Customer Loyalty Programs Keep Shoppers Coming Back

According to research, only twelve to fifteen percent of customers are loyal to any particular business. However, that small group of customers often generates up to seventy percent of sales for their chosen business.

Customer loyalty programs give recognition to customers for their allegiance to the business, and for certain purchasing behaviors. At the same time, a program allows businesses to collect information about customers, to create a more personalized shopping experience.

Rewards Programs

With a rewards program, businesses will gain a competitive edge. Good incentives maintain and sometimes increase customers’ spending, avoiding the tendency for spending to decline over time.

Good incentives enhance sales performance, by rewarding particular purchasing behaviors, and cultivating feelings of attachment and belonging.

Collecting Customer Info

Additionally, companies can collect information about customers, about their shopping patterns, and about their purchasing history.

The buy-ahead discount is one type of rewards program. A buy-ahead discount most often comes in the form of a loyalty rewards program card, which is purchased by customers.

reward

With the loyalty card, customers receive discounts on immediate purchases, as well as on subsequent purchases.

The program is easy to administer and to explain, and customers receive instant gratification for signing up. However, the discount may eat into profit margins, and push away infrequent customers, by implying that prices are inflated.

Earning Points

The points program is another type of incentive program. As customers make purchases, they build up points, when may then be redeemed for other purchases.

For customers, the program is beautifully simple; for businesses, the program allows for substantial information collection. On the other hand, a points program requires more complex administration processes, than other types of rewards.

Offering Rebates

A rebate program also provides incentives to customers for loyal shopping. Companies often tier their rebates toward their most loyal customers, and avoid giving customers the idea that they should save on every purchase.

When businesses give gift cards as rebates, they will bring more business into the building. However, rebates award all kinds of customers, not just the profitable ones.

Also, customers have to delay gratification, because they have to wait for the rebate to come at a a later time.

Surprise Rewards

Some companies utilize surprise rewards. Surprise rewards provide an element of pleasure for a customer, and reward particular spending behaviors.

Also, surprise rewards may be timed to drive customers to the business at particular times of year. However, surprise rewards are not equitable, and surprise reward programs may be complicated to administer.

Inevitably, rewards programs will evolve. Generally speaking, rewards will focus on growing relationships with customers, and on segmenting customers according to behavior.

Segmented Rewards

Segmented incentives may cater to customers based on life stage, interest, or lifestyle. Also, incentives will be more tiered, so that the highest-paying customers receive the most reward.

Before choosing customer loyalty programs, businesses should analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. After the program is rolled out, it must be modified over time, to remain fresh.

By growing sales, and allowing businesses to collect customer information, a rewards program will provide companies with many competitive advantages.

Top Apps Your Small Business Needs

Running a small business requires a lot of hard work, but technology can make life a little easier for you. If you’re working hard to keep your small business growing, consider using apps to improve your small business success. Here are some of the top apps that may improve productivity and success for your small business.

App #1 – Square

If you require a way to easily accept payments via credit card, Square offers exactly what you need. This app allows anyone to accept credit cards via a tablet or smartphone. You don’t have to worry about monthly fees or signup fees. A flat 2.75% of each transaction is taken by the app. It’s a cost effective, easy way to start accepting payments anywhere.

top-apps

App #2 – Evernote

Every small business owner needs to keep track of ideas, and Evernote is an app that makes it easy to record and remember those ideas. With this app, you can store, share and organize your voice notes, photos and text. With this app, you can record your business inspiration, no matter where you are in the world.

App#3 – ABBYY Business Card Reader

Keeping track of contacts as a small business owner is important, but it’s easy to lose that stack of business cards. Instead of turning to the old rolodex to organize business contacts, consider the ABBYY Business Card Reader. This app simply takes a picture of the business card and scans the information, saving it to your customer relationship or contact database, easily keeping track of contacts for you.

App #4 – Expensify

It’s often difficult to keep track of expenses for your small business, but Expensify makes it easy to track your mileage and other business expenses. You can easily use the app to scan and upload your receipts. With the app you can organize expenses by trip and even create and submit expense reports. This app proves especially helpful for small business owners that travel frequently.

App #5 – LocalVox

For small business owners that have a local brick and mortar business, LocalVox is a marketing app that makes it easier for businesses to build an online brand. With just a couple clicks, it’s easy to publish new deals, news, events and more to local directories, social media sites, websites and other online channels. If you’re working to boost your small business’ online presence, this tool will prove invaluable.