In this article, we walk through the topic of omnichannel loyalty and why it has become a new standard worldwide. Find out how you can use data to understand consumer behavior better, as well as develop smooth customer journeys in physical stores as well as in e-commerce to drive loyalty more effectively.
In recent years, we have seen an increasingly growing connection between online and offline. As a result, customer behavior has changed. Nowadays, customers are moving more dynamically. Long gone are the days in which a customer sticks to a brand without comparing its offer, quality, or social responsibility. The game of loyalty has changed for good.
As being constantly online, customers are able to check reviews, prices, or even functionalities within seconds. They are directly influenced by their research results and recommendations they find, no matter if they are physically in-store or while browsing through the World Wide Web.
What your brand needs to do, is to adapt to this behavior.
A dynamic environment requires smooth customer experiences
First, you need to find a way to interact with customers in a more dynamic environment by providing a seamless transition between online, offline and mobile. Today, you are fighting for a hybrid customer, who easily transitions between in-person and e-commerce options. This means combining in-store and online experiences in your strategy is necessary. Second, you have to differentiate yourself from others. Together, it makes quite a challenge, but also a great opportunity.
Fortunately, loyalty programs are a great way to do both. They focus on onboarding new customers, continually engaging them, and keeping existing ones no matter the channel. It’s because with today’s technological opportunities, loyalty programs help actively build emotional relationships more holistically throughout the entire customer lifetime value, not a single purchase or touchpoint. Let’s get into detail.
Loyalty tools give you data which helps better understand customer behavior
Loyalty programs, in their modern, innovative form, challenge the traditional single-channel limitations by improving your understanding of customers. At the same time, the mechanics they use allow you to create customer journeys that are based upon a wider perspective including preferences and behavioral patterns, not only transactions.
Through loyalty, you are able to learn how customers want to interact with your brand and across which channel: in-store or online – and all of this on an individual level. Reward programs make it possible to get the customer right and offer opportunities across multiple touchpoints by combining different channels in accordance to the right need.
As loyalty is not only about getting knowledge about a customer, but also about giving something in exchange, it is a perfect platform for what today’s world is all about. Loyalty doesn’t stand alone anymore but becomes one with customer experience. Today’s consumers seek value and have something we would call a discerning eye – they are great judges of the quality of whatever the brand has to offer.
How to make your loyalty program truly omnichannel
Which is why you need to offer them value-added services. Make sure you appreciate your customers and make their journeys even more convenient: free shipping, click & collect, mobile payments, instant returns are only a few of examples that provide a truly cross-channel experience and increase the commitment your customers have for the brand.
An omnichannel approach is also much more than just sending one message across all channels. Your loyalty program should include multichannel strategy such as personalized offers and recommendations, a streamlined purchasing experience, and easy access on various devices your customers use.
Moreover, your multichannel loyalty strategy has to include every action a customer takes. Rewarding them for promoting your products on social media channels, writing a review, filling out a survey, or referring to friends and family proves that you appreciate their engagement beyond just buying products.
In other words, while combining in-store, online and mobile, don’t forget to add to your omnichannel loyalty program one important element – the daily life of your customers.
What are the main benefits of omnichannel loyalty?
Valuable, data-driven insights
A major benefit of omnichannel loyalty programs is that they provide a 360-degree view of a customer's activity. This includes an understanding of how often they buy, what channels they shop through, and their purchasing patterns. Unified customer profiles are also created in CDP (Customer Data Platform), merging data from sources such as the point of sale, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), app, and more.
Better customer experience
Omnichannel loyalty program gives you an opportunity not only to incentivize customers or grow sales, but also to create an exceptional experience for them. Through tracking customer behavior, segmenting them based on various demographic criteria, and providing custom content, you can tailor the loyalty program to suit different customers and encourage them to return.
It is evident that implementing an omnichannel loyalty program is beneficial for businesses. Research by Think With Google has found that companies that use this strategy have an 80% higher rate of incremental store visits. Additionally, Omnisend's report suggests that the purchase frequency for businesses using an omnichannel program is 250% higher compared to those using a single channel. Furthermore, the average order value for an omnichannel customer is 13% higher.
To summarize, making your loyalty program truly omnichannel means a couple of things. Opening a path towards value-added services, combining in-store, e-commerce and mobile as well as including daily lives of your customers into the scheme are a great start. By doing these, you will provide an engagement booster to the customers and – as a result – many tangible benefits.