Loyalty programs have been around for a long time, but the internet and digital technologies have led to new and innovative ways to reward and encourage customer loyalty. Here are some trends and case studies that illustrate how businesses are adapting to changing consumer expectations:
Retailing has made it possible for brands to offer personalized experiences to customers no matter where they are shopping. Connected memberships follow customers as they move from one channel to another, whether online, in-store, or through an app. As a result, brands can offer tailored rewards and recognize loyal customers more easily.
Case study: Amazon's Prime program is one of the most successful loyalty programs in the world. It offers benefits like free shipping, access to streaming services, and discounts on select items. The program has over 200 million members globally and is a key driver of Amazon's growth.
Another trend is to create communities of like-minded customers to help them get the most out of their purchases. Brands can offer access to expert resources and related services and encourage customers to share feedback and connect with others who are passionate about the same products or services.
Case study: Sephora's Beauty Insider program is a great example of a brand creating a community around its products. Members can access exclusive rewards, personalized beauty advice, and free classes. The program has over 25 million members and has helped to solidify Sephora's position as a leader in the beauty industry.
Finally, brands reward loyalty program members for a range of actions beyond making a purchase. This includes engaging with the brand on social media, referring friends, or leaving reviews. By doing so, brands can encourage ongoing engagement and advocacy at every touchpoint.
Case study: Starbucks Rewards is a well-known loyalty program that rewards customers for purchases, but it also offers opportunities to earn stars by doing things like participating in challenges or making purchases with a branded Visa card. The program has over 23 million members and has helped to drive sales and loyalty for the popular coffee chain.
In terms of trust, consumers expect businesses to contribute positively and are more likely to trust businesses over governments. Brands that consider this can build stronger customer relationships and contribute to social change.
Relevant consumer stats about loyalty: