The Importance of Emotional Loyalty

by Sean Ogino |

The Importance of Emotional Loyalty

emotional loyalty

When we think of traditional customer loyalty, we think of the points-for-purchase rewards model. We think to ourselves “How many points do I need to can earn this item?” Many brands limit themselves to rational or transactional loyalty as opposed to emotional loyalty. Purchasers make decisions based on logical decision-making and economic incentives like rewards … Read more

Creating Your Full-Funnel Facebook Ad Strategy

Facebook Ad Strategy

To create a full-funnel ad strategy on Facebook, not only must you have a great funnel, but your landing pages need to be on point as well. You can write the best ad copy and target the right audiences, but if your landing pages are missing valuable information that the prospect needs to make their … Read more

10 Customer Loyalty Marketing Tips for the 2018 Holiday Season

loyalty marketing

With the holidays coming up fast, now is the time to finalize and implement your customer loyalty marketing strategy. National Retail Federation says that “In 2020 holiday sales grew 8.3 percent despite pandemic”. The increased wallet size allowed the consumers to splurge on holiday season which sets expectations high for 2021 as well. With so much competition … Read more

Have You Planned Your 2019 Customer Loyalty Strategy Yet?

customer loyalty 2019

They say the sales results you see in Q4 come from the work you do in Q1. With the new year right around the corner, retailers everywhere are finalizing their strategy. Perhaps you’re considering a customer loyalty program or you have one but want to see more growth. Have you and your team implemented a … Read more

Let’s Talk Referral Marketing with Al Lalani

Referral Marketing

  In this episode of Let’s Talk, our Chief Strategist Al Lalani speaks with us about best practices in referral marketing. Did you know that 7 out of 10 Americans seek opinions from their peers prior to making a purchase? Or that 49% of people say friends and family are their top source for brand … Read more

Partner Spotlight: Subscriptions 101 with ReCharge Payments

Partner Spotlight

You’ve probably seen subscriptions popping up left and right in ecommerce stores, maybe you’ve even thought about adding them to your own offerings? But as a store owner, does it make sense to incorporate subscriptions into your store? If only you had some data or figures that prove why it makes sense! Good news, you’re … Read more

Partner Spotlight: Strengthening Your Loyalty Program with Email Personalization

Annex Cloud & Maropost

Why Personalize? Personalization is far from a new trend in marketing, but there’s a big gap between what companies should be doing and what they are doing. Most companies know personalization is a powerful way to connect with customers—both to bolster brand loyalty and drive purchases—but many aren’t quite sure how to go about introducing … Read more

Behind Brayola’s Brand: a Customer Loyalty Case Study

Brayola Customer Loyalty Case Study

Israeli entrepreneur Orit Hashay hit it big with one simple idea: help women find better-fitting bras. After years of going to department stores, trying on bras, and asking embarrassing questions to salespeople; she thought there must be an easier way. Thus sparked Brayola, the online bra store, and personal shopper. This year, Annex Cloud had … Read more

Let’s Talk: Leveraging User Generated Content

User generated content

  We’re really excited to bring back our “Let’s Talk” segment, where experts in marketing and loyalty come to discuss industry trends. This week, our Chief Strategist Al Lalani discusses best practices in user generated content. What are some practical strategies for optimizing your UGC? What do trends in peer recognition tell us? With 47% … Read more

White Paper: How to Surprise & Delight Your Customers with Loyalty

surprise & delight customer loyalty

Every retail and ecommerce brand has asked themselves the same question at one point: How do we surprise and delight our customers? The answer isn’t a simple one, as consumers are becoming savvier about which marketing tactics are being used to pique their interest. In fact, economic trends show that overall consumer trust is declining among institutions … Read more

Ask an Expert: MacKenzie-Childs’ CMO Speaks Customer Loyalty

mackenzie-childs marketing

Welcome to our new segment, Ask an Expert! With this series, Annex Cloud interviews some prominent figures in ecommerce and retail to gain insight on industry trends. This week, we interviewed Larry Shaw, Chief Marketing Officer of MacKenzie-Childs. Since 1983, MacKenzie-Childs has designed home decor and artisan furnishings in their quaint farmhouse in Aurora, NY. Every teapot is hand-painted and each clay cookie jar is carefully molded. We worked with Larry on building their trulyMC customer loyalty program, and this is what he had to say:

What is the single greatest inspiration behind the trulyMC loyalty program?

Every year we have a live barn sale where over 25,000 of our most devoted customers visit our farm in Aurora. These people have so much passion for what we do so we wanted to take that experience and apply it on a grander scale. By implementing trulyMC, we were able to begin building and shaping that community.

Larry has over 25 years of retail experience and has implemented many creative initiatives since joining the MacKenzie-Childs team as CMO in 2016. Their branding is built on the quality and craftsmanship of the pieces they sell. They built a powerful marketing strategy behind their products with three retail stores, an ecommerce site, and a strong social media presence. However, adding a tiered customer loyalty program has been a total game changer for them.

What effect has loyalty had on your customer retention efforts?

