Using points to reward customers after a purchase has been a practice in retail for ages. But over time, businesses have been forced to get creative with different ways to build loyalty. They needed to find ways to break through the noise and get their key messaging across to their network. Things like double-point events, product promotions, and annual gifts expanded that relationship between the brand and customer. An entire revolution has occurred in that realm as loyalty marketing capabilities have expanded even further. Now it’s about more than just purchases, customers can earn points by taking meaningful actions. That being said, here are a few trends to pay attention to in the industry:
Challenges for Retailers:
One of the greatest barriers facing online retailers today is the cost of acquisition and attention. Changes in consumer behavior and increases in content consumption have created more distracted consumers. According to a study done by CommerceHub, 86% of purchasers change channels when buying online. So not only is it important to advertise online, but it’s crucial to deliver your brand’s messaging across other channels as well.
“The trust that consumers have in brands is going down tremendously,” stated Al Lalani, Chief Strategist of Annex Cloud. “Customers are researching more and looking for peer reviews across many channels, thus increasing the acquisition cost of that customer.”
Rewarding Peer Recognition:
Amazon is projected to clear $258 Billion in 2018 and account  for 49% of all ecommerce transactions. Website features like price comparison, Q&A, and Amazon Prime have created a sense of entitlement among consumers. They seek peer recognition when making major purchasing decisions. By incentivizing consumers to review your products, you’re leveraging your user generated content while building loyalty with your existing customers.
Visual Commerce:


Visual Commerce is another great way to optimize your user generated content strategy. Of course product pictures are great, but customers love seeing people similar to them enjoying that brand. When products are being used naturally and not staged for advertising, customers  find it more contextually relevant to themselves. Visual Commerce turns relevant user photos into aesthetically pleasing product galleries for potential customers. How do we obtain all of this user generated content? Incentives. By offering points for UGC, we see a 70% increase in content submitted to that brand’s channels. 

Social Loyalty:


When an active customer interacts with your brand on social media, we’re able to understand so much about their purchasing behavior. By tieing in revenue-based performance indicators with your social media strategy, we’re able to quantify the importance of those channels. That is why user actions like social login, following/liking your pages, and mentioning your brand in social media posts are all very important to your business. And incentivizing for these actions can be huge for boosting conversions and revenue.
In this time of competition and distraction, it’s more important than ever to find ways to build loyalty between your brand and your customers. It’s about incentivizing consumers for taking meaningful actions and personalizing those incentives to your specific audience. By building this relationship, you can help your brand increase its repeat purchases, customer referrals, and average order value.
Does your loyalty provider have the capability to automate rewards for social loyalty actions? Can it use social media to collect key customer insights? Does it offer all the right tech integrations to help you build a relationship with your customers? If not, it’s time to find a provider that can. Because building and understanding customer  relationships early can be the difference between success and failure for a brand.
About Annex Cloud
Since 2010, Annex Cloud has provided more than 250 leading brands and retailers, including Hewlett-Packard, Bed Bath & Beyond, G.H. Bass, Olympus and VF Corp., with the ability to engage tens of millions of their customers one-to-one at scale.
Annex Cloud’s customer marketing platform provides fully integrated Customer Loyalty, Referral Marketing, and User Generated Content solutions that work together to optimize the customer journey and deliver a unified customer experience, a greater quantity and quality of referrals and content, and more high-quality and resilient customer relationships.
For additional information, please visit or call 1-866-802-8806.

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