What brings customers back?
At a conceptual level, it's easy to understand: You offer something great, people buy it, and they want similar products and experiences again. Are you in a position where loyal customers make up a significant portion of your sales?
If you're not, it isn't necessarily because clients don't want your products again, it could very well be because there are comparable experiences elsewhere and you aren't offering enough of a reason for people to return.
What do your customers get aside from a great product or service? What is the totality of the purchase? You should know by now that the customer experience doesn't end when the client leaves your store. Whether it's ecommerce or offline, physical sales, consumers expect an experience that transcends the purchase.
What can you offer them that takes it to the next level? What makes your buying experience better than the competition's?
Loyalty & Rewards as a Service
You can try to implement a rewards system yourself, but as with many other aspects of a modern business, you can save time, money, and effort by outsourcing your solutions. You know you are quite capable of ordering punch cards or creating and keeping tabs on promotions in excel spreadsheets but honestly, wouldn't you rather be running and expanding your business?
Plus, what about when you want to compare the ROI of different campaigns? How does your manually-created system deal with the scaling of your operations? Can you offer an omni-channel experience that persists across your website, display advertisements, and in-store operations?
Maintain Focus, Save Time & Money.
It's more cost-effective to leave these types of complexity, integrations, and their development to an expert service. Many rewards and loyalty services offer features that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to create, implement, and maintain like: mobile apps, cross-channel responsive sites, or online signup, profiles, and redemption.
When you outsource your retail rewards solution, you are not giving up control. Quite the contrary, you are gaining a stream-lined, complete workflow that has many levels of customization and control that you may not have had access to in you implement a DIY solution.
Here are 8 excellent loyalty and rewards solutions for your online, offline, or multi-channel retail operation.
1. Loyalty Gator
Loyalty Gator offers a variety of solutions for businesses that can be used with or without loyalty cards. Options available include action-based programs, points systems, buy x get one free programs, tiered programs and re-loadable cards. Loyalty Gator also tracks consumer activity and provides statistics and analytics.
- Improved customer retention - Loyalty Gator's programs will entice customers to continue shopping in order to earn rewards.
- No long-term commitment required - Loyalty Gator offers month-to-month billing and full ownership of all program data.
- Access to useful information - Loyalty Gator tracks customer activity both in store and online to provide valuable insights.
Loyalty Gator's programs can be integrated with most business's existing applications, websites and POS systems. If your business was using another loyalty program previously, you can typically export your customer data directly into Loyalty Gator's database, as long as you are the legal owner of the data.
Once the program is active, customers can sign up for membership either in store or via your website. For more information about getting started with Loyalty Gator or integrating the program with your existing systems, contact loyalty gator to schedule a demo or begin a 30-day free trial.
LoyalBlocks is an application-based program designed specifically for brick-and-mortar retailers. The application greets customers as they walk into the store and allows them to easily redeem promotions and rewards in-store. The application also keeps track of customer activity so that you can evaluate the program's results.
- Enhanced shopping experience for customers - LoyalBlocks recognizes when members enter your store and automatically welcomes them.
- Branded mobile loyalty application - Businesses can develop a customized, branded application complete with their own graphics and logo.
- Increased social media engagement - LoyalBlocks app encourages customers to connect and build relationships with brands on social media.
After you sign up for LoyalBlocks, you can customize the application with your own colors, graphics and logos to make it fit with your business. Once you have completed the application design, you can use LoyalBlocks' web-based dashboard to customize and control all aspects of your loyalty program, from the creation of digital "punch cards" to the structure of your analytics module.
To help potential clients understand the way the program works, LoyalBlocks offers three tutorial videos that thoroughly explain the dashboard, the program's digital punch cards and the analytics information the program generates.
Belly is a comprehensive digital loyalty program designed for brick-and-mortar retail businesses. This program offers a mobile loyalty application for customers, facilitates social media engagement, provides tools for online reputation management and collects valuable information about customer interactions occurring both online and offline.
- No more paper punch cards - Belly's loyalty program allows you to track relevant customer activity and issues rewards online.
- Automatic social media exposure - When a customer checks into your store, their activity is automatically posted to social media.
- Access to useful data - Belly provides data about customer interactions so you can evaluate program success and improve marketing.
To use Belly, you must first set up a loyalty program for your business with the help of Belly's support team. Your customers can then download Belly's free application and join your brand's loyalty program. The application will track the points they earn and deliver any rewards they receive.
On your end, you will be able to make changes to your loyalty program, manage customer profiles, view important consumer data and much more. Belly also offers constant client support in the form of a Merchant Success Manager assigned to your business. Watch an informational video about Belly on the company's website.
