Navigating Marketplace Shifts: Leverage Loyalty to Thrive in a Period of Recovery
With more than a year of widespread closures and travel restrictions behind us, numerous businesses continue to be impacted globally. Massive shutdowns over the last 18 months led many retailers to find new ways of doing business. Retailers proved to the market that they can implement services quickly when required, setting an even higher precedent on consumer expectations. eCommerce enhancements, last mile and optimized in-store experiences are just a few of these now expected services. The realization facing most retailers today is that these services are not cheap to implement or operate long term. So how do you increase profitability without removing these new essential services consumers have come to know and love?
Retailers looking to kickstart profitable growth momentum need to take a holistic view of the relationship they have with their consumers, not just the goods and services offered to them. The right loyalty strategy can heavily influence brand stickiness, return visits, and overall CLV more than you think, which ultimately helps offset the costs you may be facing operationally.
The market has been talking about the right loyalty strategy for years. How do you actually do it?
Leverage your loyalty platform to create an omnichannel experience. Marketers are often challenged with using multiple, fragmented systems, resulting in a not-so-consistent level of communication with consumers across channels. Leveraging a loyalty program platform that can push offers, engagement messages, and important information through numerous existing systems you already use is a game-changer for consumer communications and engagement.
- Adopt a phased approach to hyper-personalization. Getting more personal doesn't have to be 1:1 out of the gate but does have to be more relevant and ultimately more profitable for you. Leverage each individual's data to deliver customized offers and targeted communications that drive hyper-personalized consumer experiences. Drive advanced targeting by adopting a modular loyalty solution that works with any platform, such as this new offering called Promo Enhance.
- Empower employees as an advanced tier in your loyalty program. Your people, especially your front line, are unbelievably important. They know your products, services, and your consumers best. But what do they know about your loyalty program? Empowering employees with engagement programs that give them access to exclusive offers and perks just for them quickly create program ambassadors. Knowing what incentives, tips, or special perks are available to consumers in the moment increases the opportunity for a positive – and lucrative – experience with every consumer. Leveraging your employee base to test and learn also reinforces your loyalty program over time.
- Reward beyond the transaction. Engaging with your brand takes work – rewarding your consumers for their effort is more powerful than you think. Offer small incentives for adding things to their profile like an email address, their shoe size, or answers to some personal preferences. Use that info to personalize your next offer or message to them. You do not need to give 40% off their next purchase to get them to do something.
- Maximize your program outcome with a true loyalty partner. SaaS products enable your staff to launch more, learn more, measure more and do more. Loyalty platforms included. However, SaaS tools don't make you experts, especially on a subject as complex as consumer loyalty. A true loyalty partner continues to work with you and brings expertise beyond just providing the functional tools needed to implement your program. The right loyalty platform provider should be there to help you with the big issues along the way without having to negotiate or pay more for their time.
Retailers that want to accelerate their opportunity to thrive during recovery must develop deeper and more profitable relationships with their consumers. A combination of the right loyalty strategy, loyalty platform, and loyalty communications plan will serve as a powerful anchor that retailers can use to drive lasting consumer loyalty profitability. As you get your 2022 growth plan underway, think about the best tactics to execute that will actually get you there.