Building customer loyalty is a proven way of facilitating sustainable company growth. By developing strong connections with customers, you not only increase the chances of return business, but your business also benefits from invaluable word-of-mouth as a marketing channel.
When people love your product and any additional services you provide, they’ll likely share their experiences with friends, family and the general public through customer feedback and reviews.
A Shopify loyalty program is one of the most reliable ways of forging these connections. Read on to learn more about what to do, and what to avoid, when developing and implementing your own loyalty schemes.
Having an Overly Complex Enrolment Process or Program
Research has found that nearly a third of Gen Z consumers avoid loyalty programs because of the overly complicated joining process. So, avoid having this barrier to enrolment with your program. It’s also important that the loyalty scheme itself is sufficiently simple. If it’s too complex for people to understand, they simply won’t use it.
Making it Unnecessarily Difficult to Earn Rewards
The entire point of an ecommerce loyalty program, from the customer’s perspective, is to gain rewards. This is the impetus for them to spend more in your store and to develop loyalty to your brand. So, if they’re going to need to make hundreds of purchases before getting any rewards, they’ll be unlikely to participate. Make the program’s payouts highly achievable, and you’ll garner more interest in it.
Crossing Personal Boundaries
While personalisation strategies can often be appealing, overusing them can come across as creepy and make people uncomfortable. This is a particularly salient point in an era of regular data breaches amongst major corporations. Finding the right balance requires a judgement call, but on the whole it’s safer to err on the side of caution.
For example, aggressive use of retargeting ads can be off-putting to consumers. Conversely, using data about customers’ past behaviour on your store to make helpful suggestions provides useful value.
Identify the Factors that Build Brand Loyalty
The first step in developing customer loyalty is understanding exactly what factors drive this growth. This may require doing some market research, but on the whole consumers are responsive to convenience, value, and trustworthiness.
Remove Barriers to Loyalty
Another strategy, which may seem obvious but is often overlooked, is eliminating any impediments to loyalty. To that end, make sure it doesn’t take too long for a customer to receive a reward. Additionally, ensure that the customer loyalty rewards you provide are relevant and useful. In short, design your ecommerce loyalty program to be convenient and truly beneficial.
Provide Your Loyalty Program with a Brand Identity
To make your loyalty program memorable and engaging, brand it the same way you would a new campaign or product. Give it a fitting name that highlights its uniqueness and value. By matching the program’s look and feel with your company’s brand, your entire operation comes across as cohesive and therefore attractive.
Pick an Effective Time to Invite Customers
Whether you should invite customers into the ecommerce loyalty program before, during, or after a purchase depends on your situation. Doing so before a purchase can be an effective marketing technique. Invitations offered during a purchase have been found to decrease shopping cart abandonment. And sending post-purchase invitations provides customers with a memorable extra, which can boost retention.
Prominently Display the Loyalty Program’s Benefits
Your Shopify loyalty program could offer astounding value, but if your customers are unaware of its benefits, they won’t use it. Make sure you foreground the advantages of participation to your visitors with a very concise program description. Also provide a link to a dedicated page which fully explains the scheme in case customers want to learn more.
Build Partnerships with Other Companies
Develop an awareness of other companies in your niche that provide complementary products to yours. It’s possible to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with these businesses through shared loyalty schemes. Members of these programs will then have an added incentive to shop at both stores, increasing sales and building loyalty for each organisation.
Offer Gift Cards
Providing gift cards as part of your reward program is a great way to both build loyalty and attract new business. Giving these to your Shopify loyalty program members on their birthday is a very impactful way of increasing customer satisfaction. Offering them as optional rewards, for members to give to others, will also drive new customers to your store.
Provide Prizes as Amelioration for Complaints
If a customer complains, a great way of going the extra mile is to provide a discount or offer. When combined with a sincere and prompt apology, this can really instil brand loyalty.
Offer Discounts when Products are Left in the Cart
Abandoned shopping carts can be an opportunity to complete a sale while also building loyalty. Use the data collected through enrolment to the loyalty program to send a small e-gift card relating to the abandoned products. Not only will this increase the chances of making a sale, but your customer will feel appreciative for the bargain.
Offer Instant Reward Redemption within Checkout
Allow your members to conveniently redeem their customer loyalty rewards with one click at checkout. This streamlined process is exactly the kind of thing that customers love, and so are more likely to return to.
Use Psychological Triggers to Encourage Active Participation
Instil a sense of urgency or scarcity to encourage consumers to claim their customer loyalty rewards. You can do this through methods such as sending a countdown timer via email. This type of trigger helps to increase engagement with your program, which in turn can facilitate improved brand loyalty.
Introduce a Referral Program
You can set up a referral program to broaden your customer base while deepening engagement with existing customers. If you offer a way for current customers to benefit from bringing in new ones, you’re bound to experience increased loyalty.
Send Customers Event-Triggered Emails
Increase engagement with your ecommerce loyalty program by sending emails when certain events occur. For example, when a customer has earned a specific number of Shopify loyalty points. This will keep your program, and your store, fresh in their minds.
Offer VIP Early Access to Loyalty Program Members
You can provide loyalty program subscribers with VIP early access to new products and services. This helps to increase engagement and loyalty by instilling a sense of exclusivity that people love.
Provide Customer Loyalty Rewards Through a Multi-Tier System
Establish a multi-tier system of customer loyalty rewards, with each higher tier providing better gifts. This is a great way to increase loyalty while generating more sales. Simply put, the more the customer spends, the better the rewards they receive.
As can be seen, there are numerous ways to build an impactful Shopify loyalty program. To learn more, get in touch with a customer retention strategy specialist at Vsourz.