There is a significant amount of competition in the retail industry, making it hard for some businesses to stand out from their competitors. In order for businesses to have long-term success, merchants need to come up with new and creative ways to entice their customers. One way to achieve this is by incorporating a customer loyalty program. Loyalty programs not only encourage consumers to return and shop at their store but also increase retail efforts. 


Let’s take a further look at the top 8 steps merchants should follow to have a successful loyalty program: 


1. Make Enrollment Easy
Merchants need to make sure that the process to enroll in their loyalty program is quick and easy. For example, companies like Safeway and Walgreens only need a customer’s phone number to enroll in their loyalty program. Some other ways experts suggest to make enrollment easy is by giving customers the option to enroll online, in-store, or on the go. 


2. Offer Free Enrollment
Offering a free loyalty program is key – customers do not want to have to spend additional money just to enroll in a loyalty program. After all, their main goal is to save money, not spend more. Free enrollment will entice more customers to join. 


3. Keep It Simple
Make sure your loyalty program isn’t complicated or hard to follow. Having too many rules or regulations can turn away customers from participating in the program, or from enrolling at all. 


4. Be Entertaining
Be sure that your loyalty program is fun, engaging, and stimulating so customers stay interested. Social media campaigns, free prizes, and doorbusters are great ways to retain customers and keep them involved with your program. 


5. Reward Customers for Their Spending
Merchants who offer points based on dollars spent instead of points based on each visit are typically more successful. Customers are more apt to spend more money by earning points for every dollar, and will also be more enticed to come back so they can continue building rewards. 


6. Track and Analyze Data
Merchants must also measure and evaluate their loyalty program in order to tell how well their program is doing. One method to track this is by measuring specific campaigns and noticing how many purchases and visits result from the loyalty program. Another way is to measure the frequency of visits for customers as a result of the program. 


7. Hand out Rewards by Preferences
Have an option for customers to choose which method of communication they would prefer to receive news from your business upon enrollment, such as e-mail or text message. It is important to respect customer preferences, otherwise they will opt-out of wanting to receive further communication from your business. 


8. Involve Employees
Make sure and involve employees on the basics and benefits of the loyalty program. If a merchant does not include their staff, their loyalty program will never succeed in the long run. 


Extending a loyalty program to customers is an effective and easy technique to get returning customers. With strategic planning, loyalty programs can boost a merchant’s overall business and offer a positive customer experience.