Why brands should utilize customer loyalty programs in retail to incentivize the shopping experience

Measuring the efficacy of customer loyalty programs in retail can also help brands discover their most valuable micro-influencers. These individuals go beyond merely using the product, becoming ambassadors for it. While they are a valuable source for future leads, many brands are hesitant to use them due to difficulty in establishing their marketing ROI. Loyalty programs, however, offer brands the opportunity to measure the indirect results of such partnerships.

Smaller influencers build genuine connections for brands. As a result, much of their impact is noticed not in immediate sales, but instead in future market share growth. Brand strategies aimed specifically at these individuals are also low-cost and easily scalable. While the ROI of micro-influencer marketing may not always be clear, customer loyalty programs in retail can provide transparency.

The Indirect Results of Micro-Influencer Marketing

Micro-influencers may not have major online followings, but they will have clout in their loyal social circles. Brands can provide product deals, exclusive access, or training to compensate these influencers for their patronage. This cost-effective form of marketing creates long-tail results which establish:

  • Recommendations: The most obvious benefit to micro-influencers is the pull they have within their social circles, as recommendations are often the main drivers in consumer purchase decisions. Brands can access the social circles of micro-influencers and gain sales through referrals.
  • Legacy clients: Some become so enamored with a brand that purchasing its products becomes a necessity. These individuals instill positive brand affinity in younger generations, which establishes a future consumer base.
  • Content production: Every piece of branded content a consumer produces is one less for the brand to create. Micro-influencers are active on social media and provide a regular source of ongoing advertising material for little investment.
  • Demographic modeling: Loyal customers provide an ideal, at-a-glance look at the brand’s target market. This data can help a brand adjust their campaigns based on the desires of ideal consumers, and in turn increase sales.

The long-term results of micro-influencer marketing are often difficult to measure. However, incentivized strategies can better help brands discover and track the movements of micro-influencers within their consumer base.

Using Customer Loyalty Programs in Retail to Track Micro-Influencers

why brands should leverage customer loyalty programs in retail Micro-influencers are active in the digital space. Those that CPG brands tend to target are typically savvy shoppers, as about 63% of shopping app users are looking for deals and discounts. Apps like Shopkick can provide a method for both reaching and understanding these shoppers through the data they agree to share in exchange for incentives. Some applications of this data provide insight into:

  • Sentiment analysis: This growing category of analysis is closely tied to social media and can help brands gain insight into their customer relationship marketing ROI. By using programs to scan text-based posts, brands can categorize consumers’ opinions into positive, neutral, and negative categories and adjust rewards programs accordingly.
  • Incremental sales lift: It’s easy for brands to track how the use of a shopping app impacts sales as it follows consumers throughout the purchase journey. This straightforward metric offers a precise measure of overall marketing ROI.
  • Dwell time: Brands and retailers can better track the amount of time they have to reach a consumer based on location data. This data can also be used to monitor how long it takes a consumer to buy a product after discovery, allowing brands to retarget their marketing as necessary.
  • Conversion ratios: Brands can track eCommerce results by comparing their existing traffic to overall sales. This metric allows brands to predict how similar marketing efforts will perform in the future.  

Customer loyalty programs in retail don’t just improve sales; they provide valuable insight that brands can use to increase profits and market share.

Brands can direct their micro-influencers to an app like Shopkick to gain a better understanding of their purchase path behaviors both in the shopping aisle and online. Consumers are incentivized to use the app through rewards (kicks), which can be earned or product interaction along the path to purchase. By offering an incentive without requiring purchase, brands can gain useful consumer insight and improve sales. Additionally, brands can collect the metrics they need to justify ad spend on micro-influencers and improve overall campaigns.

Customer loyalty programs in retail don’t just improve sales; they provide valuable insight that brands can use to increase profits and market share. Mobile apps allow brands to gain this information in real time, which will enable them to pivot in the event of a poor performing campaign. They also eliminate brand reliance on discounts to please customers, instead offering collectible points that keep consumers coming back. Rewards programs are a favorite among the hard to track micro-influencer segment, so they can be used to help brands better understand the indirect ROI that these individuals create.

Shopkick partners connect with consumers in the shopping aisle and use those engagements to drive future marketing campaigns. To see how our app can provide you with better marketing ROI insights, contact us.

Image courtesy of Thinglass

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