Brands and retailers understand the importance of retaining loyal customers, especially when it’s been proven that it’s more cost-effective to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones. And, many of these same companies have probably had the “loyalty and retention” discussion over and over again.
Companies don’t just want consumers whose loyalty is barely hanging by a thread, or those who are only loyal to the brand or retailer offering the lowest prices at the moment. It’s likely that customers who receive a discount once will expect a discount every time they shop, or will wait until one is available to make another purchase. Brands and retailers will discover that using a sustainable retention tool like a customer loyalty rewards app will encourage shoppers to choose their brand over a competitor and will foster a deeper relationship.
Brands want consumers who share common values, trust in the consumer-brand relationship, and, as a result, share with friends and family what great value they’re getting by remaining loyal; this is called brand affinity. When shoppers have an affinity for a brand—cultivated through a combination of educational content, positive user experiences, and perceived rewards—they are 131% more likely to buy the products they’re browsing.
Do Customer Loyalty Programs Boost Brand Affinity?
Rewarding a customer for their loyalty has the potential to boost brand affinity, but brands and retailers must be sure:
- Customers know the loyalty program exists. Eighty-two percent of shoppers consider themselves “loyal” to certain brands. Additionally, more than half of shoppers (52.3%) will sign up for a rewards program if it is simply offered. So once brands decide whether to create their own rewards program or partner with one with an already-loyal user base, they must consider how to promote this new program to shoppers.
- The program is designed properly. Rewards programs are nothing new, but consumers still love them—when they’re done right anyway! On average, shoppers belong to 14.8 loyalty program memberships but are only active in 6.7 of them. In a way, that’s good news because brands can learn from the mistakes of those faltering in attempts to engage with program members.
- The program is simple to use. A survey of loyalty program members revealed that 66% preferred mobile app access versus the use of a card or website. They want reward reminders and effortless redemption.
- The rewards are worthwhile. Shoppers want “generous” rewards like gift cards, free products, VIP access, and tangible dollar amounts off their purchases. They want these rewards to accrue quickly in this world of instant gratification. Consumers like the idea of watching a video or taking a survey in exchange for a reward, for instance. They also like surprises for simply being a customer.
- They succeed in other ways, too. It’s not enough to simply dangle the carrot over the shopper’s head and expect the rewards program to secure undying lifetime loyalty. It’s a continual process of fine-tuning and innovating. Customer service must remain consistently responsive. Consumers expect brands to find ways to eliminate their pain points and obstacles while purchasing—to make life easier.
Why You Should Partner With a Customer Loyalty Rewards App
Brands and retailers often design their own programs that are successful in rewarding already-loyal customers. But these same companies should consider the reasons to partner with a third-party app like Shopkick, which rewards users for their engagement with partnering brands and retailers, both in-store and online via their mobile devices.
- Gain incremental sales. Access a potential base of customers who are new to your brand and shift market-share away from competitors. Shoppers might use your custom-branded app only when they’re in-store, but they may log on to a third-party app like Shopkick routinely to check out what deals are available at a variety of stores.
- Protect profit margins. When you develop your own app, the onus is on you to determine and pay for the rewards you dole out. You may rely on coupons or discounts that force you to cut profit margins. When you partner with Shopkick, you can expand your reward offerings considerably to offer greater perceived value to your loyalty members and avoid slashing your own prices. Shopkick engages consumers and rewards loyalty without the use of discounts.
- Create product awareness. Educating consumers about products is an extremely effective method for boosting affinity. Using Shopkick is just one more way to extend your reach beyond your own app, websites, and social media. Shopkick built pre-shop consideration with holiday-inspired content and in-app recipes to boost product awareness for Kraft and engage consumers at home.
Customer loyalty rewards apps aren’t going away any time soon.
Customer loyalty rewards apps aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, they’re evolving to become more useful and indispensable in everyday life. More than a third of shoppers (35%) use shopping apps two to five times a week, while 28% of shopping app users check-in at least once a day. Partnering with a customer loyalty rewards app like Shopkick can help your brand reach new markets on a channel they’re already using, move shoppers from loyalty to affinity through educational content, and offer easy, generous rewards when consumers engage with your brand.
Ready to boost affinity with a customer loyalty rewards app shoppers already love? We’d love to have you onboard! Read more Shopkick partner success stories and contact us to learn how easy it is to develop an affinity-inspiring campaign on our platform.
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