The Benefits of Customer Loyalty Programs for eCommerce Stores
Do you have a customer loyalty program? If not, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to build brand affinity, drive revenue and create a thriving community. We’ll delve into three key benefits of loyalty programs and share some practical tips for putting a loyalty marketing strategy into action.
Customer Loyalty Programs Drive More Revenue
The perfect way to demonstrate how customer loyalty programs maximize revenue over time is to take a closer look at the metric of lifetime value. Lifetime value, or LTV, is the average amount a customer will spend with your business over the duration of your relationship.
We’ll illustrate with a simple example. Let’s say you sell shaving kits. Every shaving kit retails for $20, and it costs you roughly $10 to acquire a new customer. If you win a one-time customer, you’re up $10. Great!
But let’s say you use a loyalty marketing strategy to get that same customer to buy a new shaving kit every six months. After five years, he’ll have purchased 10 shaving kits and spent $200 with you. Your acquisition cost hasn’t changed–it’s the same $10 you spent in the beginning. Your total profit, on the other hand, has gone up to $190. If you sold those same 10 shaving kits to brand new customers (who each cost $10 to acquire), your profit would only be $100.
This is a highly simplified example, of course, but when you put these numbers to work at scale, it’s easy to see how focusing on customer loyalty can bring long-lasting value for your bottom line. The best part is that the longer the customer relationship lasts, the greater the benefit to the business.
Loyal Shoppers Attract New Customers
Your best brand advocates aren’t the people on your payroll–they’re your loyal customers.
A study by Nielsen gauged consumer attitudes toward 19 different channels for receiving purchasing recommendations. The survey asked participants about various forms of advertising, word of mouth, emails and even text messaging.
Recommendations from friends and family were the number one most trusted source of information, with 84% of respondents citing them as trustworthy. People were four times more likely to buy something if it was recommended to them by a friend.
And people who are referred by a friend aren’t just more likely to buy; they also spend more. Customers that are acquired through referrals spend an average of 200% more than those who discover your brand through other channels.
Your fans want to share the love for your brand–but they also want to be rewarded for their efforts. 88% of Americans said they’d like to be rewarded with some sort of incentive for sharing a product recommendation via email or social media. Use your customer loyalty program to turn your most avid buyers into enthusiastic brand advocates.
Offer incentives for actions your loyal customers are already taking, like sharing your products on social media or sending friends your way via a referral link. Incentives might take the form of a percent discount on future purchases, points to use toward loyalty rewards, or even free gifts.
Loyalty Breeds Community
What do uber-successful brands like Dunkin Donuts, CrossFit and Harley Davidson have in common? On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but these powerhouses share one core commonality: a community of stark raving fans.
Dunkin Donuts offers great freebies like donuts and drinks to its more than 5 million DD Perks members. CrossFit holds wildly popular events like the CrossFit Games that bring together passionate athletes from all over the world. Harley Davidson customers love the brand so much they regularly get its logo tattooed on their bodies.
Profits may be what makes shareholders happy, but a loyal community is what differentiates legacy brands from the latest passing fad. One of the greatest benefits of loyalty programs is that they facilitate community; once you have a loyalty program in place, you have a solid foundation from which you can launch online communities, develop branded events, bolster early sales for new releases and even source inspiration for new products.
Best Practices for a Winning Customer Loyalty Program
Ready to get started nurturing and rewarding your loyal customers? Follow these tips to create a flawless loyalty experience.
Make it easy to join. Joining your loyalty program shouldn’t require the customer to jump through any hoops. Our preferred customer loyalty platform, Smile.io, makes it easy to create an onsite loyalty experience that’s customized to fit your business. You can use Smile.io to build loyalty program features like signup forms and points redemption portals that fit seamlessly with your brand–no developer required.
Set clear expectations and rewards. Once again, simplicity is the name of the game. Your loyalty program should be straightforward for customers to understand and enjoyable for them to use. Smile.io’s convenient admin panel makes it easy to manage every aspect of your rewards program. Specify rewards, create VIP tiers, email members and more with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Cultivate it. A loyalty program isn’t something you can set and forget. In fact, doing that would harm your brand more than help it. Use Smile.io to keep loyal customers engaged with exciting new reward offers, birthday surprises, and members-only perks.
Analyze it. Every aspect of your marketing should be analyzed and improved on a consistent basis, and that includes your loyalty program. Smile.io’s user-friendly analytics tools let you see how customers are engaging with the program and which initiatives your members respond to best, then take action on those insights.
Start Rewarding Your Loyal Customers
Whether you’re looking to build a loyalty marketing strategy from scratch or breathe new life into your existing program, Springbot and Smile.io can help. Smile.io is a part of Springbot’s full suite of eCommerce marketing tools so you can align your efforts on email, social media, advertising with your customer loyalty strategy.
Connect to your CRM to inform customers of their points balance, enticing them to redeem their rewards. Use loyalty program insights to create audience segments for greater marketing personalization, which further contributes to revenue. The possibilities are diverse and exciting, and it’s all easily managed from within your Springbot dashboard.
Get started by scheduling your free Springbot demo today.