Getting the Bang for your Loyalty Program Buck—Part I

Looking Through 3 Lenses for Best Program Strategy

The paramount importance of the consumer experience in today’s retail space cannot be denied. Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty literally go hand in hand with one another. Now more than ever, technological advancements have granted retailers an ocean of opportunity in which to interact with and build loyalty amongst their customer base. But how does a retailer navigate through the plethora of possibilities when formulating the loyalty program that’s right for them and their customer base?

By putting themselves in the shoes of both their customers and their employees, retailers can gain significant insight into the loyalty mechanisms that will prove to be most advantageous. Considering not only how the plan will be defined, but how it will be administered and communicated at the point of sale is vital to the process. Additionally, being realistic about organizational strengths and weaknesses will ensure the loyalty program chosen is both feasible and achievable.

Successful loyalty programs are planned from multiple perspectives.

Through the customer lens:Looking through lens

  • Which program will best resonate with your customers to compel them to participate?
  • What type of program fits your customer’s expectation based on their relationship with your brand?

Through the employee lens:

  • What kind of program are your employees best and most efficiently able to execute from an operational perspective?
  • What program will make your employees feel passionate to promote to your customers?

Through the company lens:

  • What customer communication mechanism is necessary to carry out your intended program?
  • What program will help you achieve your company’s financial goals?

For more on the topic, see Getting the Bang for your Loyalty Program Buck—Part II.

Post by John Eagles and Laura SossongJohn Eagles2About John Eagles, Vice President

John has experience in both retail and restaurant as an executive and consultant. He has held executive positions at Bradlees Department Stores, Ames Department Stores, and Papa Gino’s Pizzeria and D’Angelo’s Grilled Sandwiches. He specializes in strategy, POS, merchandising and mobile solutions. He has consulted on a wide range of retail and restaurant enterprise applications, from selection through implementation.

 

 

Laura SossongAbout Laura Sossong, Management Consultant
Laura is an experienced individual with core competencies in merchandising and retail strategy, product optimization, technological innovation, and team training and restructuring. Her efforts have been instrumental in the execution of various organizational strategies and solutions. She has effectively introduced and implemented initiatives for American Eagle Outfitters and MGM Resorts International, among others.

Is interactive Retail a “Stalker” or a “Butler?”

Stalker_or_ButlerI recently read an interesting article in The Atlantic, The Future of Retail Checkout: No Checkout at All?, that raises an interesting point about how consumers will feel as retailers collect more of their digital footprint and use this information for personalized interactions. Will customers feel like they are being “stalked” or will they value the personalized service like they would get from a “butler?”

It is a valid concern. I think the answer really depends on how the retailer uses consumers’ digital data. Successful retailers will use the customer intelligence to “help” the consumer with information that truly enhances their shopping experience. Those retailers that use the information to track consumers for added security or loss prevention will not create retail good will. In a nutshell, it is the difference between customer influence vs. customer intrusion.

Another intriguing topic discussed in the article is the concept of self- or no-checkout. With the continued decline in the cost of electronic ID tags that can be attached to products and the ability to identify customers via a network of sensors in the store, shopping could be revolutionized by technology. Imagine just picking up your products and walking out the door without any physical checkout. Since you and your products are identified as you leave the store, the cost of the products you “purchased” could be billed automatically to your payment method on your profile file with the retailer. Amazing! Wouldn’t that experience feel strange – like you were stealing?

There are unlimited possibilities…

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