Did you know that brands spend about 5-25x more to acquire a new customer than they do to sell to an already existing one? Well, according to research, loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones through repeat purchases. These statistics underline the importance of customer loyalty and how profitable it can be to your business. That's why you need a loyalty program app for your business.
Business owners ought to relay trust and appreciation to their customers to foster loyalty. Besides, we live in a competitive world and customers want you to convince them that you care slightly more than the competition. This way, you’ll have a committed group of admirers that will not only keep on buying from you but also spread the word out there and bring in new customers.
Businesses employ different industry tactics including loyalty programs, incentives, rewards, brand ambassadors, among others. And while all these programs have been in use for years, businesses have started using Membership App as a new way to increase customer satisfaction. A well-developed mobile app provides customers with a marketplace for daily deals complete with notifications to ensure they’re always up-to-date.
In this article, we’ll look into the use of applications in the business world to increase customer satisfaction. We’ll also look at different types of Membership Apps and various loyalty reward programs in each to help you understand why you need one for your business;
Popular Loyalty Program Apps for Retailers
In the recent past, more businesses have gone the ‘in-app rewards’ way, which involves rewarding your customers for dedication to your brand. Whether its discounts, gamified reward programs, or points, this approach promotes loyalty and keeps them coming back for more.
The most common approach is the one where customers earn points for every purchase or transaction completed. The accumulated points can then be converted into special in-app currency and exchanged for rewards. This way, customers feel obligated to use the Membership App for transactions as much as possible.
And just like any other program, entrepreneurs must be able to provide value for money with the app. How? By making sure it’s always up to date, easy to use, and alluring to the eyes.
In terms of the rewards, make sure you understand your target audience’s desires and expectations. And yes, it might be tricky at first, but you’ll need to carry out research on customer interaction with the app. This way, you can determine what reward programs will be the best to initiate for your target audience.
So, having said that, let’s look at some of the efficient loyalty programs that are already in use;
This UK-based online retailer ran a reward scheme where customers would get rewarded with special offers, birthday discounts, events, and early access to sales. The retailer later changed this tactic in 2008 in an approach to reward loyal customers more effectively.
The new reward program was a subscription-based Premier Delivery which was a huge success. According to a report by the brand,1.3 million customers paid for unlimited next day delivery. What’s more, this number grew by a whopping 53%during the year.
Probably the most common Membership Apps among coffee lovers, Starbucks introduced its branded app in 2010. Customers earn stars that can be redeemed for a free drink and even send eGifts to friends via email using the app. From the design to the intuitiveness, the Starbucks app offers exemplary customer service.
To enjoy this reward program, users must pay with a registered Starbucks card or a card registered in the Membership App. The program boasts of massive success, with a total of 16.8 million active users in 2019.
III. Marriot Bonvoy
The Marriot Bonvoy loyalty program represents everything frequent travelers need. It brings together 6,700 hotels in over 130 countries and allows members to earn points and redeem them in the form of a faster booking process, free nights, special rates, among other perks. Moreover, members can look through their points balance and special offers at any time.
Trust me! There’s no better incentive than getting rewarded for dining. Right? Well, this American fast food restaurant chain has a program that rewards members with points for every purchase made. With the brand’s mobile app or an online account, users can enjoy free food and giveaways whenever they have enough points to redeem.
And just like you’d expect, there are three levels of membership; Member, Silver Member, and Red Member. Each level comes with a set of rewards including tickets to VIP events for the highest level.
So, now that we’ve looked into some of the popular loyalty program apps, let’s look at some of the actions that businesses use to reward their customers;
· Spending targets- Businesses use this approach to encourage customers to spend more. For instance, you might have seen a message that reads ‘spend $200 and you’ll get 10% off your next purchase.’ It means that if you reach the target, you automatically qualify for a 10% discount on your next visit.
· Purchase targets- Though a bit similar to the first one, this purchase target is designed to encourage customers to buy more items or services. The rewards may include discounts, discounted membership, among others.
· Friends referral targets- Most businesses reward loyal customers with discounts and free gifts for every customer they bring in. Some might even include a specific target to encourage members to bring in more people.
