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How Customer Loyalty Programs Grow Businesses

Think loyalty programs won’t benefit your business? Think again. In the U.S. today the average household has memberships to 12 loyalty programs according to research discovery engine Factbrowser.  And more than likely, as a consumer, you have joined loyalty programs to save money or earn points and free merchandise. My personal favorite, Panera Bread, offers great incentives like free coffee and pastries.

Customer loyalty programs have been a longstanding marketing strategy for big box retailers such as Panera and Starbucks. . But with the birth of affordable, tech savvy iPad POS systems, smaller local businesses are now able to track consumer behavior and manage in-depth, successful customer loyalty programs.

So what are the big benefits loyalty programs bring to the table that make them so attractive?

Customer Retention
Insinuated in the word “loyalty”, these programs give customers a tangible reason to come back for more. And aside from increasing the frequency of customer visits (which is a great benefit in itself)  studies also show they increase the amount customers spend during their visits, in their efforts to unlock rewards.

Attract New Customers
This perk is largely contingent on how exciting the rewards are for a business. A well advertised reward program, with attractive, valuable rewards will not only have existing customers coming back, but will also attract new business. This shouldn’t be the focus of a loyalty program but is certainly an added benefit.

Data About Customer Behavior
With the right technology managing a loyalty program, businesses should be able to collect all kinds of great information about customer behavior. When they like to shop; what time of day, what time of year. The kinds of products they like to buy and how frequently they buy them. The products or services that increase ticket size the most or the best time of day to run sales and promotions. There is an unbelievable amount of data that can be captured from these programs and used strategically to boost sales and  cater to customers’ specific needs.

Spoil Your Best Customers
Once you have collected all this rich, insightful data about customer behavior, businesses now have the opportunity to distinguish the big spenders from the rest of the customers and give them the VIP treatment. Described by some marketing gurus as “rockstars”, customers that are extra loyal are a great asset for referral business and should have programs designed just for them.

Create Brand Rockstars
Once these “rockstars” are born they will take their high opinions and enthusiasm for the business on the road. They become a brand’s best advocates, boasting about products and services to their friends and relatives and posting positive comments on social media– which have far more clout than any advertisement or coupon.

The great news is, long gone are the days where implementing the technology for these types of programs cost thousands of dollars. There are several, very affordable loyalty program apps, that also double as payment programs designed for iPads such as talech and NCR Silver.

These programs are affordable, easy to set up and function equally as well as expensive POS systems  giving your business a competitive edge and greater profitability.

 

About the Author

Rachida EssadiqRachida Essadiq, Director of Marketing at NTC Texas is a successful five year marketing veteran, running events and campaigns for large to  small enterprises and non-profits.  She specializes in blogging, social media, branding/ identity and search engine optimization, striving to provide NTC Texas customers and fans with entertaining and valuable educational resources to find success in all areas of their businesses.

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