The Future Of Loyalty Programs
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The Future of Loyalty Programs

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SEO Specialist
The Future of Loyalty Programs

Loyalty is the backbone of any successful business. Consumers across generations chose a brand based on a strong loyalty program. However, today’s consumer are far more empowered and demanding when it comes to what, how and why they buy a product. In this scenario, what does the future of loyalty programs look like?  Here are our predictions based on industry research and interactions with industry experts. 

The Future of Loyalty Programs

  • New rules of loyalty – Customization and Customer Care

In the past, a loyalty program depended on a points system and a loyalty card.  The future of loyalty is all about customization or personalization and better service.  It is time to cultivate a mature, ore intimate relationship with customers that will replace archaic reward packages.

  • The Digital Shift

Digital has completely taken over and changed the game in several industries. And now digital innovation is being used to modernize loyalty programs.  Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain are some of the new-age technology that customizes rewards, offers one-of-a-kind experiences, enhance security and partner diversity.

  • Increased focus on trust and likeability

Customers value trust and likeability when deciding to be loyal to a brand, over and above reward points and cards.  Develop a culture and mentality around loyalty that will create positive experience moments at every touch point of a customer’s journey.  This can be achieved through special offers and early looks.  Points or keeping a scoreboard should remain strictly within an organization. 

  • Micro-segmentation

Create nuanced and highly targeted segments to group customers based on online and offline behavior and preferences. This will enable you to offer a highly personalized service. Being agile and constantly having your finger-on-the-pulse helps. New-age loyalty program software can unify your data and offer intelligent insights like who is the most loyal in a specific group or who is likely to be most loyal.  It is very important to follow customers constantly, get feedback from them, try personalized engagement approaches and refresh the reward catalogues accordingly.

  • Emotional Loyalty triumphs Transactional Loyalty

Customers get bombarded by messages, discounts, vouchers, coupons and promotions all the time – unfortunately, it is all about transactional stuff.  Emotional loyalty is the new-age buzzword.  It takes two points into consideration.  Firstly, how did the customer feel when shopping in-store? Was it nice, better than the last time, friendlier?  Secondly, does the retailer care not only about the shopper, but also about healthy eating, the environment, suppliers, employees and so on.

  • Prioritize retaining over acquiring

Many businesses invest all their resources into acquiring new customers, whereas it is more lucrative to retain existing and loyal customers.  Statistics say that loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.  Businesses should build and strengthen their relationships with customers that they already have and focus on their well-being and satisfaction.

  • Being Mobile-Friendly

The number of mobile phone users are seeing a steady growth Y-o-Y. In 2019, smartphone users was expected to grow to 2.5 billion users.  90% of millennials use their smartphones to find new products and brands, browse, make online purchases and access loyalty programs.  So, it is important to create a positive experience for customers through their mobile phones to increase loyalty.

  • Socially-responsible and community-focused loyalty programs

66% of people feel that brands should be socially responsible and should support important social values. Try to sync your loyalty program, business ethics and valueswith a sustainable and socially relevant causes and give back to society. This has been proven to not only increase loyalty amongst your customers, but also enhance the overall brand perception. Simply put, customers are not willing to compromise their moral integrity for a purchase and would love to have positive associations with brands that ease their concerns about mindless consumerism. 

In conclusion, the future of loyalty does not lie in loyalty programs.  Among the next generation of shoppers, loyalty programs might be dead, but loyalty is on the increase.  It is important that businesses rethink and retool in order to increase loyalty.