Are you creating online customer loyalty for your eCommerce engine?Customer experience really matters in building customer loyalty. Why does that matter?
One aspect of creating a great customer experience is creating a great loyalty program. Loyal customers who buy repeatedly are more profitable than ones that buy once.
The coveted prize today is to win customer loyalty. Loyal customers not only develop an allegiance to a company and purchase more often, but they also become brand ambassadors, encouraging others to follow suit.
What makes consumers loyal to one company over another? In a major study by KPMG, consumers were asked about the attributes of the companies they were most likely to be loyal to — by far the leading response (by 65 percent of respondents) was ‘provides excellent customer support’. Here are the top ten attributes identified in this study:
When shopping in-store, people have certain service-level expectations of staff attentiveness or product knowledge. In an online environment, however, most transactions are conducted with no personal contact or service at all. So when online retailers go the extra mile by reaching out to their customers—with an unexpected personal note or an extraordinary issue resolution, for example—it gets noticed.
Finding ways to provide exceptional customer support online can lead to customer loyalty in an online environment, where it can be difficult to stand out or be remembered. Loyalty will be granted to those companies that make their customers feel like they are part of a community and one where they feel important, unique and valued.
The best eCommerce loyalty programs are those that are easy to understand and easy to use.
Components of a Loyalty Program
All loyalty programs boil down to a simple concept – customers are rewarded for taking certain actions. Businesses customize on the above principle to create their individual loyalty programs.
These customizations consist of making changes to the following components:
1. What actions will customers be rewarded for?
Successful loyalty programs focus on a single customer action: getting customers to buy again.
However, you can also reward your customer for other types of actions such as store registrations, referrals, social shares, etc. The most successful loyalty programs focus on repeat orders and ignore ancillary actions such as social sharing, reviews, etc.
2. How will customers redeem and use their rewards?
Once your customer has earned a reward, you will need to decide how the customer will access and use their rewards. This is where most online stores make the mistake of complicating the program. Some common mistakes include:
3. What kinds of rewards will you offer?
You can offer your customers several kinds of rewards from free shipping to percentage off to store credit. It is tempting to assume that strong rewards will lead to a successful loyalty program.
On the contrary, an easy to use loyalty program will always outperform ones that offer greater rewards. It is best to start a loyalty program with one reward.
4. What are the rules of your customer loyalty program?
The rules of your loyalty program allow you to protect yourself from abuse. However, it’s best to have a few, sensible rules and not make it overly complicated.
Below are some simple rules to get started with:
Here are 7 examples of different types of loyalty programs
Rikke Thomsen has a worthwhile resource to peruse with details on seven different types of loyalty programs to stimulate your ideas of the right one for your brand. They are:
The bottom line is that to win and retain online customers, companies need to find cost-effective ways of providing the service and quality that customers expect while keeping prices competitive.
Remember, when developing your eCommerce loyalty program: