Our latest webinar, Strategies for Success: A Customer-Centric Approach to Loyalty Marketing, was held September 2, 2020. We didn’t have time to answer all of the questions from our audeince, so we’re continuing the conversation and providing answers to some of these questions below. If you didn’t get a chance to view the webinar earlier, it’s available on-demand here, and if you have additional questions that are not answered below, please feel free to reach out to our expert, Bindu Gupta.
Q: What technologies do you recommend to help drive engagement and personalization?
A: 63% of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service and believe they are recognized as an individual when sent special offers. Retailers and brands should invest in AI and Machine Learning capabilities to drive engagement and personalization. These will help create a 1:1 relationship with all customers at scale.
Using AI and ML, brands can get insights into customer behavior and predict what they might be looking for. This advanced technology looks at past buying patterns in order to predict their future actions. Brands can see a full view of their customer base, and easily identify potential threats that may affect their buyers’ journey. To learn more about how AI and ML can boost engagement, download our latest ebook, How to Maximize the Customer Experience With Comarch AI.
Q: What are your thoughts on using AR Try-On to connect with consumers?
A: With the increased importance of online and digital presence, retailers and brands can benefit from technology that can connect the virtual world with the real world. Augmented Reality Try-on for apparel (Gap) and cosmetic brands (Sephora) as well as for home furnishings (Wayfair) can easily bridge that gap and provide a holistic experience for the consumers. Additionally, other industries are also leveraging the power of AR for visualization, annotation and storytelling. For example, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Remote Assist on HoloLens and mobile devices enables cross-distance collaboration by sharing a live view with experts for assistance. Experts can directly annotate what you are looking at to guide you through a process. All in all, I anticipate increased adaptation of AR/VR in the near future.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for small retailers on ways they can improve their programs?
A: Small retailers should consider investing in a cloud-based loyalty program, as it will be more cost effective for them as well as quick and easy to implement. Once the technology is set-up, they need to ensure they clearly outline the benefits of joining their loyalty program as well as the ease of joining it. In addition, they should establish a personal connection with their customers and offer them rewards that are personalized to keep them coming back.
Q: How much should engagement be a metric for loyalty success vs. increased transaction behaviors?
A: It is very important to understand the primary goal of your loyalty program before determining its success metrics. If the goal of the program is to ensure customers are engaged with the brand on different channels (social, web, email, mobile) or write positive reviews and refer your brand to their friends and family, then your success metrics would be your engagement rate, but your goal might instead be to increase the purchase frequency or transaction value, in which case your success metrics would be measured by the change in these numbers. Neither is right or wrong — it all ties back to the main reason for launching a loyalty program. For more informaion, I have outlined the 5 ways to measure success for loyalty programs here.
Q: How do drugstore and convenience store loyalty programs differ?
A: Convenience stores offer a larger selection of products and services when compared to drugstores. As a result, their loyalty programs can differ immensely based on the different ways they can earn and redeem points or earn perks or discounts. For example, CVS CarePass offers free shipping, free delivery as well as 20% off CVS Health brand products for a membership worth just $5 a month while with the Exxon Mobil Rewards+™ program, you can earn points on items you purchase every day — like fuel, convenience store items and car washes.
Q: Would you recommend using SMS or a mobile app to connect with the customers?
A: Both SMS and a mobile app can be powerful ways to connect with your customers. However, mobile apps have more potential with a higher rate of engagement given that you can incorporate gamification, push notifications, loyalty program status and more — all in one place. Plus, push notifications have an open rate of 90% which is pretty sweet!
Q: How can independent supermarkets create a loyalty strategy?
A: The first step in creating a strong loyalty strategy is to understand what the customers want, what pain points we are solving for them and how a loyalty program can help drive engagement. For independent supermarkets, building trust is key for retaining their customers and attracting new ones. If you have more questions, contact us and we can help!
To learn more about what brands can do to connect with their customers at a deeper level, download our white paper, A Guide to Building Customer-Centric Loyalty Programs: 16 Actionable Strategies.