Over the last decade, loyalty programs have been overloading the market of physical stores. Every store wanted to have its own loyalty card, with its own benefits and meanwhile, the wallet of every customer is full of cards and people often don’t recall if they are a member or not. Luckily, most of the programs have shifted over the last years to digital versions, which lead to the next challenge: all those apps and digital cards on your phone. Although great apps like Stocard solve this challenge, by integrating all loyalty apps into one single app, this doesn’t solve the challenge of all those different digital cards yet. Luckily, there is one business where this challenge is less applicable: e-commerce!
Most of the loyalty programs are less focused on e-commerce though, although the Covid-19 pandemic has enforced a large shift in commerce towards digital. Most behavior of consumers is now even more online and so should organizations shift their focus to digital loyalty programs for online stores. We see it coming more and more, but still a lot of organizations are lacking a real, personalized loyalty program within their online store. We believe a greater focus of e-commerce businesses should be on retention of the customer, instead of purely focusing on generating more traffic, more leads, more customers and purchases via all types of digital channels and marketplaces like Amazon and bol.com. Brand loyalty of individual stores is more essential than ever, so start developing your own, (hyper-)personalized loyalty program within your existing online store!
All good e-commerce companies have a thorough CRM system. This should be your starting point, one single data source: the single source of truth! By starting with your CRM, you have your most important asset in place and connected: data. This will drive your personalized program from the start and will continue to improve due to the collection and combination of more data throughout the course of applying the program to your customers. Unfortunately, we experience too often that loyalty programs are still siloed and applied within organizations and businesses as separate, standalone tools. That creates a gap between data sources, which blocks future and sustainable development in personalization and, with that, the effectiveness and ROI of your program. Don’t silo, think as a platform!
“We experience to often that loyalty programs are still siloed and applied within organizations and business as separate, standalone tools. That creates a gap between data sources, which blocks future and sustainable development in personalization and, with that, the effectiveness and ROI of your program.”
For the integration of your desired program onto your CRM, you use a native application (like the VANEIGENS Engagement Hub) that manages the full program through API’s and offers you the flexibility to design and manage the program according to your needs. Don’t limit yourself in possibilities and use an application that already contains all required and nice to have features, like customer profiling, marketing automation, tiers, benefits, promotions, coupons, gamification, thirds party rewards and of course solid analysis and reports.
As soon as your starting point is done, you can start designing the full ecosystem and all integrations required to setup the loyalty ecosystem. For a successful integration and setup of your program, make sure to keep to following elements in mind:
As soon as the infrastructure is ready to use, you can start designing the full program, fitting your business needs and the consumers’ wishes. In the articles on designing the best fitting programs, you can read all about the steps and stages to go through in this process. For e-commerce businesses, we have already summed up a few think starters for the creative use of your program:
When having designed and implemented your unique, personalized program, make sure to actively communicate your program at every stage of the customer journey. Try to make it as tangible as possible, so the customer understand what value is in it for them. Don’t hide your program, but make it one of your core USP’s. Customer loyalty is going to make the difference for e-commerce businesses in 2021, so invest in it and make it more important for your entire organization, as multi-disciplinary approach!
So. Online loyalty can be very extensive, but doesn’t have to be complicated to design and setup. By using the right application, integrating the necessary systems via API and to design a creative, interactive and beneficial rewarding mechanism, e-commerce loyalty is developed in a sustainable way.
Interesting in loyalty programs for e-commerce and direct integration onto CRM systems? Then contact us for a great cup of coffee!
Bart is 35 years of age and a dedicated e-commerce, marketing and loyalty specialist, with wide experience in managing companies and engagement programs. Besides its passion for innovation and startups, he likes to run, play field hockey and watch a lot of sports.
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