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As we near the end of 2019 and begin planning for 2020, brands are searching for the best strategies to drive consumer loyalty. In a time where this is becoming harder and harder to attain, brands need to figure out how to stand out from the competition and add value to the relationship.
To make it easier, CrowdTwist conducted research into what makes customers loyal, how to engage customers beyond the purchase, and how to design loyalty programs that help drive better customer experiences. Here are the main takeaways:
Make customers feel valued through loyalty
To stand out from the competition, brands must create meaningful relationships with consumers at every interaction. One way to do this is by offering an engaging loyalty program. Our research finds that 71% of people are active in at least one loyalty program a month. And, 62% of consumers could be persuaded to choose one brand over another due to the presence of a loyalty program.
By providing consumers with the opportunity to join a loyalty program, brands can gain an advantage over competitors by adding value and staying top of mind. By leveraging the data collected within a loyalty program, brands can continue to evolve and optimize their program and drive member participation.
Design an impactful loyalty program
Loyalty programs should offer meaningful ways for consumers to engage with the brand while offering member-only perks and providing attainable, relevant, and compelling rewards.
Incentivizing members to complete engagement activities is a great way to deepen the customer relationship while encouraging them to advocate for your brand. One great way to attract new customers to your brand is to tap into the influence of your best customers and reward them for writing reviews or making referrals. Our research finds that 72% of consumers are willing to write reviews and refer their friends to earn points in a loyalty program.
Create omnichannel shopping experiences
Successful loyalty programs enable brands to recognize members wherever and however they prefer to shop with the brand. Our research shows that while 64% of consumers prefer to shop online, 48% also enjoy shopping in-store. This demonstrates how important it is for brands to create seamless brand experiences across all channels and recognize and reward consumers for every purchase they make.
By understanding where your customers engage and shop with your brand, you can provide more meaningful and relevant experiences for them. Understanding your customers' behaviors and preferences help determine where to add value. For example, for consumers who prefer to shop online most of the time, it may be most valuable to offer them free shipping, while those who shop in-store might prefer a payless shopping experience.
Capture insights to increase personalization
One of the most valuable outputs of loyalty programs is the data that brands can extract from them. If applied effectively, this data can be used to power personalized experiences for consumers. Loyalty program data not only gives brands valuable insights into what customers want and where they purchase and engage, but it can also help brands determine where to allocate their budget and focus their strategies.
When a consumer shares information with a brand as part of a loyalty program, they expect a degree of personalization in return. Our research finds that 55% of consumers want to receive personalized recommendations, however, only 37% have purchased something that was recommended to them by a brand in the past 6 months. Successful personalization remains a challenge for brands, and often the cause is determining the data necessary to drive powerful personalized experiences and collecting and applying that data effectively.
Our research finds that consumers are willing to share information with brands in exchange for the perks and rewards of being a loyalty member. Over 80% of the consumers we surveyed say they are willing to fill out a survey. Encouraging consumers to provide feedback through surveys and reviews, for example, presents a tremendous opportunity for brands to collect rich opt-in data. This data can then be applied to create meaningful experiences and relevant recommendations.
Our research shows that customers are more willing than ever to engage with brands in exchange for valuable experiences. Investing in loyalty strategies provides brands with the opportunity to add value to the customer relationship, build personalized connections through the use of data and engagement, and set themselves apart from the competition. To read the full research report, check out The Marketer's Guide to Brand Loyalty.
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