5 Loyalty Trends of 2018
Delivering an exceptional customer loyalty program can make all the difference in the world. With new ways to offer choice, gain data and resonate with your customers, businesses can ensure that their brand remains strong. Here are 5 loyalty trends of 2018.
- Omni-channel & Multichannel
When it comes to loyalty programs, the rule of thumb — much like everything else — is: the more choice the better. Traditionally, loyalty programs were restricted to one single channel and one single card. Users were rewarded for spending, and that was it. Now, however, businesses are offering customers omni-channel or multichannel programs, where multiple brand-related behaviours are rewarded–such as social media sharing or email responses–and the opportunity for reward/engagement is available across several channels, such as online, in a physical store, or by phone. The results? More personalized communications and better customer experiences. A study from 2017 shows that “omni-channel customers log 23 percent more repeat shopping trips to retailers’ stores and are more likely to recommend the brand to family and friends than those who use a single channel.”
- Personalization = Customer Satisfaction
Consumers are willing to share their data to get a personalized experience. Using data gained from a multi-channel loyalty program, a company can make personalized and customized promotions and sell relevant products to their consumers. In a 2016 loyalty survey, 79 percent of customers indicated that they are “very satisfied with loyalty programs with high personalization.” Loyalty programs that “make customers feel special and recognized” had nearly 3x more satisfied members.
- Social Responsibility Matters
81% of millennials expect companies not just to focus on making a profit, but also to be active members of their communities. If your company is looking to maintain customer loyalty and satisfy customer expectations, you need to focus on corporate social responsibility initiatives. Consumers are more likely to support companies and brands that have altruistic motives or intentions, with almost 66% of consumers willing to pay extra for products and services that come from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
- Premium Loyalty Programs
People want premium benefits programs, like Amazon Prime, and are willing to pay for it. 62% of respondents said they’d “consider joining a fee-based rewards program if their favorite retailer offered one”. The figure is even higher among millennials, with 75 percent of 18-24-year-olds and 77% of 25-34-year-olds saying they’d consider joining a fee-based rewards program. Nearly half (47%) said rewards in fee-based programs are better than rewards in free programs.
- Get Emotional
According to research from Forrester, emotion is one of the strongest drivers of loyalty. Building an emotional connection with your most frequent shoppers is a key to long-term success. Emotionally loyal customers are willing to spend more with the brand, even if meaningful and available alternatives are presented. Consumers with strong emotional connections to retailers will visit their stores 32% more often and spend 46% more money than those without emotional bonds.
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