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Creating A World-Class Fashion Loyalty Strategy With Vitality

creating-a-world-class-fashion-loyalty-strategy-with-vitality
Creating A World-Class Fashion Loyalty Strategy With Vitality

The Shopify fashion market is a vibrant and expansive segment of the e-commerce industry, hosting over 531,000 stores globally. Despite the significant opportunities this platform offers, fashion retailers face a myriad of challenges that can put the brakes on their success.

One of the biggest challenges they face is customer retention. In the fiercely competitive fashion world, keeping customers coming back is no easy feat. Unlike other industries, where brand loyalty might be more easily fostered, fashion consumers are often swayed by the latest trends and deals. This makes it crucial for retailers to find effective strategies to nurture and retain their customer base.

Another pressing issue is the heavy reliance on discounting. Fashion retailers on Shopify are discounting their products 40% more than brands in other e-commerce sectors. While discounts can drive short-term sales, they often drive down profit margins and devalue the brand in the eyes of consumers. This means finding sustainable ways to incentivize purchases without excessive discounting is crucial.

The seasonality of fashion also poses a challenge, with sales often experiencing significant peaks and troughs. Quiet periods can be particularly tough, making it more difficult to maintain a steady cash flow. Strategies that encourage consistent purchasing behavior throughout the year are vital to even out these fluctuations.

With hundreds of thousands of stores vying for attention, standing out requires a unique value proposition and exceptional customer engagement strategies. Brands must differentiate themselves to capture and retain market share in this crowded landscape.

In light of these challenges, implementing effective loyalty programs has become increasingly important.

One of our clients, Vitality, has first-hand experience of these challenges. Launched in 2018, they sell athleisure clothing to men and women, with a particular focus on designs that are made for real bodies. They started working with us in 2019, looking for a better way to connect with their audience and build a community.

We caught up with their Operations and Customer Experience Manager, Audra Shipstad at our Loyalty Connect event to find out more about their experience working with LoyaltyLion. 

What did Vitality want to achieve with their loyalty program?

As with any brand building out a loyalty scheme for the first time, Vitality had their own drivers and goals that they were looking to achieve. For this brand specifically, there were three key areas that they wanted to focus on:

Building stronger customer connections

A major driving force behind Vitality’s decision to work with LoyaltyLion was the desire to forge stronger connections with their customers, rewarding their retention and loyalty. They aimed to create a platform where their community could feel involved and valued. Since the launch, they have seen a significant increase in returning customers, which has helped in building a robust and engaged community. By fostering more one-on-one relationships and offering unique rewards, Vitality has made their customer experience as personalized as possible.

Operating entirely in the e-commerce space without physical stores or face-to-face interactions, Vitality faced the challenge of creating strong digital ties with their customers. LoyaltyLion has been instrumental in overcoming this challenge, enabling Vitality to develop and grow these vital connections. Since implementing the loyalty program, their community engagement has grown tremendously, demonstrating the success of their strategy.

Rewarding the customers that shop the most

Vitality’s loyalty program was designed to recognize and reward their most frequent shoppers. Two years ago, they implemented a tiered system which significantly impacted customer engagement. The Very Important Fam (VIF) tier, the highest level, offers exclusive benefits like free shipping, holiday gifts, and earning days. This approach not only enhanced customer experience but also boosted retention and sales by encouraging frequent purchases and rewarding loyal customers.

Driving differentiation

Vitality collaborated with LoyaltyLion to stay ahead of the curve by making their loyalty program stand out. They focused on creating a unique program that aligns with their values of inclusivity, sustainability, and community engagement. By continuously evolving their program and integrating new features, they ensured that their loyalty strategy remained innovative and attractive to their customers.

What makes a great fashion loyalty program?

While all brands are different with unique goals, there are a few key areas that can help to make a fashion loyalty program more successful. 

Easy enrollment

Vitality is dedicated to improving the enrollment process to make it clearer and more understandable for first-time customers. They recognize the importance of a seamless onboarding experience, which they are actively working on enhancing.

Loyalty program tiers

Vitality’s tiered loyalty system has been a game-changer for them. They found that their customers responded positively to the tiered structure, especially as their highest tier offered such substantial benefits. This system drives customer loyalty by providing tangible, experiential rewards for continued engagement.

A great checkout experience

Vitality prioritizes loyalty within the checkout, ensuring that the loyalty program details are clearly communicated as customers are purchasing. They believe that a transparent and efficient checkout process is crucial for customer satisfaction and loyalty program success.