500friends is an omni-channel loyalty program designed to work for businesses with brick-and-mortar stores, online stores or both. The program integrates easily with social media platforms, is fully customizable and allows you to collect and analyze valuable information about online and in-store customer activity.
- Customized rewards system - 500friends allows you to establish counted activities, rewards and redemption rules that work for you.
- Flexible earning and rewards - Customers can earn and redeem rewards both in stores and online.
- Integrated online and offline data - 500friends integrates data collected from in-store and online interactions for simplified analysis.
500friends integrates easily with most e-commerce platforms, marketing platforms and email service providers, so you can use it with your existing systems.
After you sign up with 500friends, the staff will guide you through every phase of the integration process, beginning with the development of strategies and ending with the launch and optimization of your branded program. If you are interested in 500friends but you are not yet ready to make a commitment, a free demo of this program is available upon request.
5. S Loyalty
S Loyalty offers an easy-to-use loyalty program designed specifically for online retailers. This program can be used to reward customers who make online purchases, refer customers, like the retailer's Facebook page and complete other tasks designated by the retailer. S Loyalty can be downloaded and installed in a matter of minutes.
- Customizable reward program - S Loyalty's program allows you to establish your own rules for earning and redeeming points.
- Integrates with social media - Customers can earn points by liking your page, sharing your content and suggesting your page to friends.
- Integrates with popular referral apps - Fan Builder and Refer-A-Friend are both built into the program, so no additional download is required.
You can install the S Loyalty app directly from the company's official webpage. S Loyalty offers an easy set-up wizard to help you get started with the program, and you can have it up and running the same day. Using this wizard, you can import past orders to reward customers for previous purchases, manage all member accounts and establish earning and redemption rules for your program.
If you aren't ready to make a long-term commitment to S Loyalty, a 14-day free trial is available.
LoyaltyLion offers an easy-to-use application that rewards customers for visits to your website, signing up for newsletters, purchases, referrals and more. The program can be customized for brand consistency and several different tiers of service are available to suit your business's needs. LoyaltyLion is geared primarily toward online retailers.
- Customizable loyalty program - With LoyaltyLion, you can customize your program's appearance and choose a unique name.
- Integrates with social media - Customers can be rewarded for social media activity, such as likes and shares.
- Provides valuable insight - LoyaltyLion stores useful data that you can use to analyze customer activity and make improvements.
The procedure you must use to launch LoyaltyLion depends on your current e-commerce platform. If your online store utilizes either Shopify or SEOShop, you can get started with LoyaltyLion in less than 15 minutes using LoyaltyLion's simple start-up wizard.
If your store uses another platform, simply fill out a contact form and the staff at LoyaltyLion will guide you through the integration process. An API and supporting documentation are also available if you would like to install the program on your own.
7. Sweet Tooth
Sweet Tooth offers a program that allows online retailers to design a points-based loyalty system for their customers. With this program, you can reward your customers for their purchases, as well as various activities on social media. The structure of the program is always points-based, but the target activities and rewards are customizable.
- Works well with social media - Sweet Tooth integrates with social media so you can reward customers for sharing and likes.
- Integrates seamlessly with ecommerce platforms - After installing this program, you can access all of its features through your ecommerce platform.
- Compatible with multiple platforms - Sweet Tooth is compatible with several platforms and more will be available in the future.
Sweet Tooth integrates easily with both OroCRM and Magento, so setting up the program is quick and simple if you use either of these platforms. The company is also offering a beta version of the program that works with Shopify. Future versions of the program are expected to be compatible with Bigcommerce, Woo Commerce and Miva Merchant.
For clients who want to install the program on their own, Sweet Tooth offers a developer API and supporting documentation. Once your program is launched, you can use Sweet Tooth's simple interface to establish your own conditions for earning points and rewards.
SparkBase offers a full-service loyalty program designed to work across multiple marketing channels and cover every possible customer interaction, from in-store purchases to social media sharing. The program also comes with gift card and reward processing solutions that are ideal for smaller businesses.
- Omni-channel loyalty program - SparkBase's program can be used via email, at point-of-sale, online and on mobile devices.
- Flexible program choices - With this program, you have access to a variety of earning methods and reward options.
- Easy integration with existing systems - SparkBase can be integrated with virtually any existing systems and programs.
SparkBase partners with a number of marketing companies, CRMs and POS systems in order to facilitate quick, painless software integration for clients. Visit SparkBase's website for a comprehensive list of the company's technology partners.
After you have launched your program with SparkBase, you can decide how it will operate. SparkBase offers a variety of program structure, including points-based rewards, tiers and punch cards. You can also choose the type of rewards you would like to offer. For a full list of program types, visit this page.
Looking for More Retail Resources?
What do you do to ensure customer loyalty? Is it a simple solution or is it taking way too much effort? Let the community know in the comments section below!
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