By Leanne Franks, Global Head of CX, Tryzens
Nearly every British retailer offers a loyalty programme. Customers accumulate points for every pound they spend to earn discounts on future products and services. The exchange is straightforward: customers get benefits; the brand gets loyal customers.
But is the traditional points and perks model really the best way to solidify the pathway towards customer lifetime value?
In today’s highly-competitive digital landscape, loyalty programmes are just the beginning of the brand-customer relationship as the digital retail revolution has elevated customer expectations. Loyalty strategies that peak with points and monetary rewards are no longer enough – especially for millennials and Gen Zers who expect more interaction with brands before pledging their loyalty.
Through our customer research across multiple retailers, Tryzens has found that younger generations are more likely to see through the transaction-like simplicity of incentivising them to sign up for an account with the promise of discounts. They expect first-class customer experiences where they are being rewarded at every touchpoint, not just free shipping at checkout or a few points after purchase.
With this in mind, retailers can build an authentic loyalty strategy that maximises customer lifetime value based on three fundamental pillars all powered by zero-party data: personalised experience, emotional connection, and engagement.
Customers are confronted with so many choices. What they need is guidance toward products and services that are most relevant to them. This is where personalisation capabilities come into play. Personalisation has become an expectation for customers – 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalised. But getting it right is difficult. With separate systems and siloed data, customers’ experiences are often disjointed.
Retailers can power consistent experiences across touchpoints by using a robust customer relationship management (CRM) platform and a powerful customer data platform (CDP) in tandem to inform a broader omnichannel strategy. CRMs help manage customer relationships, while CDPs help manage customer data.
While CRMs help provide a consistent customer interaction at a sales level, a CDP will allow for a single view of the customer that can be accessed and harnessed by the entire organisation to drive seamless and personalised CX, as well as supporting customer centric business decisions.
Retailers can analyse their supply of customer data to deepen their personalisation capabilities and inform their omnichannel strategy. This helps customers feel understood by the brand and more likely to build a long-term relationship.
There is value for both the retailer and its customers in fostering strong emotional connections. For retailers, fully connected customers are 52% more valuable, according to the Harvard Business Review, which outlines a pathway from “unconnected” to “fully connected”. Forrester research found that when a brand makes a customer feel appreciated, 80% said they would spend more with the brand and 87% would recommend it.
Tryzens is a partner of the iconic department store Liberty, working together to facilitate the expansion of its digital commerce presence and capabilities. One innovative solution that we implemented is the award-winning beauty subscription membership model, Beauty Drop, which allows customers to enjoy a range of beauty, skincare, and makeup products every 4 months. Members receive beautiful products and spend savings on beauty or save it up. Member benefits include access to exclusive offers, rewards and events.
Engagement tools are used to attract and retain customers, helping retailers cultivate more personalised and impactful experiences. Yet in a world that is increasingly clamping down on cookies, sources of customer data are narrowing. This development has made zero-party data extremely valuable.
To encourage stronger streams of zero-party data, retailers can provide customers with customisable preferences to remember how you shop, your styles and your sizes, which power hyper-personalised suggestions. Feedback forms, rating systems, AI-powered chatbots, and surveys integrated across devices and channels all act as zero-party data streams to help optimise your CX and drive loyalty.
However, one of the barriers to collecting zero-party data is the customer’s willingness to share their feedback and insight. At the same time, almost 8-in-10 consumers view brands favourably if they seek out and apply customer feedback. So, brands can encourage customers by offering rewards for completing a survey or after giving a certain number of ratings.
Numbers plus experiences
Points remain essential. They play a crucial role in customers’ lives as they stretch their savings further and encourage repeat purchases. To build long-lasting loyalty, expand the points-based system to include service- and experience-based rewards such as VIP treatments, personal shopping sessions, and phygital events.
If you’re looking to build a CX-first loyalty strategy or optimise your current one, then connect with Tryzens.