Mobile-based rewards programs are incredibly popular right now. While people always love a bargain, the new economic reality is that consumers are now utilizing cost savings techniques like loyalty programs with greater and greater frequency.
According to Colloquy, U.S. consumers alone have over 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs, which is a sizable 26% increase over their last survey in 2013. In fact, according to their research the average American family has memberships in 29 loyalty programs.
Customers have come to expect loyalty offers from brands and may leave one to go to another that offers one.
Along with the overall growth of loyalty programs, mobile rewards programs have exploded in popularity and are expected to continue to do so. According to Forrester Research, consumers rank rewards high as a important element of mobile shopping. In fact, Forrester’s data showed 76% of consumers were interested in utilizing loyalty program points and rewards in a mobile digital wallet.
Choosing a mobile application developer that understand key touch-points with mobile loyalty programs can be helpful. As part of your mobile rewards strategy that you develop and implement with your iPhone application developer and Android application developer, make sure that you pay attention to how customers respond and optimize your program to meet your customer’s needs. With rewards programs its best not to take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach but to tailor your program to your customer’s behavior and preferences.
What can a mobile loyalty program do for your business?
According to Harvard Business Review, loyalty programs can do 5 things for brands:
1. Keep customers from defecting
2. Win greater share of wallet
3. Prompt customers to make additional purchases
4. Yield insight into customer behavior and preferences
5. Turn a profit
How effective can rewards programs be?
When Kohl’s recently reviewed the effectiveness of their loyalty program they determined loyalty customers, made two extra trips to the store and spent $80 more per year. Keep in mind, as with everything in business, loyalty programs are not always successful. Building the right program and rewarding the right behaviors are critical for success.
The Small Business Administration blog gives this advice when it comes to loyalty programs, “Reward loyalty with some class. Freebies don’t always appeal to all and they can even de-value your services.” Furthermore suggesting, “Experiential rewards are always popular. For example, a hair salon could offer a monthly workshop that offers free makeover tips to loyal customers. These experiences add value to your customers’ lives, build community, help your business stand out and give customers reason to keep coming back.”
What are the key elements of a successful mobile rewards program?
Analytics & Data
To create a successful mobile loyalty program you will need to understand your customers. Make sure you plan ahead to make data available so you can review if your loyalty program is properly engaging your target audience. Data and analytics will also help you be able to personalize the experience for each customer over time.
Personalize the Experience
The more data you capture, the better you can target and customize the experience for each of your users. Personalization is important in building effective mobile user experiences and it is not different with mobile rewards programs. Personalization helps build loyalty and engagement. Data will help you optimize each user’s experience to their preferences.
Rewards & Exclusive Offers
Make sure you reward customers for the appropriate behaviors. Leverage their mobile device to track their shopping behavior, such as purchases, and offer rewards based on that behavior. Exclusive offers are also a powerful part of several strong loyalty programs as several retailers offer loyal customers priority access to exclusive products, offers and sales.
Utilizing tools such as push notifications have shown to increase response rates by up to 300%. Other contact methods such as e-mail and SMS can also play an important role in your customer engagement strategy. A key part of loyalty programs is re-engaging customers, doing so with a sense of urgency can be powerful so don’t be afraid to try time sensitive offers.
Leverage in-store experiences
Many successful mobile rewards programs link loyalty to in-store experiences by offering product information and more. The future of retails involves improving in-store experience with powerful mobile applications that can improve the shopping experiences for you customers.
Photo: Omar Jordan Fawahl (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1ynqiAr
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