· Feedback before launch- Before a product or service is launched, business owners ask customers to give it a try to get feedback. Making the customer part of the process gives them a sense of ownership and they can, in turn, become great salespeople for your business.
Other actions that businesses use to reward their customers include watching promotional videos on the app, sharing content on their socials, subscribing to your newsletter, among others. Ultimately, entrepreneurs should keep their target audience excited by rewarding any signs of brand engagement.
The Main Categories of Customer Loyalty Programs
Before deciding how you want to reward your loyal customers, you need to think about the best programs to use. In most cases, businesses use points, tiers, or paid membership.
Probably the most common category, users earn points that can be redeemed for a free product or service. Most entrepreneurs use this methodology because of its ease of setting up, which makes it quite popular across different business niches.
Businesses also use tiers to get their customers more involved. The entrepreneur sets milestones that users must accomplish to get personalized rewards. What’s more, the rewards get bigger as you move up the ladder, which makes users ‘hungry’ to get to the next tier.
Depending on your business niche, milestones can be anything from the amount of money spent in a month to the number of times the app is used.
III. Paid Membership
This one involves customers paying a fee to enjoy discounts and offers for a specified period of time. The paid loyalty program allows a business to spend more time on their most engaged customers. This way, members can enjoy exclusive benefits, feel treasured, and most importantly, keep investing in the brand.
Features to Prioritize when Designing a Loyalty Program App
I. Loyalty Card Management
Businesses must simplify how their users manage their loyalty card. Whether it’s refilling, making payments, or checking the balance, the card should be easy to manage. In fact, most entrepreneurs provide a way to manage your card using your phone, including refilling it.
II. Geo-location Search
The app should also feature a geolocation search feature that allows users to search for the nearest outlets. For instance, Starbucks customers can find the nearest restaurant at any time and order food with a few clicks.
III. Location-based Pushes
With the permission of users, businesses can use the app to access the location and purchase history of their customers. This information can then be used to make recommendations and alert the user when there’s an offer at an outlet close to their location.
Fast checkouts are a must when designing the loyalty app. Many businesses use the one-touch pay system, which is super convenient and reduces the time spent on the queue. Popular systems like LevelUp are already being used by many businesses to make checkout faster. To use it, the user scans an on-screen QR code at a LevelUp terminal.
Popular Brand Loyalty Program Apps
Brand loyalty program apps have to meet the customer’s needs and desires, specifically provide smooth, real-time experiences. The app can be an important promotion tool with the right rewards and personalized service. In fact, business owners use mobile apps as a way to get new customers and retain existing ones.
So, here are some of the popular brand loyalty program apps that are already in use;
IKEA Mobile Apps. – IKEA customers can use their store app to preview furniture and compile a shopping list. The IKEA Better Living App also helps users live sustainably with daily tips. And while there’s still more that can be done, IKEA is designing an app that will allow customers to not only preview furniture but also enter room dimensions and shop online.
L’Oréal Try-on Apps. – L’Oréal is a French personal care company with numerous apps to help its customers try different products before making the purchase. The brand recently acquired Modiface, an AR company, to develop systems that allow customers to try on their products in a high-tech way. This way, users only buy suitable products thus promoting customer satisfaction and strengthening their loyalty.
Red Bull Mobile Memebership App. – The Red Bull Oman Mobile App allows customers to check their balances, add extra plans, recharge, and do so much more with a few clicks. Additionally, customers have access to Red Bull sponsored events and films as well as merchandise from the app.
And that’s it! Customer loyalty program apps are great promotion tools that business owners can benefit from. These apps should provide a personalized experience and meet your target audience’s specific needs to remain relevant in the overly competitive business world.
Consumer-facing businesses must harmonize all the different aspects of the selling process and make it easy and enjoyable for the customer. This way, the customer can always keep tabs with special offers and promotions, preview products, compile a shopping list, and most importantly, pay through the app.
A well-developed mobile app not only helps you enhance customer loyalty, but it also wins you new ones. So, regardless of your business niche, it’s my hope that this article will be useful in your quest to develop and implement an effective customer loyalty program.