After only eight months of implementing our omni-channel loyalty program with referral marketing, we’re already seeing a 9-10% increase in our customer retention rate. To see those numbers so quickly has been remarkable for us.

In addition to the increase in retention rate, they also saw major increases in average order value, new content subscribers, and purchase frequency. So much so that we decided to co-author the MacKenzie-Childs Loyalty Case Study with them, which dives into how we built the program and why we saw so much success.

mackenzie-childs trulymc loyalty programHow do you think Annex Cloud has helped you reach your goals?

Annex Cloud has been willing to customize their platform and processes to accommodate our specific program needs. It being a tiered customer loyalty program, we knew it would require some customized features. But instead of seeing it as a negative, Annex Cloud saw it as good challenge.

To dive more into how we helped MacKenzie-Childs build more loyalty with their customers, check out our case study! Annex Cloud’s unified platform with customer loyalty, user-generated content, and referral marketing functionality allows brands to customize their programs to their unique specifications. To learn how Annex Cloud can help you with your customer loyalty needs, contact us for a free consultation!

 

Top 5 Add-On Features for Your Customer Loyalty Program

customer-loyalty-program

You have a customer loyalty program, so you’re off to the right start! But now it’s been implemented and you’re seeing the value in its performance, you’re probably thinking, “Now what?” We get it, you want to see your customer loyalty program perform to the best of its ability. And now that your business is scaling, you want more tools to boost conversion, engagement, and retention.

As much as it’s very important to promote customer rewards, more and more companies are implementing other loyalty marketing features to help complement those efforts. Though not every tool will be right for your business, it’s important to review your options. That being said, here are the top five features to help you boost retention and really make your loyalty program gain value.

User Generated Content

We now live in an age of distraction where customer attention is at an all-time low. Consumers aren’t trusting traditional advertising as much and believe peer reviews are the most trusted source. That means user-generated content is a pivotal tool for conversion. So by opening up the discussion with Q&A, visual commerce, and product ratings, you’re organically building out your community and fostering a group of brand advocates. Not only does it help your awareness grow, but you’ll see an increase in ROI, an increase average order value, and a decrease in customer turnover.

Omni channel loyalty
According to Google, omni-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those using only one channel.

Omni-Channel Loyalty

It’s so very important to spread your brand’s message across as many channels as possible. Whether it be products on your website, in-store signage, or through email marketing efforts, building consistent branding with a strong omni-channel presence has proven to be a more effective strategy. Annex Cloud has a unique approach to omni-channel, some tactics include integrating your POS system for in-store purchases, creating a custom loyalty app, and even retrieving customer insight with the its data receipt aggregator. According to Nielsen, Americans spend an average of 11 hours per day engaging with various media, including television, internet, radio, and other advertising. With that much media consumption, brands must diversify and find balance among their marketing channels.

Visual Commerce

Though this ties back into your user-generated content strategy, visual commerce allows you to create brilliant product galleries featuring your own customers. Consumers often feel that staged and advertised photos aren’t as relevant to their lives. They like seeing similar people with similar interests using similar products. Visual Commerce channels with targeted tags bring all of these products together into one aesthetically pleasing gallery. You can also tie this in with your loyalty program by rewarding points for users who add images with those products. This influences your consumers to share more content, which creates more brand trust within your community. You can then use those catered product galleries for your website, email, and social media campaigns.

Referral Marketing

We said it before and we’ll say it again, consumers trust peer recognition over traditional sources of advertising. And for that reason, it’s very important to use your most loyal customers as brand ambassadors to their friends. By building a program that gives personalized incentives to your customers and their friends, you’re opening up an entirely new market for your products. Referral marketing helps you expand your customer base at a minimum cost to you. According to Huff Post, those referred customers will have on average a 25% higher lifetime value compared to non-referred customers. Make the most out of your network by implementing referrals into your loyalty program.

Data Integrations

How your brand embraces tech can be the difference between success and failure in retail. It’s so important to offer data integrations to give your potential customers the best user experience possible. If they have difficulty purchasing from you, they can find a similar product with a better UX somewhere else. Tools like social login are huge because not only are you helping the customer buy, but you’re now gaining significant insight into their social behavior. Other features like single sign-on and registration as a service help eliminate data gaps and keep your customer data safe. All of these add-ons create stickiness between you and the customer, which turns into brand loyalty over time.

Optimizing the performance of your customer loyalty program is crucial, and adding features that complement those efforts can be the major differentiator. Annex Cloud builds custom solutions for user-generated content, referral marketing, and omni-channel loyalty. Regardless of if you already have customer loyalty with us, we can help you lower cost of acquisition, cost of retention, and build a community around your brand. If you have any questions about UGC or referral marketing, contact us for a complimentary consultation!

Partner Spotlight: Why Email Marketing Should Be at the Heart of Your Customer Loyalty Strategy

Annex Cloud & Maropost

In the past few years, customer retention has come to attract quite a bit of attention. And while retention may not be as sexy as acquisition, the ROI is far more appealing. By the Harvard Business Review’s account, it costs between 5 and 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep a current … Read more

Annex Cloud Shines at Shop.org’s 2018 Digital Summit

Annex Cloud Shop.org

Last week, Annex Cloud attended the annual Shop.org Digital Summit held at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Thought leaders and retail experts from all over convened to see what’s happening in the industry. Our very own Ariel Bubb gave an intriguing lecture entitled Artificial Intelligence & How it Works with Loyalty, diving into how we can use AI to retain customers. Meanwhile, the Annex Cloud Events Team was holding down the booth answering questions and giving consultations.

