Bringing Business Back: Six Customer Rewards that Really Work
Customer loyalty is about more than just retention. You want to encourage your customers to spend more money in your stores, and purchase the type of products that will keep them coming back. There are several ways to increase customer loyalty, and following these tried and true methods, you can improve your bottom line and make a casual customer more loyal to your company brand.
The Points System
A points system is simple, and is used effectively around the world because it actually works. Customers are able to receive points when they purchase certain items, which allows you to better manage your inventory. Rather than discounting items, you can double or triple the points first to see if that helps you sell inventory. Customers can later get rewards in the form of cash-back, free items, or a percentage off the total when a certain number of points have been reached. It’s often a win-win situation for both you and the customer.
Get a Partnership
Work with local stores and offer combined discounts that can be used at more than one location. For example, if customers spend more than $100 at your store, they may be able to get discounts at other stores or sites like Discountrue.com when they offer coupons for kohls.com. Partnering with a name-brand store may help you increase your brand awareness and encourage shoppers to frequent your store.
VIP Benefit Programs
Start a base-level points program, and offer a VIP program with additional rewards for people who purchase a membership. Purchasing a membership by itself will encourage them to come back and use their card more often. Since they have already paid the dues, they will be more inclined to shop at your store to receive those extra benefits.
Some industries do better offering additional services or giving a donation to a local charity than with a money-based reward system. If you boast an environmentally friendly store, customers may feel better about your company if they know that a percentage of all proceeds go to help rainforest preservation, or a local children’s charity. Figure out what your customers want, and design rewards programs that reinforce what your customers value.
Create Weekly Contests or Drawings
A weekly contest or drawing can help bring more customers into your store. Offer smaller prizes and reward several prizes, so they will have a better chance of winning the contest or drawing. These sorts of games can be fun for employees and shoppers, and the odds of winning go up the more they shop.
Forget the Rewards Program
Build rewards into the shopping experience. When customers purchase goods worth a certain value, give them a discount. Give them rewards just for being customers, and don’t require any sort of membership or loyalty program to take part. First-time shoppers will come back because they will be surprised they received a free gift with their purchase.
No single rewards program will work for every industry. It’s up to you to think about the type of customer you’re getting, and find a way to increase their loyalty. Try a few different programs, or ask for your customers’ input to find the best system for your type of business.