When you went to get coffee today, probably at your local Starbucks, you may have paid with your Starbucks app. And if you did, you’re in good company. As one of the 15 million people who are signed up for and active users of Starbucks Rewards, Starbucks’ all-in-one loyalty program and social behavior software is a great example of a powerful loyalty software that rewards customers like you for various actions. And with 2 million new people signing up year-over-year, it’s clearly working.
To get to where they are, Starbucks had to build the necessary infrastructure to insure their program works flawlessly. Loyalty programs require seamless integrations into your business’ platform, model, website, and more. For you get to where Starbucks’ is, there are four key integrations you must have for your loyalty program.
Integrating with your ecommerce platform is a huge undertaking. When your integration happens, you’ll need a solid ecommerce platform to work with, and whether your business is using Shopify, Magento,or another platform; you should consider how easy it is to integrate a loyalty program.
One of the hallmarks of a successful ecommerce loyalty program integration is how well it works with the checkout process. Users should be able to log in to their online accounts and have their loyalty program’s user profile either integrated into or be the same account as their main login. During checkout, a process that already attaches, displays the rewards, and highlights the value of the loyalty program is an immediate need to the customer. This serves to constantly remind the customer that their loyalty program is working, reinforcing their social behavior, and rewarding them for being loyal customers.
As part of your must-need integrations, setting up a marketing automation platform with your business is paramount. A loyalty program works hand-in-hand with your marketing automation platform to push out your materials on a regular basis, allowing for a steady stream of information to remind your customers of your products and services.
A really good marketing automation tool allows your loyalty program to regularly interact with customers, reach them on multiple channels, and most of all, keeps them coming back to your main sales channels. A loyalty program slots into all of this, piggybacking on, and supplementing the marketing apparatus you already have.
As we mentioned in our review of Amazon’s reward program, instead of sending a single bulk email soliciting reviews from their users, Amazon’s powerful marketing automation allows them to send individual requests for reviews. Each email is another potential touch point for the user, pushes out other email requests, and lets Amazon collect data about which items the consumer actually cares about.
When it comes to loyalty programs working with brick and mortar locations, your integration with your POS is a critical component of your success. A POS system that works poorly with your loyalty program is the fastest way to upset customers. But an easy-to-use POS with your branding and rewards promotes a seamless customer experience.
Consider in your own life how many times you have gone into a store and the system can’t find your information, can’t determine how how many points you have, can’t track your order history, or can’t scan your loyalty card? It takes three minutes to load your information, when at other businesses it takes no more than your phone number. Choosing a smart POS system and working with a partner that can integrate with your technology is a major consideration. Your POS system should play nicely with your loyalty program.
We understand not all companies have apps (yet), but considering the increases in mobile usage and loyalty programs should be a major consideration. As mobile apps become ubiquitous in the lives of consumers, adding a loyalty program improves your ROI, increases daily users, and reinforces the wanted behavior of the consumer using your app.
Many companies, as such the aforementioned Starbucks as well as its competitor Coffee Bean, have rolled out powerful apps that unify the loyalty program with the POS system. A user can reload their gift cards/app, use their points at the register, and seamlessly order before they arrive. While the user can update all of their information from a desktop, the convenience of the app adds another pleasing interaction with your company before a customer arrives at their upright computer.
Replicating this environment for your business delivers a powerful IoT solution that crosses many technological barriers. That replication of your brand’s graphics and messaging encourages a strong omni-channel experience for your brand.
With all four of these key integrations in place, you’ll find that your loyalty program has the highest chance of success. These integrations encourage your customers to become more involved with your loyalty program, so, selecting customer loyalty software that integrates with other ecommerce software is really important.
With the right technology that works with you loyal customers, you’ll be on the right track to make your customers advocates. Having questions about how to integrate the right tech into your retention solution? Contact us today and one of our expert consultants will identify the program that’s right for you!