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Retail: Take loyalty to the next level with an app

July 12th 2018

Retail has always been about returning customers. Today it’s time to step into the future and turn your loyalty programs into loyalty mobile apps.

Centuries ago merchants realized one simple truth. Returning customers rock! They spend more, they recommend your business and as times passes they are more unlikely to leave you. That is how loyalty programs came to life.

Actually, they’ve been around since the late 18th century. Some smart folks figured that they could give copper tokens to their customers which they could redeem for discounts on future visits. The principle of that hasn’t changed much in the last 300 years but today it’s more important than ever.

Restaurants, supermarkets, retailers, fitness clubs, salons, movie theatres and other similar businesses operate in a highly competitive environment. Thanks to social media our attention as consumers is everywhere thus it’s nowhere for long. Attracting new customers is harder than ever. It is vital for the survival of many companies yet keeping the ones they already have is even more important. If you had already paid a fortune to get them, you simply can’t afford to lose them.

We’ve come a long way from those first copper tokens and today we talk about loyalty mobile apps.

Why apps beat every other form of a loyalty program

They collect personalized data about your loyalty members. This enables you to send them relevant push notifications based on their preferences and location. You can capture their mobile behavior along with data from Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other Social Media that is relevant to your niche. Add Location to that data cocktail and there you have the perfect tool to understand what drives your clients. Knowing so much about them will allow you to deliver the right offers to make them come back and shop with you again.

Let’s talk about the offers

Starbucks encourages its customers to repeatedly use their app by giving them stars for every 1$ spent. The stars add up to Rewards that can be redeemed for free food and drinks. Simple and effective. It also gives Starbucks data about each customer’s individual behavior. They know when you are most likely to crave coffee, where you usually get it from and what kind is your favorite.

For example, if I use the app regularly Starbucks would know that I like to get a small ginger latte in the afternoon a few times a week. They could send me a push notification around that time with a personalized offer for a tall ginger latte and a cookie and conveniently show me the nearest location I can take advantage of it. It could be a clever way to make me spend more on what I like and keep earning loyalty points in the meantime. This is hypothetical but it is a possible functionality of any loyalty app.

Redeeming the awards has to be easy

In other words, you have to give clarity to your customers. The last thing you want is to make your most cherished loyal clients think that you’re not being fair to them. For that, any loyalty app needs an exceptional user interface. User experience is a top priority and it has to be planned carefully in advance to make sure it presents the app’s concept in the best possible way. A visual UI/UX designer can help with that. Another alternative is to use ready-made UI kits such as Appzio’s UI kit (which you can download here for free by the way and use as you like).

Your customers need to know when and where they can get the rewards from the loyalty points. The access to that information has to be very intuitive and easy for the user to find. You could even display push notifications when the user reaches a certain amount of points. Tell them they won a free cup of coffee and make their day brighter.

Gamification is also on the table

Instead of just giving out points for purchases you can engage your users and let them earn points through games. Gamification is a very strong incentive as humans, in general, are entitled to competing and winning. It also gives your users a goal that they aim to reach while having fun.

Unexpected rewards to the most engaged folks

Capriotti’s — a sandwich shop chain in the US has also realized the power of loyalty apps. Their application includes surprise offers which they give out to their most cherished customers right at the cash register in about 20% of their visits. There’s a psychological term for that — random intermittent reinforcement. It is one of the most powerful ways to encourage the repeating behavior.

Those are just some of the reasons why a loyalty app is great for your business and has the potential to increase your revenue in the long run. We can help you build your native loyalty app with our badass platform for a very reasonable price. Click on the ‘Estimate my app’ button in the top right corner and let’s get those rewards rolling.

POST BY Kristina Ivanova

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