During the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of companies are dealing with problems like reduced income and because of this, these days having goof loyalty programs is crucial to their survival. Loyalty programs can increase both the customer engagement and retention for businesses. In this article, we want to take a look at some of the loyalty programs of big companies and see how they are planning to get past through the pandemic.
A one-time buy from a single brand could be due to the optimum price / cost ratio, but that’s not enough for the creation of attachment or customer habit. There is indeed a two-step procedure at work dubbed brand reputation plus engagement.
Pandemic brand loyalty is induced and unintentional. Fearing exposure, people shopped at the closest market, not the one they wanted before. It is possible that doing so will lead to a gradual change in habits, which poses an incentive for retailers to reach and retain the occasionally coronavirus clients. If disinfectants, disposable masks and gloves, free of charge for clients, sanitization of premises, deployed in retail stores ended up working and continue working for good name and reputation, then now comes the time for active involvement. In reality, loyalty programs were originally conceived in order to create a long and happy personal bond with the client and retain him, promising free goods, special deals and discounts on future transactions.
The most prominent theme in customer markets is ecosystem growth. Now that incentive schemes are losing their attraction and the standard for consumer interest with a service or product is higher, ecosystems encourage consumers to obtain a range of similar goods and services from various brands. As per McKinsey report, consumers who partake in mutual loyalty programs inside these ecosystems are twice as likely to buy and nearly twice as likely to choose ecosystem brands over their rivals.
In tough times of economic decline this growth approach is particularly efficient for the B2C market. It makes it simpler for companies in both recession and post-crisis periods when alliances and ecosystems integrate marketing initiatives and resources, have access to insights on customer preferences and cross-marketing possibilities. And environments have the highest chances of robust engagement revenue generation.
Engagement programs replace traditional loyalty programs
As consumption moved to internet primarily due to self-isolation and the huge transition to remote jobs, the details evolved and the traditional paradigm of customer acquisition and retention, centered on loyalty programs, no longer functions in a variety of sectors.
For instance, the field of telecommunications: companies are partners in a wide range of business fields, including digital banking to e-commerce, with digital firms. Thus, China Mobile unveiled a forum for remote diagnosing and medical services, exploring the medical agenda. Many providers including T-Mobile and Verizon have revamped their existing loyalty programs with an emphasis on growing the lifetime value of customer.
Interact first — and monetize later
Strategies for engagement are evolving. Initially, Telecommunications, Edtech, video productions and vloggers provide free content, and they switch to charged content as the user decides to spend a large portion of their time on their channel. This model is being evaluated around the world by content creators and broadcasters across the world, building markets and introducing new goods on the market, concentrating not just on the client’s needs, but also on the environment (kids, families, colleagues , friends).
The purpose is to get more people involved. For instance, Facebook introduced Messenger Space, a platform for interactive video meetings that can include up to 50 people, and its WhatsApp increased the bandwidth of video calls from 4 to 8. A high-profile agreement to buy a 9.9 percent stake for Facebook in the Indian online market Reliance Jio for $5.7 billion (their client is any third Indian, the product is a range of smartphone applications, and these services did not produce sales at the time of acquisition, but it had monthly active users) shows that major businesses are willing to buy the very right to establish the ecosystem if that ecosystem has a good number of active users.
In the first (Covid) quarter of 2020, Netflix grew the number of paid subscribers by 8.7 percent, rising to a total of 15.77 million subscriptions. The group has unveiled a new Netflix Party to the market. This is a program that enables you and your friends to watch the very same movie. The app syncs videos and enables you to share your experiences via chat.
Gaming continues the route of collaboration: the online game Fortnite hosted a series of interactive concerts by singer Travis Scott, and they were viewed by around 12 million people.
Technological methods and AI: hyper personalization
Technology for eye detection rapidly worked its way to retail. By evaluating big data, including how long it is taking you to concentrate on a particular product, how many times you stared at it, how much you spent on it the first time, or how long you stared at it on average, the software will adjust the price and make an unique offer on the products of interest to the client in real time. Nestle and Woolworths initially tested eye tracking systems back in 2015 and discovered that armed big data marketers would positively gather millions of dollars in sales. Einstein technology in Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows you to generate product reviews and emails so meaningful that they appear to be handcrafted for-customer.
