4 key components to digital loyalty programs in 2018

There are lots of reasons why brands need loyalty programs, but the most important reason may be for the data.

There are lots of reasons why brands need loyalty programs, but the most important reason may be for the data. As retailers shift loyalty to the digital channel, they have more frequent and direct access to customers – leading to more data – and more opportunities to use that data to positively impact customer behaviour. Canadian Millennials (37%) are fuelling the shift toward instant rewards and away from long earn-and-burn cycles, which means they expect personalised, data-driven offers on a regular basis.

Eagle Eye’s recent report on the loyalty habits of Canadian consumers illustrates how important digital channels are to today’s loyalty programs. Here are 4 key components for a successful digital loyalty strategy:

1. Mobile capabilities

83% of Millennials want to access information about their rewards status on a mobile device, but even Gen X (64%) and Boomers (34%) are following this trend. They want to earn and redeem in real time across all channels – in-store, online, email and mobile – but mobile devices are key because they make it easy for customers to stay connected to the program wherever they are.

2. Enhanced personalisation

The only way to personalise loyalty is to have usable customer data. Customers will share data, but in exchange nearly half of them (45%) expect personalised offers and communications. In other words, if brands aren’t using their data to enhance personalisation, they’re going to lose the trust they need to keep gathering that data.

3. Data-informed value

Nearly a quarter of Millennials have shared their loyalty experiences on social media. This sharing should give brands a wealth of ideas for creating data-informed value such as building social sharing and social activity into loyalty earn-and-redeem initiatives and tactics. Again, brands need to make data actionable and use it to add value to the program, not just sit on it.

4. Seamless transactions

Consumers increasingly expect omnichannel redemption experiences and personalised communications throughout the customer journey. They want specific transactions (such as checking rewards status) to be digitally convenient, but they also want the overall loyalty experience to be consistent, whether at the point of sale, on social media or within an app.

Keeping your brand and loyalty program top-of-mind is all about digital engagement. By building an effective digital loyalty program, brands can gather data and learn more about their customers: who they are, what they want and what they expect. Loyalty program members typically spend 30% more than other customers, so investments in digital loyalty should be a top priority for retailers in 2018.

To learn more about what impact digital loyalty programs are having on consumers in Canada and how your brand can execute a winning loyalty strategy, download the Shifting Loyalties report here.