Today’s savvy and tech-enabled consumers are pushing retailers to evolve their loyalty programs.
According to Boston Retail Partners’ new report, The BRP SPECIAL REPORT: Loyalty Programs – Rewarding the Customer Experience, consumers’ behaviors and shopping habits have evolved through new technology and expanded channel offerings.
This shift requires loyalty programs to go above and beyond the traditional “earn points and receive rewards” structure to play a key role in enabling the unified commerce experience and reinforcing customer relationships. In fact, 62 percent of retailers increased their 2015 budgets to enhance loyalty programs, the report found.
The report found that today’s loyalty programs need to strengthen interactions with the customer and increase loyalty by enabling enhanced services and rewards, such as:
- Real-time customer identification in-store to enable guided selling
- Customized rewards based on customer preferences
- Gamification to engage customers and encourage social interaction
- Mobile tracking and redemption of rewards and offers
“One of the best ways to know the customer, reach the customer and deliver the right shopping experience is through a loyalty program,” said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners. “Offering customers exclusive perks, relevant incentives and personalized rewards encourages them to identify themselves while shopping and allows the retailer to further tailor the experience.”
Other key findings of the report include:
- Loyalty programs are a top priority for 46% of retailers
- 883% more retailers plan to have the ability to identify customers when they walk in the store via their smartphones in five years
- 181% more retailers plan to use gamification within loyalty programs in five years
- 56% of retailers plan to participate in mobile loyalty applications in five years