In the ever-evolving world of retail, customer loyalty has become more crucial than ever. With the rise of online shopping and the shift in consumer behavior, brands need to adapt and embrace an omnichannel approach to meet their customers’ needs. In this article, we will explore the concept of omnichannel loyalty and how it can benefit businesses in the retail industry. We will discuss why customer retention is essential, how to leverage omnichannel loyalty with loyalty apps, and provide actionable tips for success.
Understanding Omnichannel Loyalty
Omnichannel loyalty goes beyond traditional loyalty programs by allowing customers to earn and redeem points across various channels, including in-store, online, and even through social media. It provides a seamless and consistent experience for customers, regardless of their preferred shopping channel. This approach recognizes that customers’ buyer journeys are no longer linear and that brands need to meet them wherever they feel most comfortable.
According to the National Retail Foundation, retail sales increased between 6 and 8% in 2022, indicating a shift towards a new normal in retail. As we enter this renaissance, brands must invest in omnichannel loyalty to stay competitive and drive customer engagement and retention.
The Business-Defining Investment of Omnichannel Loyalty
Customer loyalty is key to a brand’s bottom line. Studies have shown that loyal customers spend more on brands to which they are loyal. In fact, according to Accenture, 57% of consumers spend more on brands they are loyal to. However, loyalty is a two-way street, and customers expect a clear value exchange for their loyalty. This is where omnichannel loyalty comes into play.
With omnichannel loyalty, brands can create a VIP-level experience for customers, ensuring that their loyalty carries through every touchpoint, including in-store. By offering rewards, perks, VIP tiers, and personalized experiences, brands can create a compelling loyalty program that keeps customers coming back and advocating for the brand.
Accommodating Retail’s Return with Omnichannel Loyalty
As retail continues to evolve, brands need to adapt their loyalty programs to accommodate the changing landscape. Over a quarter of shoppers (25.2%) cite retail disconnect as their biggest frustration with loyalty programs. By accommodating the needs of high-value customers and prioritizing their experience, brands can increase average order value (AOV), customer lifetime value (LTV), and repeat purchases.
Differentiating yourself from competitors is crucial in today’s market. While many loyalty programs cater exclusively to online or in-store shoppers, few accommodate both. With 35% of American buyers trying new ways of shopping in the past year, it’s clear that traditional loyalty programs will be left behind. By remaining agile and investing in customers’ omnichannel buying journeys, brands can set themselves apart and stay ahead of the competition.
Owning the Data with Omnichannel Loyalty
One of the significant benefits of an omnichannel loyalty program is the ownership of valuable first-party data. By bridging the gap between online and in-store loyalty experiences, brands can gain a 360-degree view of their customers. This comprehensive view allows brands to understand how customers shop both in-store and online, enabling them to personalize their offerings and marketing strategies effectively.
Customer-Led Redemption: The Key to a Seamless In-Store Loyalty Experience
In the era of omnichannel shopping, customer safety and comfort are more critical than ever. Brands need to take stock of where and how their loyalty customers feel most comfortable, even within individual channels. This is where customer-led redemption comes into play.
Customer-led redemption empowers shoppers to take control of their loyalty experience, making in-store loyalty seamless and frictionless. By leveraging technologies like scannable QR codes and in-store point-of-sale integration, customers can easily access their loyalty program details, earn points, and redeem rewards as they shop. This eliminates the need for customers to rely on sales associates and streamlines the checkout process.
The Benefits of Customer-Led Redemption
Customer-led redemption offers numerous benefits to both customers and brands. Firstly, it breaks down barriers and hesitation that customers may have when asking about discounts or rewards. By having redeemable rewards at their fingertips, customers can effortlessly redeem their rewards without any awkward interactions. Additionally, with increased awareness of ongoing promotions and their loyalty status, customers are incentivized to make purchases, leading to increased sales.
Moreover, customer-led redemption prioritizes customer safety and comfort. With less 1:1 interaction, customers can feel at ease during their in-store shopping experience. They no longer need to recite email addresses or phone numbers; instead, they have their coupon code ready for a frictionless checkout.
Implementing Customer-Led Redemption
Implementing customer-led redemption is a straightforward process that can be done quickly and easily. It doesn’t require any changes to the user interface (UI) of the point-of-sale (POS) system for store associates. Instead, solutions like Nector’s Loyalty and Referrals seamlessly integrate with a company’s POS, managing customer details, discounts, order data, and refund data.
By strategically placing scannable QR codes throughout the store, customers can instantly register or sign in to the loyalty program. From there, they can access their membership details, points, discounts, and promotions directly from their mobile devices. After choosing an available discount, customers can have their corresponding barcode scanned by a store associate for a hassle-free checkout.
The Power of Omnichannel Loyalty: A Customer Journey
To illustrate the impact of omnichannel loyalty and customer-led redemption, let’s walk through a hypothetical customer journey:
- Awareness: The customer enters the store and notices strategically placed QR codes throughout the store.
- Engagement: Intrigued, the customer scans a QR code and is prompted to sign in or register for the brand’s loyalty program.
- Personalization: After signing in, the customer gains instant access to their membership details, points, discounts, and promotions.
- Shopping: The customer browses the store, adding items to their cart while keeping track of their loyalty status and available rewards on their mobile device.
- Redemption: At checkout, the customer selects a discount or reward from their loyalty program and presents the corresponding barcode to a store associate for scanning.
- Checkout: With a seamless and frictionless checkout experience, the customer completes their purchase, knowing they have maximized their loyalty benefits.
Leveraging Omnichannel Loyalty for Success
To leverage the power of omnichannel loyalty, brands need to take a customer-centric approach. By focusing on the needs and preferences of their customers, brands can create loyalty programs that truly resonate and drive engagement. Here are some actionable tips for success:
- Understand your customers: Conduct market research and analyze customer data to gain insights into their preferences, shopping behaviors, and loyalty expectations.
- Offer personalized experiences: Tailor your loyalty program to individual customers by offering personalized rewards, perks, and promotions based on their preferences and purchase history.
- Leverage customer data: Use the data collected through your omnichannel loyalty program to understand how customers shop across channels and make data-driven decisions to improve their experience.
- Communicate effectively: Keep your customers informed about their loyalty status, available rewards, and upcoming promotions through email marketing, push notifications, and social media.
- Embrace emerging technologies: Stay ahead of the curve by implementing technologies like scannable QR codes, mobile apps, and integrated POS systems to enable customer-led redemption and streamline the in-store experience.
In today’s retail landscape, omnichannel loyalty is a game-changer. By embracing this customer-centric approach and implementing customer-led redemption, brands can drive customer engagement, retention, and advocacy. A seamless and personalized loyalty experience across channels not only keeps customers coming back but also positions brands as industry leaders. So, leverage the power of omnichannel loyalty and take your brand’s success to new heights in 2024 and beyond.