What, you mean most people don’t carry around fifty punch-cards anymore?

Those were the days…a simple buy 10, get ONE free punch card, and that was pretty much all that companies did to reward their loyal (or caffeine-addicted) customers. As we well know, customers are always looking for that extra “something” that makes their experience better at one store/website than another. A loyalty app on customers’ smartphones is a convenient and effective way to give repeat-shoppers incentives to make sure they continue to frequent your business. There are many different ways of enticing consumers to step into your business, or to frequent it online. You can still stick with the punch-card idea, but without customers having to physically carry a little piece of paper (that does NO good when you leave it in your junk drawer at home), because almost nobody leaves home without his or her smartphone! 

Loyalty StagesThere are apps that act as digital punch-cards, automatically recording purchases and rewarding customers when they reach the goal to get something for free. This is great, and of course it works, but there are also new developments in apps that allow companies to provide repeat (or lots of repeats) customers with different incentives. One such innovation, which will be implemented sometime this year by Capriotti’s, a sandwich shop that has 106 stores in 16 states in the U.S., is a points-based system in which customers will earn points and increase their status per dollar spent. The rewards will become more valuable as status increases, and their most loyal customers will also receive “surprise-and-delight offers.” These “surprise” offers will allow Capriotti’s to award a free item at the register to the most highly valued customers on about 20% of their visits. This way, they are rewarding frequent customers and giving them incentives (freebies!) to return again and again. 

Apps can use social media data if they are tied to Facebook profiles or other social media accounts; allowing business’ to understand customers’ purchasing behavior, what they’re interests are, and how they can better market to them, all through the data collected on purchases made and rewards given. The most important thing about all these buyer-incentive programs is getting to know your customers so that you can try to make them loyal to your company. Apps developed by the company Punchh use data from social media profiles to even give rewards to people who recommend their friends visit a company’s Facebook page. Upon visiting the page, the friend who recommended it will receive a notification informing him or her of the reward. Incentives can also come in the form of games on smartphones (like Candy Crush, but with a purpose). These mobile loyalty apps engage customers even while they are not physically in the business or buying anything from it. 

Check out these apps for customer loyalty programs and ask The Agency which one could work best with your business.

Sources here, here & here