Do you like the idea of giving back? Yes, I'm talking about giving back to those customers that matter the most to your business. There are many ways to create loyal customers for your online business but one of the best ideas to achieve this is by creating a customer rewards program for your true blue customers.
With a well planned customer rewards program you'll build stronger relationships and earn customer loyalty, which will save you money in many different ways. A couple of examples include avoiding the excessive costs of new customer acquisition by retaining current customers and lowering marketing costs by learning more about your customer base and focusing in on the needs of a target audience.
There are many types of rewards programs. You may have heard about discounts or seasonal offers, which makes customers happy for only a short span of time. These are great for enticing customers to your store but a quality customer rewards or loyalty program will win over customers for the long-term.
Whether you are a local business or a small online business, you should start to utilize the potential that customer rewards programs have to offer. Just take a look at the numbers if you need more convincing according to statistics, the average household in the United States is a part of around 14 different customer rewards programs, offered by different businesses, companies or brands.
An Effective Marketing Tool
When you acquire a new customer to your online store, you want them to return to you over and over again. But how can you be sure they will come back? By launching customer rewards program, you'll be able to offer your first-time customers some kind of bonus to achieve customer-retention, so that you get repeat visits from them, which will increase your profits.
In today's highly competitive online marketplace, it's quite common for your own customers to turn to your competition. Even a minor difference in the price structure can send your own customers to the competition. With a well-planned loyalty program, however, you can protect your relationship with your customers quickly and keep them with you for the long-term.
Demographic Information Collection
Though customer rewards programs happen to be a powerful marketing tool that you can use for growing your online business, they also help you gather useful information about your customers' demographics.
Customer rewards programs offer you an excellent opportunity to know more about your customers. In return for the program that you provide, you can collect important demographics information about your customers including their age group, income range, employment status and geographical location among others. Equipped with all this information, you can take a highly targeted approach towards fulfilling the needs of your customers, which will help you sell more efficiently to them and reduce your marketing costs. This deeper understanding of your loyal customers will also help you connect better with them on a social media level and understand their needs.
Tips to Start a Customer Rewards Program
Before you start a rewards or loyalty program for your customers, you need to make sure that it's built for your target audience. If your program is effective, it may even pull customers from your competitors.
To get started, you should
- Decide upon a strategy that works best for your business
- Focus on reaching the right audience
- Offer goals for customers
- Do research on your competitors' programs and make yours more appealing
- Create a promotional campaign for the programs
- Research shopping cart software reviews to find an eCommerce solution that includes a customer loyalty program
There are several types of rewards programs that you can create for your customers. What's important is that you come up with a strategy that matches the ultimate goals of your company.
Depending on your specific requirements, you can go for a simple points system program, a tier system to reward initial loyalty, fee-based loyalty program, non-monetary programs (revolving around your customers' values) etc. Or else, you can also plan to enter into a partnership with another company to provide your customers with all-inclusive offers.
No matter what niche or industry your online business belongs to, launching customer rewards program will help you create loyal customers, expand the growth of your online business and have increased sales. In any case, don't forget to use a analytics system so that you can track of the results of your loyalty programs and keep improving it!
Are you currently running a customer rewards program? We'd love to hear your advice/story in the comments below!
Author Susan Delly is the owner of ZippyCart.com, an unbiased guide to expert shopping cart reviews and educational tool for online business owners. Though originally from the Midwest, Susan currently lives in the SF Bay area and loves to travel the world. In the spirit of global awareness, Kiva is her favorite charity!