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Why Mobile Loyalty Programs are Imperative for Your Business

Posted on 8/16/2016 by in Mobile Apps Reasons to go Mobile Mobile App Features Mobile Marketing iOS Apps Android Apps

Mobile Loyalty programs are a time-tested and effective means to help a company increase brand growth and its reputation. It attracts new and old customers alike, and it stimulates them to return again and again.

In the past, a small or resource-limited business could hardly compete with the large rewards programs of big box stores and large companies. Many of us resorted to the archaic punch card/stamp system, where each time a customer visited (and remembered to bring their rewards card), they received a punch or stamp, until they filled the card and received some predetermined reward.

This system, while having all the components of a reward system, lacks convenience and pales in comparison to the reward system of most large companies. Luckily, however, the playing field of loyalty programs is becoming a lot more even.

Thanks to the boom of the mobile age, an increasing number of mobile-reliant consumers are passing on the stamp cards and the bigger rewards programs of large stores and businesses.

In the place of these traditional loyalty programs are mobile-centric offerings that are right at the customer’s fingertips at all times, which means they never have to remember to bring their sandwich club card again. This is helping those small businesses compete in the loyalty program department because these reward systems are easily integrated into a company’s existing mobile app.

As our world becomes more and more mobile-driven, there is an increasing number of reasons why building relationships with customers through our mobile apps is imperative to be successful in this realm. Integrating your existing (or in development) app with a loyalty program is a great way to create these relationships, while simultaneously fostering superior brand loyalty and offering customers relevant and valuable rewards on the channel they use the most.

Here is why you need to start thinking about giving up on or combining your traditional, offline loyalty program with a new, mobile-driven one.

Only Mobile Loyalty Programs Offer a Seamless Customer Journey

When we talk about a seamless customer journey, the notion of stopping a transaction to give a phone number or e-mail address out doesn’t typically make the conversation. Mobile loyalty programs eliminate this cumbersome step; many are sophisticated enough to detect when a purchase has been made and update the customer’s rewards points or automatically apply discounts (whatever the system may be). At a time when customer experience reigns supreme, an end-to-end flawless journey is crucial.

Loyalty Programs are a Time-Tested, Proven Effective Marketing Strategy

Each loyalty program is a little bit different than the next, whether that means how the program is structured, the way customers earn rewards or what those incentives are. What remains the same, however, is their positive impact on successfully growing a company.

Why are loyalty programs so good at boosting growth? The easiest answer is to simply look at the numbers. The following statistics are part of the Bond 2016 Loyalty Report, which tracks trends in loyalty memberships and member satisfaction.

  • The average consumer belongs to 13.4 loyalty programs and actively participates in 6.7
  • 66% of loyalty program members modify their spending to maximize reward points
  • 81% of consumers claim that loyalty programs are responsible for their continued business with brands and 75% believe that these programs are part of their relationship with those brands
  • 73% of consumers feel they are more likely to promote and recommend a brand with good loyalty programs
  • When we are talking about improving growth, these are the kind of consumer behaviors we drool over. Spending more, promoting more and staying loyal are all key factors to improving growth and they happen to all be highly affected by a loyalty program.

Growth Overshadows Costs of Starting a Loyalty Program

When you consider all of the impressive stats from reason #2 above, it starts to seem very silly that some organizations shy away from offering a loyalty program. They see it as sinkhole for their possibly limited resources, which could be used on other marketing strategies.

This, however, is partially flawed logic that undermines the value of loyalty programs. Consider that it is approximately 7 times more expensive to produce a new customer than it is to keep an old one. Thus, what you spend in resources on your loyalty program(s) won’t be a large expensive, considering the returns of a brand loyal customer who is more likely to recommend you to others (let them acquire your new customers for you!).

It is also important to consider that the cost of a maintaining a mobile loyalty program is small. Once you get the initial work of setting up the program out of the way, the only real continuing expenses you will have is the costs of the rewards you offer. Yet, these costs are often much less than the increased revenue generated by loyal consumers continuing to make purchases in order to reach those rewards.

Mobile Loyalty Programs Produce Volumes of Consumer Data

A mobile loyalty program is a great source of data and allows us to research the purchasing behaviors of each target demographic. This information is vital towards improving future marketing efforts and understanding the ever-changing wants, needs and desires of our customers. Ultimately, these insights can be leveraged to create the optimal experience for customers and invoke a desired action from them, such as purchasing more.

From the standpoint of your loyalty program, this type of data can also be looked at to improve your rewards offerings. You can look at the data to determine which incentives are most popular or not and by which audience segment. One incentive may not resonate with millennials, but may be popular amongst older members. You can strategically leverage this information by associating high-value rewards to products that you want to move quickly or to certain days/times when sales are low and need a boost.

Loyalty Programs Enhance Brand Reputation and the Customer Experience

In an age where the customer experience is the biggest competitive differentiator, improving that experience, especially in a mobile environment, by offering a loyalty program, is a huge step in the right direction. At the very least, it sets your business apart from those that aren’t willing to adopt a mobile reward program. No one has ever had taken issue with being rewarded for their loyalty. In fact, a lot of consumers today expect it.

Word-of-Mouth Boosts Customer Base and Brand Reputation

Mobile loyalty programs have a strong word-of-mouth nature to them because people like to be on the cutting edge and in the know. Consequently, 73% of the people 18-34 feel that it’s important to hear what others have to say about technology.  If you have an extremely effective and superb program, the group of consumers most likely to use your app and benefit from your rewards is going to tell their friends about your app and its rewards system.

In the end, you will be attracting customers at a much higher rate, while simultaneously building your brand reputation as a company that places the customer in high regards and rewards their loyalty appropriately. This can encourage more downloads on the app store, higher loyalty memberships and bolster the overall success of your loyalty program.

Once a member has accrued a lot of reward points, chances are they aren’t going to abandon them. From a customer point of view, those points represent an investment of their time, money and loyalty (yes, loyalty can be a commodity!).

Begin Creating A Mobile Loyalty Program

It’s time to begin weaving your existing, offline loyalty program into your mobile app platform. Your business will grow from engaging in a proven and mutually beneficial relationship with your customers.  A loyalty program will help improve your company growth, boost your brand reputation and customer experience, while acquiring valuable data about your customer’s spending habits and behaviors.

With 57% of consumers reporting that they would like to engage with their favorite brand’s loyalty programs on their mobile phones, now, more than ever, it is imperative that marketers look at adopting a mobile loyalty program.

Contact us today for a free consultation on the best brand strategy for your business.