Generating brand loyalty isn't a new concept: several companies, from grocery stores to high-end retailers, have a form of loyalty program to reinforce this practice.
IRI Consumer Connect reported that 74% of consumers would choose a store based on a strong loyalty or discount program. Hawk Incentives Research backed up these findings by noting that 79% of consumers look for loyalty and reward program deals before making a purchase.
But what is a loyalty program? Although every business will have its unique take, the defining principle remains the same: it's a marketing system that rewards purchasing behavior, thus reinforcing brand loyalty. This program could offer things like coupons, store credit, prizes, deep discounts, or any number of benefits that would entice a customer to keep coming back.
Types of Loyalty Programs
Scannable membership cards are popular among grocery store chains and are a great alternative to the punch card. Loyalty cards are popular since the more you use them, the more you get in return compared to non-members. It also has the bonus of allowing you to collect customer data, like email addresses and phone numbers, that you can use in the future to send out news and updates. The only downside is that it requires your customer to keep a copy of it on them at all times, which might not be convenient for them.
Fee-based loyalty programs are popular among companies that encourage frequent purchases and high commitment, such as Costco or Walmart. If customers want immediate rewards without having to accrue them, they can pay a fee—monthly or yearly—to gain access to special discounts and other benefits that may not be available to other customers. A bonus of this sort of program is that it attracts high-volume customers and the membership costs can offset the fees. However, it can be difficult to attract new customers who aren’t as engaged with your brand, there is no data to analyze potential growth, and the cost of membership might be a barrier.
Our new eCorner Market platform, which is designed specifically for small to mid-sized independent grocers, supports loyalty programs by using that customer data to help grow your business. Using the data collected from digital marketing campaigns, we create look alike audiences to attract new customers, send special offers to existing customers, and geofence your competitors to encourage their customers to check out your offerings.
Interested in creating your own loyalty program? Check out 121 Marketing Services Group, our new Rogers, MN printing and fulfillment location to learn about what options are available and get started.