What technology integrations should a fashion brand consider when working on loyalty?

It should be pointed out that LoyaltyLion can’t take all the credit for the great success that Vitality has seen with their loyalty program. With increased customers, purchasing, and retention, comes an increased need to service these customers properly. That’s why it’s so important to consider the additional technology integrations that keep things ticking along nicely. 

Some of the recommendations that Audra suggested for other fashion brands looking to emulate their processes include:

Email and SMS

Vitality integrates Klaviyo and Attentive for email and SMS communication, allowing them to create specific customer communication flows. These tools are essential for engaging with customers and keeping them informed about their loyalty status and rewards.

Helpdesk

They also use Gorgias to enhance their customer experience by ensuring quick and efficient responses to inquiries. This integration is crucial for maintaining high customer satisfaction and efficient support.

App

Vitality recently launched their own app to improve customer communication and experience using Tapcart. The app enhances the customer experience by making loyalty program features easily accessible on mobile devices. 

Audra was keen to point out that the vast array of options within LoyaltyLion’s integrations made it much easier for them to grow and scale their technology stack.

What are the benefits of a great fashion loyalty program?

Since launching their loyalty program with LoyaltyLion, Vitality has seen a whole host of successes. They currently track several important metrics to gauge the performance of their loyalty program. This includes their ‘redeeming members rate’ (number of members redeeming points for a reward), which currently sits at a huge 62% – significantly higher than the industry benchmark of 16%. This high engagement also trickles down positively into other metrics, including increased average order value (AOV), purchase frequency, and average spending.

Their referral revenue stands at 0.91%, compared to the industry benchmark of 0.2%, highlighting the effectiveness of their referral strategy which helps them to acquire customers more cost-effectively.

Vitality’s focus on creating a strong community through their loyalty program has led to high engagement rates, increased sales, and strong customer retention, all of which demonstrate the program’s success. By continuously refining their strategy and integrating new technologies, they have built a thriving loyalty program.

What should you focus on when launching your own loyalty scheme?

Audra offered two great pieces of advice for any brand looking to launch a loyalty program:

  • Define your goals and objectives

Hone in on your metrics and understand what is valuable to you. For Vitality, retention and first-time customer enrollment are key focus areas. The results and success that they’ve seen in these areas emphasize the importance of putting energy and resources into specific goals to achieve great success.

  • Work closely with your loyalty provider

It’s really important to work directly with your loyalty provider. Audra recommended leveraging the provider’s expertise to stay ahead of industry trends and continuously improve the loyalty program. Vitality has found success by brainstorming and strategizing with LoyaltyLion, ensuring their program remains innovative and engaging.

Once a program is live, what should you focus on next?

Even once you’ve put all that time and effort into building an amazing loyalty program, you can’t rest on your laurels. In fact, it’s really important to make sure you continue to stay ahead of the curve – and your competition.

The impact of online shops and marketplaces like Amazon have created what’s been known as the “Amazon effect” – customers want and expect a fast and efficient service. This means it’s important to enhance operations to meet these expectations, ensuring you also deliver quick and smooth online shopping experiences.

Vitality is committed to regularly updating their loyalty strategy to provide the best and most rewarding customer experiences. This includes integrating customer feedback into product development and aligning the loyalty program with new product launches.

Their team believes in making loyalty a core part of their broader business strategy. They tie their loyalty program to new product developments and actively listen to customer feedback, incorporating it into their product direction to ensure they meet customer needs and preferences.

Conclusion

Loyalty programs can be hugely powerful tools for fostering lasting relationships, driving revenue growth, and building vibrant communities around brands. It’s clear that they represent more than just a means of driving sales—they embody a commitment to customer-centricity and a dedication to delivering value beyond transactions. The revenue, loyalty, and sense of community that loyalty programs bring are invaluable assets for brands seeking sustainable growth and long-term success.

It’s essential to tailor loyalty programs to suit the unique needs and preferences of your audience, embracing innovation and differentiation to stay ahead of the curve. 

At Loyalty Lion, we understand the power of personalized loyalty solutions and the importance of getting them right. Our team is dedicated to helping brands unlock the full potential of their loyalty programs, driving meaningful results and fostering enduring connections with customers. 

To find out more about how we can build a loyalty program as successful as Vitality’s for your brand, get in touch today. 

This article originally appeared on LoyaltyLion and is available here for further discovery.
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