I am a big consumer of loyalty programs. I know they just want my data on purchasing habits, often so they can sell it to the next company, but I am sure to get what I can out of the deal as well. I’m also leery of the way in which they try to manipulate consumers into spending more than they otherwise normally would by offering “double” or “bonus” points, or a free gift.
There are two businesses I frequent often – One a national pharmacy chain who you may or may not have green walls, the other a “thrift shop” where sales are used for the good will of others. I have a Loyalty Program card which I use at both to earn “points,” which as they accumulate, provide me discounts, coupons, in-store credit and so on.
For one of the above, it seems like I’m ALWAYS earning a $5 coupon. Once I even asked, “Are you sure I earned another one already – I just got one?” For the other from above, I once asked, “What do all these points do? I never seem to earn anything.” One program has created a situation where I almost feel bad I’m getting so much out it, the other makes me question if I will ever get something out of it.
Many small businesses try to “play” the Loyalty Program game, often with punch or stamp cards or a general discount card. Others use apps or text clubs to accomplish the same thing. Whichever approach, be sure your loyalty program has a quality incentive. Your ultimate goal of these programs is for customers to spend a little more. Yet, if they don’t see any value in it, you’re spending a lot of time and effort on something which will yield no results for you.
You want your customers to feel like they’re getting a deal. Best case scenario is my example from above, where I felt like I was getting too good of a deal. You don’t need to give away the store, or discount your entire margin, but “reward” your loyal customers for being just that.
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