“The show was amazing, we were bombarded by retailers asking for advice on their strategy,” said Derek Watkins, Sales Development Consultant for Annex Cloud. “The conversations were fantastic, I love hearing first-hand what customers need help with and what we can do to support their goals.”

Shop.org is looking to change the face of retail by bringing innovative brands and startups together. Retailers like Nike, Wayfair, & Nordstrom’s were all present while celebrity personalities Serena Williams and DJ Pauly D made guest appearances. Many workshops, exhibitions, and lectures took place on retail topics ranging from blockchain technology to mobile innovation.

shop.org
Leaders in retail discuss future trends at Shop.org

During Thursday’s rounds of retail workshops, Annex Cloud’s Senior Marketing Consultant Ariel Bubb gave a speech on how Annex Cloud uses artificial intelligence to project future markets in retail. She went specifically into how we accrue customer data to teach AI systems to deliver advanced audience segments. “We have the technology to use AI to target cohorts of customers, automate incentives, and break through the noise to keep customer attention,” said Ariel Bubb. “It’s amazing to see the future unfold in front of us and we’re doing everything we can to ensure Annex Cloud is on the forefront of innovation.”

Annex Cloud is excited to lead the charge and be a thought leader for change in retail. We are honored that Shop.org asked us to speak on artificial intelligence and how it affects customer loyalty. We are making major strides in market projections and AI and will continue to innovate to help our customers grow. By using AI, our customers see greater ROI, higher average order value, and longer customer longevity overall. If you have any questions about artificial intelligence or just need help with your upcoming marketing strategy, contact us for a consultation and we can help you build a solution that’s right for you.

The “Makeup” of Sephora’s Marketing Strategy

Sephora's Marketing Strategy

It’s no mystery that Sephora has seen major wins in the beauty industry. Since 1969, this cosmetics brand has sold millions of units in retail stores worldwide and continues to thrive today. But what is it about Sephora’s marketing strategy that sets them apart from similar companies like Ulta and Glossier? What is it about them that other brands just can’t keep up with? The short answer is loyalty. More specifically,  how they use personalized loyalty to build a community of beauty advocates.

Unique Customer Loyalty Structure

What differentiates Sephora’s marketing strategy is its approach to rewards. Though they do have a points-for-purchase model, there is so much more that goes into it. For example, in their rewards bazaar, they have new incentives every Tuesday and Thursday and customers can browse a massive gallery of available products. And their unique collection offers limited edition and exclusive product releases solely for its rewards members. With more perks like free makeovers and complimentary birthday samples, it’s easy to see why so many beauty enthusiasts rave about Sephora.

Sephora's Marketing StrategyTo get a better understanding of why people are so loyal to the brand, I asked long-time customer and beauty enthusiast Erin Duff her thoughts on Sephora. “I’ve been a Sephora member for over 11 years and it’s because they have such high quality products from so many different brands. I love that you have the option to spend a few rewards points for a sample of something or save up and get big like a custom makeover.”

User Generated Content

Sephora has set the standard as far as what cosmetic brands should be doing with their user generated content. Take the Insider Beauty Community, for example. It consists of forums surrounding beauty tips, live chats with influencers, and stunning photo galleries. But what I think they do really well in UGC is visual commerce. With many gated channels like Makeup is Life and Best Hair Ever, users are able to post and see pictures to help them guide their purchase decisions. All of this has helped grow Sephora grow and sustain a massive presence with over 15 million subscribers on their website and social media.

Omni-Channel Loyalty

Whether it’s online sales, in-store, or at events, Sephora uses creative ways to retain its customers among all channels. They do a great job of advertising their loyalty program to their network and it’s evident by their impressive online sales and growing list of retail locations. Their unique spin on omni-channel is the work they do with live events. They are constantly advertising beauty classes, makeover events, and of course their epic annual conference Sephoria.

Sephora's Marketing StrategySephoria is a one-of-a-kind live forum where influencers, patrons, and celebrities all collaborate and discuss what’s happening in beauty. Their events and creative marketing strategies help reach a more engaged community and turn Sephora’s avid followers into brand advocates. “By fostering personal connections and generating brand love over the years, it’s only natural that we leverage their input and further strengthen our program beyond just perks and discounts,” says Deborah Yeh, senior vice president of marketing and brand at Sephora.

Sephora’s network is continuing to grow and there’s a reason for that. They have implemented many of the right marketing and loyalty strategies to not only grow their customer base, but to retain it as well. Annex Cloud believes that the right combination of customer loyalty, user-generated content, and omni-channel strategies are the keys to retention. We work with many similar beauty and fashion brands and use loyalty to help them nurture and build real relationships with their customers. If you have any questions about marketing or loyalty, contact us or schedule a consultation today!

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