Loyalty programs are a great way to boost customer retention. Many companies develop in-house customer loyalty program apps in efforts to communicate directly with loyal customers and gather relevant data about their buying behavior. This helps to build an extensive database that works to personalize marketing efforts.
While an in-house customer loyalty app has its benefits, there are also a few drawbacks. Developing and maintaining this type of in-house app can get costly. Another challenge is customer reach. Most in-house apps cater to customers who are already loyal to a brand, but fail to acquire new customers. By partnering with a third-party loyalty app provider, brands can work to retain loyal customers and also reach a new audience of shoppers.
Why Shoppers Prefer Customer Loyalty Program Apps
Loyal customers are more likely to test a new offering, make a repeat purchase, and tell friends about a particular brand. While brands could choose to run loyalty programs through the mail or at the register, a mobile app provides greater transparency, branding opportunities, and customer control over the rewards process.
Consider a few reasons why customer loyalty program apps are growing in popularity:
- Trends in mobile technology: Seventy-three percent of consumers use multiple channels to shop. Today’s consumers operate in a seamless, connected environment that gives them access to digital information while on the go. Of the 96% of American adults who own a cell phone, 81% of these phones are smartphones with web capability, which consumers use to assist with purchases even while in the shopping aisle.
- Incentives: Mobile apps are the ideal platform for incentivizing the shopping experience. Not too many shoppers are likely to print out an offer and bring it into a store, but they are likely to present mobile coupons, gift cards, and offers in-store via their smartphones. Incentives offered through mobile apps make redemption even easier by cutting out “the middle man” of the email inbox.
- Easy adoption: The cost of full-scale app development can range anywhere from $50,000 to over $1 million. Alternately, there are a number of third-party mobile platforms brands can use through a partnership agreement.
Loyal customers are more likely to test a new offering, make a repeat purchase, and tell friends about a particular brand.
Partner With a Third-Party Customer Loyalty Program App
Shopkick is a third-party shopping app that gives partnering brands and retailers access to a loyal, highly engaged group of consumers who they may not have been able to reach with a proprietary app. Shopkick builds loyalty along the entire path to purchase by rewarding consumers for doing all of the things they normally do, like watching videos, walking into stores, engaging with products at-shelf, and making purchases. And unlike other shopping apps, Shopkick drives loyalty and sales using rewards rather than margin-busting coupons or discounts that dilute brand equity.
Shopkick presents a great opportunity for brands looking to take advantage of a third-party customer loyalty program app. For example, Barilla partnered with Shopkick when the brand wanted to raise awareness of its new type of pasta. Shopkick engaged consumers throughout their entire purchase journey, from planning and inspiration to in-store product engagement, and finally purchase conversion and sales. The first step was to introduce the product and build awareness before shoppers even went to the store. They were then rewarded for engaging with in-app content. By rewarding customers for engaging with the product, Shopkick increased the likelihood of future/repeat purchases by 68%.
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