These days, most consumers are well ahead of marketers when it comes to using smartphones to enhance the retail experience. That is why many experts advocate the use of mobile to run loyalty programs in order to retain as well as gain customers. However, running a successful mobile loyalty program is not a simple task: it's not enough for a business to simply shop around for a loyalty program and hope that it will fit in with existing strategies. Any loyalty program needs to be tailored specifically to fit the brand's image, as well as its consumers' requirements.
Here are some points to keep in mind while creating a mobile loyalty program:
1) Coupons work, so use them: According to a JiWire report, one big reason why customers use their smartphones in brick-and-mortar stores is to find deals and coupons that they can use in-store. 56.2% of the female respondents and 41.8% of the male respondents said that they use their smartphones to find deals and coupons to use in-store. This is a significant chunk of the consumer base and you should make sure to offer the right kind of deals to all your smartphone-wielding walk-in customers. Also, make sure your customers are able to store their coupons on their smartphones for later use. As the infographic below shows, people love coupons, but most tend to forget them while shopping. If you enable your customers to store loyalty coupons on their mobile devices, they will love you for it.
2) Use customer insight analytics: One of the key factors in deciding the type of loyalty program you and your customers will benefit from is the accumulation and analysis of customer behavior data. You can do this by using location-based services such as Foursquare, or social networks such as Facebook. You could also ask your customers to scan special QR code or NFC hang tags on their favorite or frequently purchased item. By using the right kind of analytics support on such hang tags or labels, you can gather useful customer data and then draw insights from it in order to tailor your program to fit your customers' requirements.
3) Create a mobile-friendly landing page: If your customers want to opt in to your loyalty program, ensure that they have some place mobile-friendly to go. This becomes the touch-point that connects your customers' offline and online experiences of your brand, so you need to make it as friction-free as possible. Create a mobile-friendly landing page, and avoid an information overload. Also, when asking customers to fill forms, ensure that they need to fill in as little information as possible. Most importantly, let them know that you won't in any way misuse the information they share with you.
4) Communicate regularly with your customers: Imagine your customer's frustration when she walks into a store and tries to use one of your mobile coupons only to find that it has expired or that your policy changes makes it impossible for the coupon to be used on its own. Always make sure that your customers know what the coupon can be used for, when it expires and how they can make the most of it. If you don't pay attention to communication, you're likely to turn your loyal customers into advocates against your brand, so be careful.
5) Offer valued customers something special: it's a good idea to have some offers exclusively for your most loyal customers or for customers who spend the most. If you pay special attention to them, you will earn their loyalty for a long time. Make them feel good by offering exclusive deals, free gifts or great discounts on their birthdays and anniversaries and invite them to all your exclusive previews and sales.
Mobile Loyalty Program