The past couple of years have had a drastic impact on the way people shop, but it also changed the way people think about shopping altogether. A shift to primarily online shopping reminded consumers of the wealth of options available at their fingertips. Browsing online, they’re presented with a multitude of brands selling the products they’re looking for, and once they make a choice, it’s up to the brand to deliver a superior customer experience to hook them — or risk losing them to a competitor. We’ve now entered the age of the empowered consumer, which means brands need to work harder when it comes to customer retention. Better customer experiences are the engine that drives a successful retention strategy. With goals of retention top-of-mind, ecommerce brands generate loyalty that leads to increased revenue and higher lifetime value from every customer.
For brands, a loyalty programme is a key strategy for customer retention. To be most effective, a loyalty programme needs to be tailored to fit every type of consumer, especially the increasing number of UK consumers who prefer SMS to other marketing communication channels.
Integrating your loyalty programme with your SMS marketing strategy is a great way to engage shoppers before, in between, and after purchases with highly personalised and relevant messages. Not only can you segment customers based on loyalty data, like VIP tier or point balance, but you can motivate those mobile-first shoppers to engage at exactly the right moment with the right reward experiences, and you can do it all quickly and easily via text.
Here are some of the benefits of utilising these solutions in tandem.
Collect zero-party data by integrating SMS and loyalty
By integrating your SMS strategy with your loyalty programme, businesses can learn essential information about shoppers by simply asking them via text. Collecting this freely offered information about customers, also known as zero-party data, helps your brand to build more detailed customer profiles that your loyalty programme can leverage.
Once your brand has the customer information on hand, you can send more personalised recommendations directly to each shopper via SMS. In a survey recently conducted by Yotpo, over 50% of consumers said that the most engaging texts from brands are ones that contain information relevant to their interests and past purchases. SMS messages related to loyalty points, perks, and rewards tick that box.
Build deeper customer relationships with personalisation
A business builds the foundations of loyalty through recognition: by knowing what each shopper likes, what types of messages they engage most with, which products they prefer and which recommendations to make and when. These moments make a customer feel special and more connected to a brand, increasing their emotional loyalty, which is one of the strongest drivers of retention, enrichment and advocacy for ecommerce brands.
Throughout a customer’s loyalty journey, your brand can send tailored SMS messages that keep them engaged. In between purchases, your brand can text shoppers to remind them of engagement-based behaviours that can earn them points, like following your brand on social media, reading on-site content or leaving a review.
In addition, your brand can use loyalty data to personalise your texts to increase engagement. Let VIP tier members know they’re close to levelling up or invite new members to take a quiz for extra points. When a brand cares to get to know its customers, they feel stronger feelings of brand advocacy and loyalty.
Provide loyalty members with low-effort ways to engage with time-sensitive offers
One of the primary ways SMS marketing can maximise the value of a loyalty programme is by leveraging a sense of urgency. Especially in comparison to email, engagement with a text happens in real-time — over 90% of messages are read within 3 minutes of being received.
This sense of timeliness is what leads many consumers to opt-in to receive texts from a brand. According to data from Yotpo, 46% of consumers would sign up for SMS marketing messages from a brand in order to know immediately about promotions, offers, and updates even if they already receive emails from the same brand.
Texting is a low-effort way for consumers to constantly engage and earn rewards. Loyalty members especially care about early access to sales, product drops and other exclusive events. SMS enables VIP members to cut through the noise of additional marketing communications and interact with the brand to enjoy their benefits right away.
Loyalty and SMS are better together
With a loyalty programme and SMS marketing working together, brands can deliver superior customer experiences and long-term value. Leverage loyalty programme data to engage shoppers with loyalty-specific messages, and use SMS to conduct meaningful conversations — capitalising on every single interaction between your brand and your loyalty members. Yotpo Loyalty and Yotpo SMSbump work together to help brands boost engagement, retention, and most importantly — revenue.
Talia Shani, Director of Marketing at Yotpo