Brands Deserve a New Look at the Customer Loyalty Market
The limitations of legacy loyalty solutions
According to RIS News, the key to retail success is resiliency, something traditional loyalty solutions aren’t built for. Companies need loyalty solutions that enable them to adapt their strategies, offers, communications and campaigns quickly. And that gives loyalty members plenty of meaningful ways to build emotional bonds with the brand. In this blog, we will try to look at the Loyalty Industry through a fresh perspective.
The ability to create hyper-personalized individual experiences at scale requires a tremendous amount of data—as well as the ability to build a unified customer view that translates into a consistent, seamless experience no matter where the customer interacts with the brand. Unfortunately, many of today’s loyalty solutions suffer from what RIS News refers to as a Customer Experience Maturity Gap that lacks the ability to effectively adapt to, predict and act on customer behaviors and preferences.
Unfortunately, legacy loyalty solutions are typically siloed, often isolated from other core capabilities. This is a huge obstacle standing in the way of a brand’s ability to consistently drive deep emotional connections that are at the very heart of loyalty. According to Deloitte, this consistency is implicitly difficult to deliver when a brand’s operations are siloed. The lack of seamless integration between loyalty and other key customer-facing apps also makes it hard to collect, share and leverage a robust customer profile.
Expectations and demands on loyalty have changed
While the value of loyalty programs has been proven time and again, brands are still struggling with how to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. An effective loyalty program must enable brands to anticipate their customer’s needs, understand not only what they buy—but why—and identify where they can add meaningful value across the entire customer journey.
Forbes reports that the changing landscape is pushing retailers to be more personal about how they go to market in this consumer-centric era. The problem is the loyalty industry and its technology haven’t kept up, so brands can deliver on these rapidly evolving customer expectations. The loyalty industry is still largely a legacy industry built on legacy technology. In fact, according to Forrester, 85% of retailers lack the right capabilities, human resources, technology and processes to improve the customer experience and monetize their data. Annex Cloud SVP Erin Raese advises, “As technology continues to evolve and customer expectations grow higher, personalizing to create emotional bonds will be imperative.”
Today’s loyalty needs a technology-driven loyalty solution
You could say Annex Cloud is a different kind of loyalty solution provider. Why? Because we’re a technology company that’s 100% focused on loyalty. Loyalty technology isn’t just what we do—it’s who we are at our core. Why is this important? Because our unique approach to loyalty delivers five unique benefits to enterprise brands.
1. Get an ever-evolving loyalty platform to maximize your competitive edge
Annex Cloud’s technology-driven approach means we don’t solve for loyalty at a static point in time. Unlike most loyalty solution providers that build developer-dependent solutions to solve immediate challenges, Annex Cloud is constantly investing in and evolving our Loyalty Experience Platform. Our 140-plus developers are dedicated to keeping brands ahead of the loyalty market with the latest technology, tactics and execution capabilities.
2. Enjoy enterprise scalability without limits
Annex Cloud’s unique Software as a Service (SaaS) loyalty solution is highly configurable, enabling you to test, pivot and scale on a dime without time-consuming development. Maximum flexibility and instant access to all the latest capabilities gives you everything you need to increase lifetime customer value, reduce churn and drive incremental revenue across every customer touchpoint. Infinite scalability means you can grow without limits on members, transactions or program size. It also means you can collect an unlimited number of attributes, manage loyalty programs across regions and brands and easily accommodate seasonal spikes in demand.
3. Leverage easy-to-use features and campaigns
If you have the right technology, you don’t need to add on a laundry list of services ur outsource campaigns. Think about it—do you expect to have to purchase a host of addon services for your CRM? You shouldn’t have to for loyalty either. The beauty of a SaaS-based platform is there’s no need to worry about maintenance or updates—it’s done for you. Annex Cloud’s loyalty solution makes it easy to add features, tiers and campaigns at any time. Advanced personalization options and customer analytics make is easy to use predictive models to impact behavior. And configurable global capabilities (language, currency, time zone, interoperability) enable market expansion without excessive customization.
4. Deliver consistent omnichannel experiences across the customer journey
It’s one thing to collect the data, it’s another to be able to fully leverage it to deliver the individualized experiences your customers crave. Annex Cloud’s technology-first approach and continual investment in integrations enables you to collect unique zero- and first-party customer data, build a unified customer profile, push this data across your tech stack and personalize every interaction. We have the best bench of partners and more than 125 pre-defined connectors to popular technologies—including ERP, Commerce, Marketing Automation, POS, CDP, Email, SMS and more. This puts loyalty at the heart of your organization, enabling you to bring it all together, allowing data to flow easily, integrating loyalty into email, social, website, ratings and other efforts, empowering you to segment and target by virtually any combination of attributes, optimize campaign performance and deliver a seamless, consistent and meaningful customer experience at every touchpoint. This is huge, considering Forbes reports that retailers using three of more channels are seeing a nearly 500% higher order rate compared to those using a single channel.
According to Annex Cloud VP of Product Management Matt Reeves, “Brands need to understand the importance of putting all customer touchpoints at the center of their loyalty initiatives. Investing in technology and integrations ensures the loyalty platform becomes the beating heart of all customer touchpoints with your brand. Seamless integrations with critical customer systems like CRM, POS and others ensures you’ll have a comprehensive and unified view of the customer journey. This will enable you to deliver personalized, meaningful and engaging loyalty experiences that’ll drive retention and build brand loyalty.”
5. Explore endless possibilities
We’re finding more and more clients want a loyalty program that’s about more than discounts and points. That requires really getting to know your customers—their interests, preferences, motivations, values and opinions—not based on assumptions but by asking them. Annex Cloud’s loyalty solution gives you access to all our customer engagement and communication options—giving you a full set of next-gen capabilities to collect zero-party data and serve up meaningful offers, rewards and promotions that you know your customers will be excited about.
Loyalty programs are more important than ever
From their humble beginnings—S&H Green Stamps, box tops and frequent flier miles—loyalty programs have come a long way. Today’s brands are getting creative about how they deliver unique value and keep customers engaged. Engagement is key because, as we outlined in our Guide to Turning Churn into Lasting Customer Loyalty:
Forging deeper relationships with these customers is precisely what loyalty programs are designed to do. The benefits of customer loyalty are even more evident during economic downturns and history has proven loyalty programs lay the foundation for accelerated growth when the dust clears.
Dare to dream with Annex Cloud
If you’re ready to look at a loyalty solution that begs you to dream big, look no further than Annex Cloud. Our technology-first SaaS-based loyalty solution is built to be agile, innovative, easy-to-use and integrated into your core capabilities. It’s everything you need to create a lifetime of loyalty with your customers. Request a free demo to see it in action.