Cards and loyalty programs are everywhere these days. But they affect the bottom line of nearly every company in America—from authentic Neapolitan pizzeria like Pizza Bien to multinational corporations like American Airlines.
Loyalty programs have become so important that it isn’t too much of a stretch to say loyalty cards (the loyalty rewards program) can swing elections. That might be hyperbole, but we’re not kidding when we say loyalty rewards cards affect the success of millions upon millions of businesses across the country.
A loyalty program can give you an edge over your competition, but most companies still aren’t taking advantage of them. Nerdwallet recently evaluated 100 top restaurant chains across America and found only 62% had some sort of a loyalty program, and only 31% of these loyalty reward programs were even effective. In other words, loyalty rewards programs should be a key part of your business strategy—but most companies aren’t using them to their full advantage.
If you’re looking for loyalty program ideas (something more than just loyalty cards and loyalty coupons), the following are some ideas that have proven successful for businesses across America.
Get loyalty reward ideas for small businesses
Even if you’re a small business, loyalty programs may be the difference between success and failure—and not having one may spell disaster. If you don’t have loyalty rewards cards in your wallet right now, it may already be too late to get on board with this crucial business strategy (at least with your current customer base).
That said, loyalty programs needn’t take much time or money to implement effectively. The following are four loyalty program ideas you can integrate into your brand even if you run a smaller operation:
Loyalty Rewards Cards and Programs Offer Gift Card Benefits
If you’ve ever seen that commercial where a guy comes out of a movie theater and high-fives his friend because they are both holding gift cards, it’s pretty obvious many people like to use loyalty rewards cards as gifts. In Pizza Bien, you can get the best pizza deal in town by using gift cards. They come at affordable prices both for personal use and as gifts.
If you don’t already offer gift card benefits for loyalty rewards clubs, it may be time to consider doing so. After all, a loyalty rewards program can generate repeat customers and save you the trouble of advertising (as most loyalty programs come with an advertising budget that gives your business extra visibility).
If you aren’t sure how or why gift cards should fit into loyalty rewards programs, consider this:
- Gift certificates can account for between 15% and 20% of total sales in restaurants. That percentage is even higher in other industries—upwards of 30% in some cases.
- Gift cards are also great loyalty rewards program benefits because they guarantee repeat customers.
- And unless your gift card loyalty reward percentage is lower than 20%, there’s no risk to your business.
Loyalty Reward Programs Offer Coupons Even Though Everyone Hates Them (But Use Them Anyway)
After all, the best loyalty rewards programs offer loyalty discounts as well as savings in other areas, so at least one of these savings should be a loyalty coupon.
Loyalty Rewards Cards Offer Free Gift Wrapping as a reward
If you own a store that sells gifts or has loyalty rewards card members who buy gifts, the programs can allow club members to get gift wrapping. If your loyalty rewards club already offers discounts on special occasion gifts, there’s no reason why the rewards benefits shouldn’t offer this one as well.
After all, loyalty rewards coupons will probably only be redeemed when people need the items they are being discounted for. However, if loyalty reward program members can get their loyalty rewards gift wrapped without paying extra (and you can afford to do this in terms of time) then it may be worth putting into place.
Loyalty Rewards Cards Offers Pre-sale Tickets and Discounted Pricing
If you are an Internet service provider, loyalty reward programs can offer the rewards club members access to discounted pre-sale concert tickets or loyalty discounts on movie tickets.
If your business is in the entertainment industry, it’s also possible to offer customers discount rates on hotel rooms if there is some sort of event going on such as a sporting match or concert—even better if this loyalty benefits program has nothing to do with the actual event (such as offering loyalty scheme members 50% off airport parking).
In addition to making loyalty rewards members feel like they are getting great discounts that are not available to everyone, loyalty rewards club members may also become attached to your reward program because you offer trendy offers like free cell phone data packs or a 1-month Netflix subscription.
Loyalty Rewards Programs Offer loyalty reward Points Redeemed for Cash Back on Purchases
With so many businesses offering loyalty reward programs, it’s a good idea for you as the business owner to make sure people know why they should shop with you: loyalty rewards points that are redeemable for cash back on purchases.
By rewarding customers with points you can keep more of the money they spend with you instead of giving them loyalty coupons. This will also ensure repeat loyalty rewards on purchases for the customers.
Loyalty Rewards Cards Offers Early Access to New Products and Benefits
Loyalty programs can involve giving them early access to new items or loyalty reward benefits that will be available later on for general customers in addition to a discount off the regular price. This loyalty rewards program works well for businesses where consumers may like a chance to get new products first before anyone else; such as computer games or cell phone accessories.
By offering loyalty rewards club members early access to new products and card benefits, you’re encouraging them not only to come back but also telling them why they should do so. The real trick here is designing your loyalty scheme so that these deals are exclusive enough.
Loyalty Rewards Programs Points for Airline Miles or Points
If you have a travel agency and your loyalty rewards program has at least 1,000 strong membership bases, the programs can offer customers loyalty points that can be redeemed for airline miles or flight tickets.
The best part about this is that it gives the consumers flexibility while making them want to stay connected to your business—as opposed to competitors who may refuse their business as well as offering them something better in terms of reward loyalty program deals.
Loyalty Rewards Programs Offer Points for Referrals and Use of Social Networking Sites
Another form of loyalty rewards program that is highly touted—and with good reason—is the one where members are rewarded with loyalty points just for referring loyal customers who use their loyalty card or sign up at your site.
You can also give them loyalty reward points if they use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others to promote your business by posting about it in their profiles or linking to it in relevant threads. In addition to making people feel “loyal” towards you as a brand by rewarding customer referrals and participation on social networking websites, reward points can be redeemed for cash back on future purchases.
Loyalty Rewards Programs Offer Exclusive Access To Special Events
Here’s another loyalty rewards loyalty program idea that is sure to grab your audience’s attention: offering exclusive access, special events, events, or services only to loyalty members who use their loyalty rewards membership card at your storefront or site.
On top of giving such benefits exclusively to loyalty programs, you should also make it clear as to why people would want them by creating a special offer (or offers) that they won’t get from anywhere else—be it an event, product release, or free service…whatever suits your business model.
Loyalty Rewards Programs Offer Cash Back After Spending a Certain Amount of Money or Time With You
One loyalty program strategy that is sure to stop loyal customers from straying towards competitors is the one where loyalty members are given cash back if they spend $100 in your store, shop online for a specific amount of time, or spend a certain amount of money on their first order.
You can also have the loyalty points total reach certain loyalty levels before you hand out cashback; the more you offer, the more people will want it and stick with your business.
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