The ultimate guide to loyalty programs
Everything about loyalty programs
The ultimate guide to loyalty programs
This page brings together information about loyalty programs, loyalty platforms and other things that can help you choose and run a loyalty program.
The Dutch love savings and discounts. So it's no surprise that loyalty programs have been and continue to be very popular, both with consumers and businesses. More than three-quarters of Dutch consumers participate in at least 1 loyalty program.
Well-known loyalty programs
Air Miles is one of the oldest and most successful savings programs, with over 4 million members. Albert Heijn's bonus card is perhaps the most widely used loyalty program, with 7 million users. ING Punten (formerly ING Rentepunten) is another well-known example of which many Dutch people use. This program is especially popular because of the major discounts and extensive range of products in the online store. (10 examples of original, International loyalty programs, according to Shopify)
What is a loyalty program?
A loyalty program is a marketing strategy aimed at rewarding loyal customers. Companies use such strategies to establish long-term relationships with customers and foster an emotional connection between the brand and the customers. The goal of loyalty programs is to achieve market share and business growth.
Various types of loyalty programs
There is no one-size-fits-all program that works for every brand or company and offers success. Therefore, always choose a program that suits your organization. Here are four common types of programs and examples you may be familiar with.
- Earning discounts and perks: AH bonuskaart and Club Staatsloterij
- Privileges, access to events and exclusives: Privilege Member of De Bijenkorf and Nespresso & More
- Free gifts: Mijn Etos and Total Club
The advantages of a loyalty program at a glance
Most organizations deploy loyalty programs to achieve their business goals. But what underlying effects do these kinds of programs have? As a brand, why should you consider starting a loyalty program? We've listed some of the key benefits for you:
1. Better, emotional customer loyalty. This is because of the deeper connection you make as a brand with your customers in terms of values, engagement and through a more comprehensive customer experience
2. Cost Savings. It costs you less money and effort to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones
3. Creating ambassadors. Customers who are rewarded positively will tell others. In other words: more referrals and potentially new customers,
4. Differentiation. With a loyalty program, you can make a difference by creating a unique user experience, and by showing that you truly understand your customers. And can meet their needs, beyond your own products.
5. More cross-selling and upselling, thanks to a better understanding of your customers. With a loyalty program, you get to know your customers even better and enrich customer data to come up with new insights. Insights that you can then use in your other marketing and sales activities. Also read our blog on a data-driven loyalty program
Getting started with a loyalty program
When designing, choosing and developing a loyalty program, you don't want to jump into things too quickly. There aren't many companies that run multiple loyalty programs, so chances are there isn't a lot of knowledge and experience internally. You should therefore engage specialized parties which do have that expertise, who can ask you the right, critical questions and who can properly guide you in this process.
Once you have fully developed the loyalty program for your organization, it is time to start building the loyalty platform. The loyalty platform is the website, portal, app or other systems on which your loyalty program will run. The engine room, in other words.
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Here are 4 tips to ensure that you are well prepared before work – by internal and/or external developers – starts on building your platform:
1) Determine what the most important data is for your loyalty program
2) Make a list of existing systems your loyalty program will link to
3) Make sure you know what company rules and policies the loyalty program must comply with
4) Put yourself in the shoes of users for a unique, smooth user experience
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