It’s beginning to look a lot like saving.
As we settle into the crisp fall months, customers across the country are looking ahead to the holidays through a lens of big savings and great deals — even more than usual. Thanks to the impact of record-high inflation numbers, historical gas prices and sweeping supply chain challenges, shoppers are bracing themselves for the impact of higher food costs for their holiday celebrations.
Armed with their smartphones and a wealth of digital resources, tech-savvy consumers are looking to boost their purchasing power through mindful research, budgeting and planning. At the forefront of the many modern resources valued by shoppers are the loyalty programs that they participate in at their retailers of choice. After all, rewards are valuable currency, and shoppers have come to expect a tangible return on their loyalty as they build relationships with the stores they frequent.
Brick-and-mortar grocers that offer digital loyalty programs not only help maximize savings for shoppers, but also position themselves to build long-term customer relationships that result in higher basket size and increased overall revenue.
The Tools of the Loyalty Game
Not all loyalty programs are created equal. Customers rely on retailer apps and digital properties to help them through every step of their shopping journey seamlessly, whether online or in-store, so choosing the right solutions and features is key.
Engaging shoppers in a personalized, targeted way while bringing the maximum amount of revenue to your business should be your ultimate goal, and it can be achieved with these five must-have tools:
1. A Custom Mobile App
In this age of ever-evolving technology, convenience is the name of the game. Shoppers now depend on their trusty smartphones to do the heavy lifting in preparing them for trips to the store, so an app that takes them through the journey is an absolute must-have. While most purchases are completed in-store, 95% of shoppers still use their phones to find deals, clip coupons, create lists and access the benefits of that ever-important loyalty program.
With a custom app created to meet your customers’ needs, you’re not only helping them to save, but you’re also accessing valuable data that can help you provide the experience they want in a personalized way. Which leads us to…
2. Personalized Offers and Campaigns
It’s human nature. People like to feel special, and shoppers like to feel connected to the stores they frequent. By offering targeted, relevant deals and discounts based on a customer’s purchasing patterns, you’re telling them that they’re heard. You’re also building a level of trust that shows shoppers that you understand their needs and have the tools to meet those needs.
A personalized approach also connects both you and your shoppers with brand partners through campaigns that raise awareness and offer special incentives and savings. By targeting customers with brand content, you’re building a partnership that can help guide promotions, create brand loyalty and generate margin-rich retail media revenue you can invest back into your business.
3. Interactive Shopping Challenges
Who doesn’t love a challenge? Adding an element of competition to your loyalty program adds some fun while incentivizing shoppers to return to your store specifically to complete the challenge and reap the benefits. Offering a gamified experience — especially during stressful seasons like the holidays — gives your customers motivation and delivers a sense of accomplishment upon completion.
4. A Dynamic Rewards Center
Cash back. Gas discounts. Member-only promotions. There are many ways that retailers can reward their loyal customers. A major factor in the success of your loyalty program is offering the right kind of return on your shoppers’ investment.
Equally as important is making sure that your loyalty program is easy to understand, letting customers know exactly what they need to do to earn and redeem their rewards.
5. Powerful Reporting and Analytics
Robust reporting and analytics are the life force of your loyalty program. Without them, you won’t have the information you need to support all of the benefits we’ve discussed above. Choose a technology platform that integrates data and analytics into every aspect of your loyalty program.
When executed correctly, this data can help you personalize offers and campaigns for each individual customer, offer rewards and incentives that inspire return visits, choose valuable brand partners, and inform future loyalty features and promotions.
Your Loyal Customers Are Waiting
Gaining customer loyalty, particularly during the holidays, can be tricky. At a time when shoppers are looking for the best deals—no matter where—retailers are bound to find themselves in greater competition for their grocery dollars. By choosing an innovative technology partner—like Swiftly—to help you focus on gaining and retaining shoppers though a personalized, data-driven loyalty program, not only can you win customers through retail’s busiest season, but you can build relationships that will last well into the new year.