18 December 2023

Starting a Loyalty Program Can be Easy—Here’s How!

By Ronald Smith

Are you ready to kickstart a customer loyalty program for your retail store that’s more than just old-fashioned punch cards? Offering loyalty rewards to your customers can bring many benefits to your business. In fact, did you know that 39.4% of customers are willing to spend more at businesses they’re loyal to, even if there are cheaper options available? And that’s not all—60% of loyal customers will even recommend those businesses to others!

How to Begin your Own Loyalty Program

Let me show you the way to boost your retail sales with a fabulous customer loyalty program!

Step 1: Determine the Kind of Rewards You Want to Offer

  • Earn points that can be redeemed for purchases
  • Receive free gifts
  • Enjoy discounts
  • Gain access to special sales or be among the first to try new products
  • Get free shipping

When it comes to loyalty programs, it’s ideal to have a range of rewards to choose from.

Step 2: What Actions Should You Reward?

Here are some examples of behaviors you can reward:

  • Spending a certain amount of money on purchases
  • Buying a specific brand or product that you want to promote
  • Shopping during slow times of the day or week
  • Referring a new customer to your store
  • Sharing your product on social media

To choose the best rewards, take a look at where your store needs improvement and tailor your rewards accordingly. For example, if Sunday afternoons are always slow, offer rewards to customers who shop during that time.

Step 3: Make It Appealing to Your Customers

If you want people to join your loyalty program, you need to show them that it’s worth their while. Having a variety of different rewards will convince customers that your program is valuable and keep them interested. It’s important to understand your customers so you can choose rewards that they will actually care about. You should also consider whether they would prefer a physical card or a loyalty app.

Step 4: Look at your Options and Pick an App

  • Is it easy for you and your team to set up, learn, and use?
  • Is it easy for customers to use and understand? If not, they won’t use it.
  • What are the setup and ongoing costs?
  • Does it work with the tools you already use, like your point-of-sale system or email marketing software?

As a fifth grader, you might have questions about a loyalty program. Let me tell you about two different programs that offer different features and benefits.

One important aspect of a loyalty program is flexibility. It’s nice to have the option to choose from a range of rewards and also customize rewards for different members.

Let’s start with the first program called Social Spiral. This program is easy to use because it’s all done through text messages. To join the program, all you have to do is text join. You can also check your rewards status by texting. No need to download an app! Retailers can personalize rewards, promotions, and discounts just for you. You can even receive group texts or individual texts. And if you’re curious about how well the program is doing, analytics can show you its performance.

Now, let’s talk about the second program called CandyBar. With this program, when you make a purchase, the salesperson can use the CandyBar app on a computer, phone, or tablet. All you have to do is provide your phone number, and you’ll receive a digital stamp on your account. You can also check your rewards through text messages. Plus, retailers can have conversations with customers through text messages.

Both of these loyalty programs have their own unique features. Now it’s up to you to decide which one sounds more appealing to you!

  • Loopy Loyalty: If you’re a regular Google Wallet or Apple Pay user, check out this cool loyalty program. It creates a digital loyalty card that you can keep in your digital wallet. And here’s the best part – when you get near the store, Loopy Loyalty sends you push notifications on your lock screen! It’s like magic! Plus, there are different levels in the program, so it’s perfect for stores that are growing. And you can even check out detailed metrics to see how well you’re doing.
  • Step 5: Get Customers Signed Up

    Now that you’ve set up your loyalty program, it’s time to spread the word. Put up signs in your store and at the checkout counter to let people know they can join. Don’t forget to announce it on your website and social media too! And if you already have some loyal customers, send them special emails to let them know about the program.

    Guess what? You, as an employee, play a super important role in getting customers to sign up for our awesome loyalty program. So, let me give you a little tip: during every sale, make sure to tell the customer about the cool rewards they could get if they joined the program. It’s a sneaky way to get them excited and interested!

    Now, let’s fast forward a bit. Once our program is all set up and running smoothly, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Here are some nifty ideas to make our loyalty program even better: