How to Set Up a Customer Loyalty Program

by Emily Retherford

2 min read

Rewards programs can boost customer loyalty and increase sales, but as a small business owner, you may be wondering where to start. Creating a loyalty rewards program may be easier than you think.

Focus

Before choosing which type of loyalty rewards program you want to use, you may want to outline a focus. Do you want your loyalty program to bring in customers who haven’t visited your shop in a while? Are you intent on encouraging existing employees to spend more during each visit? Do you simply want to thank clients for their loyalty? Ultimately, the objective for your program should dictate the approach you take. For example, an email-based program allows you to send coupons or notifications to clients who haven’t made a purchase in a while. On the other hand, if you want to boost sales during each visit, you may want to use a loyalty app that rewards customers the more they spend per transaction.

Punch Cards

Punch cards are the original rewards program. Basically, clients make a certain number of purchases – tracked by punches on a cardboard card – to earn a free product. If you opt for this approach, try to find a stamp or punch that isn’t easily replicated; this is especially important if your offer high-value rewards, such as a free pair of shoes for every 12 pairs purchased. The other drawback is that people often don’t want to have their wallets cluttered up with paper cards. To sidestep this issue, you could keep the cards on site or embracing an electronic rewards method.

Email Lists

Email lists are another do-it-yourself loyalty option that virtually any business can use. This option can work for brick-and-mortar retail shops, e-commerce sites, professional firms, and a range of other business concepts. To create this type of program, start by collecting client’s email addresses when they make purchases. To facilitate this process, consider using a point-of-sale system for small business, such as Orderhive, that integrates customer relationship management functions. With this type of system, you can enter client data after each purchase. As they make additional purchases, you simply need to ask for a small piece of information, such as a phone number or email address, to link the sale to their account. Then, you can generate special offers, coupons, or other loyalty rewards based on their shopping preferences. You can even set up automatic emails to reach out to customers who haven’t been to your shop in a while. You may want to use an app featuring an embedded loyalty program, such as Hike. With this app, you can assign points to specific purchases and allow customers to reap rewards or discounts with points.

Loyalty Apps

Think about building your own loyalty app. It could integrate advanced features, such as push notifications that invite customers into your shop when they are in the geographical vicinity. It also presents a valuable branding opportunity, as customers constantly see your logo on their phones. You can hire a developer or use an app-building template to create a loyalty app for your company.

References & Resources

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