Shopify Ecosystem

5 signs that it’s time to amp up your loyalty technology


There’s nothing better than watching key retention metrics such as average order value and purchase frequency creep up. That’s why you launched a loyalty program in the first place right? But as you start to grow your program more and more, you might find that the tools you’re using are becoming more of a hindrance than a help.

Here are our top five signs that it’s time to consider changing up the technology powering your loyalty program:

1️⃣ You’re not using your loyalty program to reflect your brand values

It’s official – more customers than ever are what we like to call conscious consumers, shopping with their hearts rather than with their heads. As a result, it’s never been more important to show them what you stand for as a brand. Your loyalty program should be one of the vehicles you use to do that. 

Whether it’s giving customers the opportunity to earn points in return for recycling your packaging and products, or allowing program members to redeem their rewards as charitable donations, if your loyalty program provider doesn’t offer you the ability to build out the custom points and rewards that you need to communicate your brand values, then you’re missing an opportunity to connect with your customers on a deeper level. 

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2️⃣ Your loyalty program doesn’t gel with your onsite experience

There are many ways to encourage customers to engage with your loyalty program, from emails and paid advertising to onsite notifications and pop-ups. The problem is that for some, the latter can jar with the customer experience they’re aiming to deliver. If you’re concerned that pop-ups don’t work with your brand or your site, then it’s time to see where else in the customer journey you could insert your loyalty program. 

For example, you might give them the opportunity to seamlessly add products to their cart using rewards without leaving the page they’re on, or you might offer them the chance to use the points they will earn within the purchase they’re making straight away.

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You might also want to fully integrate your program into your site, with its own spot in the top navigation header and a dedicated landing page that shows each customer their personalized points balance and available rewards. Ensuring that your members can engage with your loyalty program at every point of their shopping journey is key to providing a seamless customer experience. 

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3️⃣ You’ve got no easy way to deliver VIP treatment

It’s a well-known fact that loyalty program members are more valuable than non-members by virtue of the fact that their customer lifetime value is proven to be greater.  However, not all those who participate in loyalty programs are created equal. If you aren’t able to identify and segment your customers according to how valuable they are to you, then you’re missing the chance to drive even more ROI from your marketing activity. 

Understanding the value and repeat purchase rates of each of your customers, and using that insight to create VIP customer segments that you can prioritize is a surefire way to ensure that you’re focussing your marketing efforts in the right place. But what are you doing to ensure that the real VIPs are getting an experience that’s a cut above the rest? An experience that matches the difference between their average order value and everyone else’s.

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As customers collect more points and climb through your tiers, they should be able to unlock more and more experiential and special rewards. Any loyalty provider should give you the ability to create loyalty program tiers that are built around their points balances. However, if you don’t have the ability to create hidden VIP tiers built around conditions and behaviors tailored to your customer base and their behaviors, then you’re missing an easy way of creating VIP experiences.

4️⃣ You don’t know how to iterate on your loyalty program

For too many ecommerce merchants, a loyalty program is something that gets launched and left. There’s no time to revisit your rewards strategy, and no space in your marketing calendar to communicate it regularly. 

If you can tie your loyalty program back to real experiments and A/B tests, and measure the impact those experiments have on your program participation, your average order values and your customers’ likelihood to act as advocates, then you can find out which activities make the greatest impact on your loyalty program and revenue, and focus more effort there. The platform you run your loyalty program on should give you a way to test, iterate, and optimize your program performance so that you can see real success from every tweak and change you make. 

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5️⃣ Your loyalty program isn’t connected to your wider marketing efforts

As your loyalty program performance improves, it becomes even more important to ensure that it’s not a marketing initiative operating in isolation. Particularly when it could be adding so much value to your other marketing streams. 

If your loyalty platform doesn’t offer you the ability to use your loyalty program to connect and accelerate your other marketing tactics, then both the efficiency and the effectiveness of your entire strategy could be negatively impacted. Whether you could be combining your loyalty and email strategy to deliver more personalized messages, or connecting your reviews provider with your loyalty program to drive greater customer advocacy, your loyalty platform should offer you the ability to fully integrate your program with your wider retention and acquisition strategies. 

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If any of these challenges sound in the slightest bit familiar, then it might be time to rethink your loyalty program provider. Our team of loyalty experts are ready to chat if you’d like to discuss how you can take your loyalty program to the next level.

This article originally appeared in the LoyaltyLion blog and has been published here with permission.

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