Brand loyalty, customer loyalty, and loyalty programs are commonly mentioned terms in modern-day marketing. Loyalty programs, overall, are based on incentive theory, which suggests that behavior is motivated by a desire for reinforcement or incentives. The psychological effect loyalty and reward programs have on customers is one of the prime reasons these remain valid and thriving in businesses.
From copper coins, given out by early American retailers as loyalty tokens, to the new and novel blockchain, loyalty programs have come a long way. Although blockchain loyalty may take a few years to funnel down to brands and companies, the reigning medium to execute, manage, and monitor loyalty programs is now a loyalty application.
A loyalty app allows the customers to score points and monitor their score, along with checking out their rewards, benefits, and new offers; it also enables them to redeem those points, either on online tractions or at a brick-and-mortar store. Loyalty Applications are swiftly replacing the plastic card issued by brands as loyalty cards. In the wake of the pandemic, more and more companies are taking their brands online through apps, with the loyalty-enabled feature.
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Why Do Brands Need A Loyalty App?
Technology and COVID-19 restrictions have moved point-of-sale to online payment gateways. Even before the lockdown, many customers in the 18-40 age group were migrating to websites and mobile applications for their shopping requirements. From banking to shopping and entertainment, mobile phones have emerged as clear winners. According to Deloitte, an average US consumer checks his/her mobile phone about 52 times a day. To connect with the customer on a platform preferred by them is an ideal way to kickstart a brand-customer relationship.
Convenience is another important factor in why brands need to switch to mobile applications. The customers can visit the online platform via the application at any time of the day even. In contrast, stores generally are open only at certain hours and purchase from anywhere in the country or even the world, if the brand allows it. It also becomes easier to grab a customer’s attention through a push notification or an insightful and engaging email, which conveniently supplies a link to the application itself.
Loyalty Applications Benefits:
- Personalization – Studies show that customized offers are the most favored among customers. Almost 62% of customers expect brands to send them personalized offers and messaging. Mobile and Loyalty Applications make personalization even more straightforward for brands. Special offers on birthdays and anniversaries provide an added incentive to the customers to purchase from the brand.
- Easy Data Accumulation – Mobile and Loyalty Applications make the accumulation and management of customer data easy and efficient. With the right reward or incentive, a loyalty app will attract hundreds of customers. Even though not everyone will be an active participant in the loyalty program, the company has quantifiable and valuable data. This data can be further used to enhance customer experience, improve marketing strategies, and even identify potential target groups.
- Better Customer Service – One of the primary criticisms customers have about a company is customer service. Visiting a physical store and standing in line to getting unsatisfactory answers for their questions or complaints can be quite taxing for customers. Brands can significantly simplify customer service through their mobile apps with the help of chatbots and instant messaging. Two-thirds of Millennials versus 58% of Baby Boomers consider 24-hour service the top benefit of using chatbots. According to Forbes, 70% of customers report having a positive experience with chatbots.
- Enhances Customer Experience – Shopping and participating in a loyalty program through a mobile app are much more convenient. A mobile app will give them access to information they might need at any time, without stepping out of the house or having to wait for somebody to answer their phone call or email. Even raising a complaint on a mobile application is quite easy. Engaging customers through a loyalty app will help in enhancing the overall customer experience.
- Boosts Customer Engagement – As important as it is, customer engagement through traditional mediums can be expensive. A loyalty app will enable you to engage with your customers in an inexpensive and highly lucrative manner. For example, if a particular customer hasn’t shopped with you in a while – or simply hasn’t logged in on the app for a while – you can nudge the customer through push notifications and messages. Similarly, with abandoned carts, you can remind the would-be buyer that there are still items in their cart, potentially prompting them to complete the purchase. It is an excellent way to increase footfall and click-through rate.
Motivating Customers to Switch to Loyalty Applications
- Incentivize Certain Features – Today, almost every popular brand has its mobile app, meaning a high chance your app might go unnoticed by your audience due to the screen-time competition. To increase downloads of your mobile and loyalty app, try to incentivize certain features. You could award some points for downloading the app itself. This is a great way to motivate users to enroll in the loyalty program as they would get a head start in the points game just by downloading the app. You could also incentivize users that share your mobile app with their friends or recommend products to their network of peers consistently.
- Create Value-Added Experiences – A mobile app doesn’t necessarily have to be only a selling and purchasing platform. Brands can use their mobile or Loyalty Applications to exchange information, creating engagement through relevant content and value-added experiences. You can build a community online of your loyal customers and provide a platform to meet like-minded individuals, know more about the brand(s), or even promote charitable causes.
- Stress Your USP or Special Feature – To stand out from the rest, you need to promote your app and its unique selling point. What makes your app different or better? If it enables customers to build groups and network, market it! If your app provides a 360-degree panoramic view, make that a central point. If you plan on introducing special offers for app users, let them know! Alert your customers about what’s unique about your app and how they can benefit from it to maximize digital footfall.
To leverage your mobile and Loyalty Applications, brands and companies must focus on creating a better customer experience, ease-of-use of the application, and concentrate on building an online community of loyal customers. Annex Cloud can help you enhance customer experience through omnichannel loyalty solutions. Connect with team Annex Cloud, to know how you can better your customer experience.