Reward programs are a crucial part of any customer retention strategy, and they can be hugely successful in keeping customers returning time and time again. The idea itself is nothing new, but with many different businesses now providing some form of rewards, today’s top brands must go one step further to make a good impression.
So, how can companies ensure that their rewards program is the one that piques customers’ interest and draws them back to the store? The answer lies in new technology. Thanks to exciting developments in geolocation, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, rewards programs are getting a revamp. And the results are impossible to ignore.
1. Personalized communication
Marketing emails must be clever in order to stand out from the competition. One way to do this is by adding a few personal touches. Smart technology enables brands to create personalized communication for every customer, and that’s the key to a great rewards program. The more a customer interacts with a brand, the more the company will know about them, and the more personal their communication will become.
This smart tech has recently been put to great use by make-up companies, such as Sephora. The brand creates bespoke newsletters to show customers the products that suit them best. Choices are informed by age, skin tone, preferences and previous purchases. Loyal customers even get free gifts, chosen with their preferences in mind.
2. Rewards by location
Geolocation is underused by retail companies, and it can be hugely powerful when integrated into a rewards program. By encouraging customers to download a rewards app onto their mobile devices, brands can make use of geolocation technology to contact customers when they’re within easy reach of one of their stores. New York ice cream store, Van Leeuwen did this expertly to entice customers back to their shops. This tech works well for existing customers, as they’re likely to be open to downloading an app and shopping on their mobile devices.
3. Online payment partnerships
Venmo is being used increasingly by bars and restaurants, to enable customers to pay and split bills, with minimal hassle. Brands are taking note of the popularity of online payment apps like Venmo and partnering with them to enhance their customer experience. Abercrombie & Fitch utilized this technique to target more of their audience that were below 35, part of their core customer base. By providing an online payment system that integrates with a reward scheme, companies can easily reward their loyal customers, and let new customers know what’s on offer if they keep coming back.
4. In-store treats
Online shopping is a huge market, but brands still need customers to visit them in-store too. Rewards programs are a popular way of encouraging customers to return to stores, and if in-store treats are added into the mix then the offering becomes far more tempting. In-store treats are a great way of increasing footfall in stores, and they’re particularly successful if the gifts remain a surprise until a customer arrives to claim them.
Some stores are utilizing new tech such as digital kiosks, to provide an efficient way for customers to claim their rewards. Tablets housed in kiosks like those created by Bouncepad give customers access to a whole world of information. They can be used to order products, find out more about items, update personal information and access the rewards program. Digital kiosks are popping up at all kinds of different stores right now, and they’re proving hugely popular with customers.
Reward programs are a fantastic addition to any ongoing customer retention strategy. Providing an easy way for brands to interact with target audiences and reward top customers. Rewards programs boost engagement, trust and ultimately sales.
New advances in technology provide incredible ways to tailor rewards program to the loyal customers and tempt purchasers to visit back into stores to see what’s on offer.
More About The Author: Lottie Hodson
Lottie Hodson is the content marketer at Bouncepad, the global market leader in tablet enclosures. She covers topics such as trends and developments in tech, retail and the hospitality industry, as well as tips and guides for businesses considering a digital transformation.