The idea of loyalty programs and incentives is not a new concept. However, in a world that has recently been taken over by online orders and curbside pickups, these customer incentive programs are boosting business for both big and small companies. Nation-wide organizations like Starbucks and Amazon have well-respected loyalty programs that attract a fair amount of business in sales and membership involvement. American Airlines was one of the front runners of this phenomenon and paved the way for many others in terms of incentives through their Frequent Flier program. Small scale companies have noticed the success of this marketing tactic and taken matters into their own hands. In Fort Worth, which is home to many local and small businesses, you can find a new customer loyalty program to join around every corner. Not only do these incentive programs boost business, but they increase customer satisfaction, leaving both parties benefitting from the exchange.
Implementing perks into advertising strategies is a fun and interactive way to reach customers. People love achieving goals and being rewarded for their actions. Simply purchasing a cup of coffee can fulfill a nice midday pick-me-up and keep customers coming back with the promise of a buy one, get one free deal. This almost game-like marketing strategy makes customers feel as though they are saving money when in reality, they are buying products more frequently to gain the reward of that free iced latte.
These loyalty programs have evolved from countless half-filled punch cards clogging space in your wallet to mobile apps that send notifications with targeted deals reminding you that your favorite item just happens to be 30% off today. Not only do these applications make ordering and visualizing points easier for consumers, but they put brand awareness and advertisements in the palm of the target audiences’ hands, literally. It’s no argument that, on a surface level, rewards programs are beneficial, but even more so, from a business perspective, they can track habits and trends among users. Using these applications gives companies a deeper understanding of their audience and can help them cater promotions and in-app advertisements to each user. Additionally, members of these loyalty programs become free marketers. While some companies use influencers to spread brand awareness, it can be argued that reward program members are some of the best advertisers. How? Word of mouth? Yes, they talk about it.
In a study done by Forrester Research, nearly half of the participants said that loyalty programs influence what they buy. Additionally, almost 80 percent said using loyalty programs saves them money. From a business standpoint, companies should continue to advertise these rewards programs or implement some form of incentives into their marketing strategies. This will boost customer satisfaction and deepen their knowledge of their target audience. From a consumer standpoint, it’s important to be aware of how advertising influences you and what is driving your purchase-making decisions. No matter which perspective you are looking from, there is no argument that the evolution of these customer-loyalty programs has provided consumers and businesses alike an exciting shopping experience.