Making loyalty pay: the benefits of digital performance marketing

Loyalty programmes are commonplace today, but digitising your scheme could create a host of compelling benefits for a retail business or brand

Seize Digital
Loyalty programmes have been around for many years and, despite the seismic changes transforming the retail industry since then, the average recipe for success with loyalty schemes is much the same as it’s always been. 

While the model for schemes that recognise customers for their repeat custom remains unchanged, innovations such as user-level data storage, Big Data analytics and dynamic personalisation have made it possible for forward-thinking brands to build programmes that resonate with customers like never before.

Transactional benefits are not enough

There’s much more to today’s digital loyalty schemes than simply inundating your customers with discounts. Interestingly, research has shown that loyalty programme success rarely comes from a focus solely on money-off price cuts.

In fact, research has found 77% of schemes based solely on price fail within two years. Gifts, as well as offers and gamified promotions, for example, enable marketers to develop deeper relationships with their customers and bring a sense of personal relevance to digital engagement. Therefore, to really foster higher levels of brand awareness, advocacy and repeat custom, loyalty schemes should:
  • Make engagement with a brand easier
  • Improve access to exclusive and/or value-added services
  • Deliver timely offers and promotions
  • Provide relevant experiences
  • Simplify the shopping journey
  • Thank regular shoppers for their custom

Get it right and the benefits associated with digital loyalty schemes can be compelling…

1. Enhanced personalisation

Research from the University of Southern California found that 85% of millennials are more likely to make a purchase if it has been personalised to their buying behaviour and interests. Digital loyalty schemes make it easy to do just that by dynamically matching customer preferences and purchase history  with the most suitable offers or rewards. Earlier this year, Subway announced  a loyalty programme that draws on  such user-level data to track and personalise rewards based on customer activity.

2. Develop a better understanding of your customers

Digital loyalty schemes can provide rewards for completing polls, surveys and more to give retailers and brands the opportunity to learn more about their customers. This leads to valuable insights that will help you better market to your customers in the future and keep them coming back for more.

3. Attract more repeat customers

Research has shown that returning customers spend 67% more than first-time buyers. Having a digital loyalty scheme that provides customers with offers and promotions on products you know they are interested in can ensure offers are relevant, attract repeat business and boost your bottom line.

4. Connect directly with customers

Digital loyalty programmes allow you to create a direct connection with your customers, which can become much more than just a way to share discounts and promotions. Relevant customer engagement via preferred modes of communication can create the impression that they are interacting directly with your brand. It is exactly this type of engagement modern consumers crave.

5. Take advantage of mobile

With 85% of UK residents now owning a smartphone, you can take advantage of the ubiquity of mobile devices by sending offers and discounts direct to your customers’ phones. If you’re experiencing low engagement rates with email discounts and offers, choosing to communicate via text message and mobile-optimised website or app will make sure customers receive your messaging in the most compelling ways.

6. Understand what’s working and what’s not

One of the biggest digital loyalty programme benefits is the fact that you can track the success of every message, offer and promotion from its delivery through to redemption. This level of insight allows you to track return on investment (ROI) and fine tune offers and engagement better in the future. 

7. Tap into experiential marketing

Young consumers have a huge appetite for experiences and digital loyalty schemes are a simple way to provide them. As an example, Starbucks loyalty members can not only use the app to order coffee and pay for their order, but they can also access streamed music from third parties and redeem rewards in real time, all of which is aimed at positioning the reward scheme’s ‘lifestyle enhancement’ value.

Realise the benefits of performance-driven marketing today

At Eagle Eye, our advanced SaaS-based digital performance marketing platform can help to digitise an existing loyalty scheme or develop next-generation performance tools that boosts sales, traffic and footfall, as well as enhance customer engagement levels.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you develop a real-time connection with your customers.