Many businesses offer a loyalty program to incentivise their customers to continue shopping with their brand or in store time and time again, and the concept is still as relevant as ever.
High street examples include Tesco with their Clubcard scheme; Boots with their Advantage card scheme; Sainsbury´s Nectar card scheme or Gregg´s Rewards cards – these are just a handful of examples and they are extremely widely and successfully used.
Of course, there are whole teams in place at these corporations to run such programs, but you can still implement a successful program and encourage customer spend at your business too – you just have to go about it in the correct manner!
So, how do you encourage customer spend with a loyalty card system?
- Decipher your customers buying habits and set up an appropriate scheme
For example, if people often buy a lot of items in one transaction, a points scheme, such as those offered by supermarkets and hotel chains, would be the ideal solution. This allows customers to get rewarded based on the total value of purchases rather than limiting the deal to specific items – by broadening the appeal, customers will be more likely to buy in to it and continue to shop. Once the customer reaches a set amount of points, they can be given a set amount off their next purchase for example.
- Target lower value items that are purchased often
The most successful programs tend to target lower value items that customers buy regularly. Coffee works really well for example as people buy this often and if they know they will get a free cup for something they buy often anyway, they are likely to keep returning to your store. In comparison, if your store sells hoovers – a high value item that someone only buys once a year, a loyalty program may not be the best option.
- Train staff properly about the program
Your staff are key when it comes to successful implementation. Ensure they are properly trained not only to sell it in the first instance but also to answer and advise about customers and queries in an effective manner. There can be a lot to remember when finishing up a transaction at the till, but with proper training, it will soon be second nature for staff members to hand loyalty cards out when you first start your program.
- Affix posters in shop windows and on walls in store
People won´t use their loyalty cards if they don’t know you have a program, or if you don’t promote it. Everyone has so many cards and receipts in their purses and wallets its easy to forget what is what. So ensure your customers never forget what rewards shopping in your shops will bring them!
- Advertise elsewhere too
Do you have a website and social media channels? Be sure to let you know your customers know about the benefits of shopping with you regularly. Mention it in emails and on the back of till receipts too! The more you can advertise the programme the more likely customers are to continue spending with you.
- Ask for feedback from your customers
Once established, one of the most beneficial things you can do is get feedback from your customers. This will help to you fine tune your offering and in doing so, you will further encourage repeat spend from customers once you know you have the correct formula.