what I call a ‘democratization of marketing’ happening.” This term refers to the blurring of the lines between marketer and consumer. Tweets, Amazon reviews, Instagram posts—all these things can be a form of marketing. “[The customer’s] voice has a platform, as well.”
Loyalty rewards have adapted accordingly. “The retailers are now looking to reward their customers, not just for their purchases but for any other types of profitable engagement as well.” Customer appreciation is no longer limited to purchasers.
One of Zinrelo’s greatest strengths is its flexibility. The company eschews a one-size-fits-all approach to loyalty rewards and offers different solutions to different brands. “There are customers who are midsize retailers, and we have a lot of customers who are smaller retailers, so we’re in the self-service space as well.” The separate self-service platform gives small companies that are just starting the ability to run a loyalty rewards program.
Concerning present challenges in the industry, Rawat observes that retailers are often so focused on customer acquisition that they tend to neglect retention. “We have analyzed a lot of data and what we’ve found is there’s a huge attrition after the first purchase.” Customer acquisition brings in first time purchasers, but many of them are also one-time-only purchasers. “The repeat customer rate for most of the retailers is between 10 and 20 percent.”
Zinrelo comes up with custom strategies for each client to solve this problem. A key element of each strategy is making the rewards on the first purchase sufficient for a discount on the second purchase. “It’s a simple as that,” says Rawat. “Give them a reason to make a second purchase.”
Fascinatingly, Rawat suggests that three is the magic number for purchasing. Zinrelo’s data indicates that once a customer has made three purchases from a retailer, he or she is likely to continue to make purchases. It typically takes a few visits (whether to a site or a brick-and-mortar store) to become familiar with a brand’s customer service and overall experience. Therefore, reward programs need to especially incentivize those first few purchases.
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