Most businesses, no matter the type of industry, rely heavily on maintaining a strong relationship with customers to keep their business successful. One way to accomplish this is by utilizing a customer loyalty program. Loyalty programs are usually already pre-built into upgraded POS software, which makes integrating them easy and seamless. Likewise, a loyalty program is a great feature that businesses should combine within their business strategy for additional marketing efforts and continued strong customer service.


Why should a retail store use a loyalty program? 


Establishes Brand Identity
Building a successful and strong identity that reflects a store’s values is crucial in the retail industry. Consumers are able to recognize a great brand from the rest of the pact, so providing a positive image coupled with exceptional customer service will make your loyalty program successful and distinguishable. 


"One of the best ways to know the customer, reach the customer and deliver the right shopping experience is through a loyalty program. Offering customers exclusive perks, relevant incentives and personalized rewards encourages them to identify themselves while shopping and allows the retailer to further tailor the experience,” spoke Ken Morris, principal at Boston Retail Partners. 


Boosts Repeat Business
Loyalty programs are also a great way to get shoppers to become repeat customers. By integrating a loyalty program and rewarding shoppers for the items they buy, consumers will want to continue spending money at a store that applies discounts and specials. In return, a retail store will gain more revenue and customers will return to save money for future purchases. 


"We've seen merchants are most successful when they offer point-per-dollar spent, not just point-per-visit. If customers earn a point for every dollar spent, then their customers are actually incentivized to spend more and visit more often, not just visit more. And isn't getting a customer to spend more money what a loyalty program is really all about?" said Mike Polner, director of product marketing for Five Stars. 


Customizes the Shopping Experience
By personalizing the service to shoppers who enter a store, retailers can effectively give consumers what they want. Be sure and make the loyalty program fun and engaging to keep shoppers interested. Some examples to entertain consumers include sweepstakes, social media campaigns, and a tier system that encourages additional purchases based on how much the consumer spends. 


Helps Gather Data and Analytics
It is imperative that retail stores measure and evaluate the success of their loyalty program to see how it is performing. One option is to measure certain campaigns to see how many visits and purchases your business is bringing in. Retail stores can also learn more about their customers by tracking the spending habits of shoppers. This will allow a business to learn more about their customer base and gather information based on demographics. Loyalty programs should also track which shoppers are referring their friends, the amount of referrals, and how much their friends are spending overall. 


Loyalty programs work, but must be executed correctly for them to remain successful. With strategic planning, loyalty programs will assist in establishing brand identity, help gain repeat business, customize the shopping experience, and gather important data and analytics for a retail store.