It often seems like nearly every company in the world now has some type of loyalty program. Designed for customers who shop more frequently, these programs reward them for the money they spend. Though you might think that loyalty and reward programs are the same thing, there are a few differences between each type of program. Regardless of which one you choose, you should also include some type of Internet component that rewards customers for shopping online and lets them check their balances online too.
Reward vs. Loyalty Programs
Though some use both reward and loyalty to describe programs that reward shoppers, there is a difference between the two. A reward program is one in which customers build up points when they shop. They can later turn in those points to earn gift cards or free merchandise. A loyalty program is a program that rewards customers for continuing to shop at the same store. These programs might give registered customers a free discount on their birthdays and coupons for future purchases after spending a certain amount of money.
Creating a Separate Program Site
When you decide to introduce one of these programs, you should create a separate site just for the program. This allows you to show customers the type of products or discounts they might receive, show them what the program entails and help them register their accounts online. You should always check available domain names to find a domain similar to your main website that is currently available. For example, the gas station chain Speedway has one site for its gas stations and a Speedy Rewards site for its loyalty program. Include links on both pages to help customers navigate between each site.
Marketing the Program Online
While you can sit back and wait for customers to sign up for your program, you can also market the program online. Instead of placing signs around your store and encouraging your cashiers to inform customers of the program, make an online announcement. Use Facebook to show your shoppers how easily they can sign up for the program and the type of rewards they can receive. You should also take advantage of other social networking sites as well, including Twitter and Instagram. Create a hashtag that shoppers can use each and every time they get a reward using your program.
Encourage Customers to Spend
The more you encourage your customers to spend, the more they will get back and the more you will make. Use your social networking sites as a way to tell them more about the rewards available. Some companies now offer gift cards to restaurants, beauty salons and stores that customers can get when they trade in their points. Host contests that award shoppers prizes for using their cards. Speedway launched a contest in 2015 that gave away five million bonus points to registered users. A loyalty or reward program can lead to increased business, especially if you use the Internet to your advantage.