We participated in an excellent webinar recently that explored how loyalty programmes are evolving to become far more sophisticated and results-driven in the age of digital commerce.
Specifically, the webinar covered the commercial value of loyalty and how apps will play a major role in building strong customer relationships across multiple channels in the future. This is evidenced by retailers like ASOS, and Missguided who continue to disrupt the traditional retail model, and already generate a high percentage of their sales through their apps.
Representing Antavo was Jessica Mizerak, Loyalty Strategy Lead, and from Poq we heard from Aanya Ali, VP of Marketing.
Here are four takeaways from the webinar:
Loyalty is becoming far more data driven
Both Mizerak and Ali spoke of the importance and value of customer loyalty in modern retail strategy. They said that the explosion of digital has not dented retailers’ need to engage with customers. In fact now is the time to ramp up investment in loyalty programmes, because the technology behind apps is allowing more data to be collected and rewards to be personalised far more accurately – keeping pace with modern consumers’ expectations. Apps are also enabling retail brands to bridge the gap between the online experience and the in-store experience.
Poq supports retailers including Missguided, Feel Unique and Pretty Little Thing so they can provide highly relevant content and rewards via apps. Poq’s belief is that loyalty programmes communicated through apps can result in improved customer lifetime value. “The rich data that is gathered through app loyalty programmes means messaging and content can be tailored and made far more meaningful and relevant,” said Ali. “Relevant rewards have the power to keep customers coming back for more.”
Apps generate more committed ‘Super Customers’
Research has shown that consumers who make use of loyalty schemes on retail apps are more loyal, said the webinar hosts. Apps develop a ‘super customer’ mentality because users regularly tap into their app accounts and engage more closely with the deals and wider content.
It was suggested that the feeling from retailers is “if you are not doing it already, be aware that your competitor is”. Brand affinity is hugely valuable in today’s competitive market, said the webinar hosts, so it pays to ensure these Super Customers are well served on the apps they have downloaded and committed to. Mizerak said: “The in-app experience must be fulfilling and user-friendly.” That means it should be easy to browse the rewards catalogue, check and use points, and understand the personalised deals. Complexity and uncertainty can be immediately off-putting.
There was a warning not to irritate these loyal customers with discount events that are too short, or not rewarding enough. Targeting was also discussed. Loyalty programmes can now be tiered, so that those higher spending, or long-committed customers qualify for more generous rewards than lower tier, less committed customers.
Apps help retailers fulfill customer needs beyond discounts
There are opportunities to create a community feel for customers through a loyalty app, taking the relationship beyond discounts and deals. For instance, Sephora’s ‘Beauty Insider’ community and loyalty programme inspires emotional loyalty and this is brought to life by helping customers manage their lives more efficiently and treating them to special products, events and services regular customer don’t get to hear about. Members are treated to a free birthday gift, free beauty classes and product recommendations. They can book into beauty sessions and events in stores via the app. The programme is tiered, so that the high-spending customers have the greater rewards to look forward to.
The webinar hosts made the point that loyalty depends on offering convenience, reliability, quality experiences, advice, and so on – far more than money off deals.
It’s a time of true innovation in retail loyalty
The webinar hosts gave many examples of futuristic in-store and app experiences that are beginning to play a key role in developing and fostering loyalty. Their insights painted a picture of growth, innovation and energy in retail loyalty today. Retailers and brands are making use of push notifications for real-time rewards that can deliver immediate benefit to members. There is increasing use of gamification and experiential rewards through loyalty programmes which add interest and fun. A great deal of progress is being made in developing rewards that drive shoppers in store to claim their treat or discount.
Webinar listeners will have been clear on the following:
In such a competitive market, not offering incentives and rewards means you are at risk of being left behind. Harnessing the right technology and content now will help build a loyal audience for the future, and this can make the difference between make or break for many retail brands.
More about Antavo:
Antavo is a leading SaaS technology provider specialising in innovative customer loyalty programs for retail, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and hospitality. The company helps omnichannel and eCommerce brands’ CRM efforts by changing customer behavior and customer lifetime value with Recognition Loyalty™. Antavo serves clients like Jimmy Jazz, the N Brown Group, Beer Hawk / AB InBev and LuisaViaRoma – for whom they achieved a 16% revenue increase. With the integration of Poq and Antavo technologies, customers can enjoy a fully-fleshed out loyalty program experience with sophisticated loyalty logic, coupled with outstanding app capabilities, like barcode scanning, push notifications, etc. It’s a great choice for omnichannel companies to identify customers in-store, too.
More about Poq:
Poq is a Software-as-a-Service platform that empowers retailers to create highly effective and fully-customized native apps in record time. Apps that allow them to build stronger brands, sell more of their products, deepen customer loyalty and deliver highly relevant content, communications and rewards. The Poq platform is the result of years of focus on retail apps and is proven to increase loyalty and revenue. New code is rolled out every week and major releases delivered every quarter. Clients include global brands such as Missguided, Cotton On, Tobi and Belk.Body.