Over the last 10 years, customer acquisition costs have skyrocketed. Building customer loyalty dramatically impacts your bottom line because the biggest costs come from acquiring a customer. Profits come when you get that same customer to repeatedly purchase from your business.
There are hundreds of ways for retailers to get creative and make your customers feel appreciated. For example, you can offer positive experiences by offering targeted groups of customers sneak previews of product lines, pre-purchase opportunities, after-hours access to local stores, or the assistance of a personal shopper.
Retail and loyalty thought leader Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, helps such recognizable brands as Foot Locker, Spotify and Amazon (among others) offer exclusive deals to build stronger customer loyalty among target demographics. One of his most important tips for success is to let customers take the lead.
“Customer managed relationship strategies allow shoppers to dictate what information they share with brands in exchange for special offers and tailored content,” he says. “This control of their own information builds trust. As customers share more information and see an increase in the benefits they receive over time, their loyalty to your company will grow.”
The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) says 80% of your sales will come from the top 20% of your customers. Accordingly, it will pay to reward these people with perks not offered to others.
Jitendra Gupta, CEO and founder of Punchh, a customer relationship management platform which develops mobile loyalty apps for businesses, says a quick surprise goes a long way.
“Everyone loves a good surprise and nobody rejects freebies,” he says. “Surprising a guest with a random freebie, upgrade or gift leaves a long-lasting positive feeling affiliated with your business.”
Brands often think that spending a lot of money outright to give free items and rare hefty discounts is the way to customers’ hearts. But the true key is continued rewards and engagement -- not a one-time offer.
Just be sure to focus on your customer. When guests feel like a loyalty program is all about the business and not them, they tune out your message and eventually disengage. Interact with them without being too pushy and make sure to give them all the tools to connect with your business. By reacting to feedback and making them feel heard and appreciated, you’ll go a long way towards seeing customers again and again.innovation, entrepreneurship, small business