Fashion retailers are constantly using Artificial intelligence to anticipate consumer desires and needs in real time. For instance, Zalando has introduced the « Complete your look » feature utilizing the Fashion Companion neural network method.
In 2020 more businesses will develop their loyalty programs and gather appropriate customer data — from contact and demographics and program participation — to help their marketing campaigns and to customize their loyalty programs. They also create useful client data relevant to purchasing patterns, product preferences, or redemption incentives that can be used to fuel the entire marketing strategy. An instance is the reward scheme of Noppies clothes shop for pregnant women and their infants. Their communication approach is fully tailored to fit the pregnancy and childhood phase.
Marry Old Cashback
Cashback schemes first emerged in the English-speaking banking industry in the 1990s. This is a benefit not at the time of payment, but after, of cash / points / incentives / miles. The sixth one is free when you buy 5 cups of coffee in a very well-known chain of coffee shops, plus there is cashback.
Banks offer cashback vouchers, cashback programs promise the return of part of the money spent on transactions when certain requirements are met. For instance, an Amazon Rewards Visa card obligates you to a $30 gift voucher upon signing up, and this card returns 3 percent on any dollar purchased on Amazon, 2 percent on transactions at a store, gas station and restaurant, and 1 percent on all other products.
Additional cash back incentives and bonuses are also added. ExtraCare CVS is provided by CVS Pharmacy Store, which records your orders over the year and provides consumers with ExtraBucks that serve as cash to pay for your next order and offer you access to exclusive discounts that are not open to normal customers.
The REDcard saves customers 5 per cent on each purchase for Loyal Target buyers, provides free delivery on online purchases and an extra 30 days on returns without annual fees.
For every dollar spent on Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook, Nordstrom’s department store loyalty program, The Nordy Club, enables you to receive one point. Points for in-store credit can be cashed, and Nordstrom credit-card owners can gain points three times quicker. Bonus: unique access to stuff like stylist studios and easy order delivery.
Sephora’s loyalty program is dubbed Beauty Insider, and it offers access to a variety of unique merchandise, workshops, and exclusive deals, and subscribers receive points for gift products and packages to earn.
Unique member rates, free mobile register, updates and free Wi-Fi are part of Marriott’s free loyalty program.
There are stronger global calls for action to combat climate change than it has ever been, and we anticipate forward-thinking companies to search at ways to boost and facilitate sustainable consumption. Starbucks UK has therefore secured a unique eco-award for the use of recycled cups.
Experiential rewards for centennials
Intangible incentives, such as express shipping, or invitation to a special event, or a coupon for a fun day in a fun place, are popular among young buyers and Gen Z. Consider the Esso Extras loyalty program in the Belgium and Netherlands, for instance. From an online gift coupon to a theme park entry pass, consumers have the choice to spend their points on something they like.
In recent times, we saw a steady spike in the number of subscriptions or premium loyalty programs, and Amazon Prime is probably the most popular example of this. As doubt over retail’s future persists, we expect a rising range of brands to use the luxury loyalty model as a platform to create new revenue streams.
For starters, ClubCard Plus was launched at the end of 2019 by Tesco, the biggest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. This provides consumers additional rewards and appealing incentives for a monthly charge of £ 7.99, such as additional mobile data.
Sportswear corporation Lululemon provides a choice of a pair of pants or shorts for a $128 subscription, exclusive invites to sporting events and festivals, free accelerated delivery for online purchases, and a refund without any questions asked.
Barnes & Noble bookstore delivers 40 percent off hardcover bestselling books for $25 a year, 10 percent off all other orders, plus free express delivery on all online shopping.
Retention is often a priority for loyalty marketers, particularly when it comes to users of the app. To keep their consumers interested, businesses are gradually turning to gamification. Today we see competitions, badges and sports as the main feature of loyalty programs. The Starbucks loyalty service includes an app where you can gather stars and make the best of your rewards. The Netherlands supermarket chain Primera got inspiration from the repeated customer returns for lotto tickets and scratch cards, and developed a regular hit game that keeps users coming back to the app for a chance to earn points or prizes.
Thus, the fight is for the focus of the customer, for a portion of his time. The key benefit and target was not the average charge, but daily and regular consumption.