8.31.2022

How to Create a Successful Loyalty Program for Your Business

Written by Conal Yarwood-Frost

pexels lisa fotios 1833399

We’ve all come to accept the importance of brand loyalty. People want to shop at stores that offer fair prices and make them feel valued, and merchants want to grow their base of repeat customers. Aligning these goals creates a mutually beneficial situation for both parties. 

A loyalty program is a simple yet effective way to build a relationship between customers and a business. In this blog, we’ll be exploring loyalty programs and how you can implement them successfully in your own business. 

What is a loyalty program?

A loyalty program rewards customers who frequently make purchases from a company. A loyalty platform may give customers free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advance access to product releases. Ultimately, loyalty programs must provide enough incentives to prevent consumers from choosing to shop elsewhere.

Almost any type of retail or hospitality business can create customer loyalty programs. Many larger companies now offer dedicated apps where customers can collect tokens and make orders. 

Depending on the business, loyalty rewards can take many different forms. For retail businesses like clothing stores and vape shops, loyal customers may be rewarded with discounts on choice items. Hospitality businesses like cafes and restaurants may offer free coffees or appetizers. 

What results do loyalty programs produce? 

Consumers are not the only ones who benefit from customer loyalty programs. While businesses must pay for the perks they offer, they can earn many times more thanks to the increased business. 

Increase revenue and decreased costs

Vision Critical also reports that retaining only 5% of customers through loyalty platforms can increase revenue by 25% to 95%. Moreover, data shows that repeat customers spend more over time. Compared to the value of their first few purchases, these customers spend 67% more after 31 months[1]. It also costs businesses five times more to attract new customers than retain existing customers, so catering to your current base will reduce expenses[2].

Boost customer sentiment 

A HelloWorld survey found that 61% of consumers see a surprise offer or gift as the most important way a brand could interact with them. Better yet, 79% of consumers will not make a purchase unless companies can show that they understand and care about the shopper[3]. Implementing a loyalty program will check off both these boxes.

How to create a loyalty program

Thanks to advances in modern electronic point of sales (EPOS or POS) technology, building a loyalty program couldn’t be easier. With POS systems like the Epos Now Complete Solution, you can automate the entire process using first and third-party apps.

LoyaltyDog

Designed with online and offline businesses in mind, LoyaltyDog allows you to quickly set up a loyalty program that works seamlessly between your online and brick and mortar stores. It even integrates with other apps like Shopify so your customers can enjoy the benefits no matter where they shop. 

Loyalty

Epos Now system can also use the first-party integration Loyalty. Built around the Epos Now ecosystem, Loyalty completely automates the building and running of your loyalty program. With a few clicks, you add new customers, set rewards, and encourage brand loyalty. 

Gain all the advantages of an EPOS system with detailed, flexible, downloadable reports, and so much more:

  • Manage and update products quickly with easy-to-use software
  • Expand your business into multiple channels and integrate with a variety of online platforms
  • Manage multiple locations and salespoints with multi-site management
  • Keep queues short with streamlined, modifiable sales processes
  • Choose a setup that suits you with software and hardware options

Software      Hardware

Complete Solution Hero Right Hospitality Pound v4

Starting from scratch 

If you’d rather build your loyalty program from scratch, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you along the way. 

Identify your customers’ needs

Your business offers something unique, so your reward program should as well. You should be looking into how to create a loyalty program that matches your customers’ goals. 

Think about what draws in shoppers or diners. What do they want most? Consumers should not only save money, but they should feel like they are receiving something that few other people can get.

Determine which rewards structure to use

As you look at how to create a customer loyalty scheme, you will likely choose between the following options. 

  1. A point system

Most businesses use this type of loyalty program. It is adaptable, easily understood, and can match many business models. 

Customers earn points, which translates into some type of reward. Whether it’s a discount, a free item, or special customer treatment, customers work toward a certain amount of points to redeem their reward.

However, many companies make the mistake of making the relationship between points and tangible rewards too complex and confusing. A consumer needs to understand how many points they need to redeem a reward. If you opt for a points-based loyalty program, keep the conversions simple and intuitive.

Although a points system is perhaps the most common form of loyalty programme, it works best for businesses that encourage frequent, short-term purchases. 

Upfront fees for special benefits

Loyalty programs are meant to break down barriers between customers and your business, so wouldn’t charging an upfront fee be counterintuitive? 

In some circumstances, a one-time or annual fee that lets customers bypass common purchase barriers is actually quite beneficial for both the business and customer. By identifying the factors that may cause customers to leave you can customize a fee-based loyalty platform to address those specific obstacles.

Businesses implement programs that have different tiers for members. For example, instead of treating everyone as equal, customers are ranked as Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The business will charge customers different prices for each level with each offering better discounts and earlier access to promotions.

This tier can be very effective for businesses as it encourages their members to aspire to higher tiers of membership which in turn drives profit to the business. 

Get customers to sign up

Now that you built your loyalty program, you need customers to join and make use of the perks. Many consumers are skeptical about signing up for new platforms, so you need to incentivize them. 

One method to capture sign-ups is to provide a discount on their purchase in return for joining your loyalty program. This tactic works best at checkout when you can easily input the customer data into your POS.

Tips on making your scheme work

  • Target with relevant offers: Once a customer joins your loyalty program, you can send recurring and targeted deals
  • Keep rewards achievable: Customers should understand how to reach each goal, and points should not expire too quickly
  • Send offers sparingly: Marketing to your loyal customers is excellent, but make sure you do not spam your members. Typically, send more emails than SMS messages, and use push notifications for urgent offers to capitalize on the fear of missing out

Take your business to the next level

Loyalty programs work, but it takes more than only printing a loyalty card. A business must use its reward program to make customers feel valued. Even more, it needs to leverage data to ensure customers only receive relevant offers.

If you’re interested in building a loyalty program with Epos Now, get in touch with our expert team below.

By submitting your details you agree to our terms and conditions & privacy policy.
Epos Now Phone Call us now