Branding

Why user experience is crucial to improve customer loyalty

why-user-experience-is-crucial-to-improve-customer-loyalty

User experience is not to be ignored. It can make or break a sale, and even a company. Airbnb even attributes its user experience for taking them from being a near-failure to being valued at $10 million. 

Poor on-site user experience can lose you crucial sales. Research shows that long and confusing shopping experiences can cause abandonment rates as high as 80%. However, good user experience drives a smooth customer journey and ultimately converts more sales.

The same logic goes for a loyalty program. Our report, Loyalty: Up close and personal, researches what drives customer loyalty and it turns out, user experience is a key factor. We found that 78% of consumers feel motivated to join a loyalty program if there is an easy sign-up process. Showing that a poor loyalty experience will result in fewer program members and a smaller opportunity to build loyalty. Where a good loyalty experience will improve customer loyalty and, in the end, create more revenue.

We’ve put together some tips on optimizing your loyalty user experience to improve customer loyalty pre-purchase, during a customer’s purchase and post-purchase.

Pre-purchase

Keep signing up simple

Just like in a checkout, if the process of signing up to your loyalty program is long and complicated, customers will drop off. If you make them jump through too many hoops, customers will lose interest or become frustrated with the process, causing them to give up and exit. 

Combat this with a clean and simple account creation journey. Keep it to only a few clicks and use a basic form, like this example (you can always incentivize progressive profiling after they have signed up). 

Clearly display the perks

77% of consumers feel motivated to join a loyalty program if the benefits are clearly communicated. The perks you offer your customers are wasted if they can’t see or understand them. If you told someone you’ve buried some winning lottery numbers in the desert, you’re not going to get many takers.

If you want someone to engage in your loyalty program, you need to clearly show them why it’s worth their while. Display the benefits of your program on your site in pop-ups, banners and on your loyalty page.

Fashion brand, Never Fully Dressed does this. To make it easier for customers to sign up to their program, they give shoppers multiple opportunities to engage with it. This includes a pop-up that appears as soon as customers arrive on the site explaining they can earn loyalty points by signing up. On the homepage, they also include a footer informing shoppers of their loyalty program and directing them to their loyalty page. 

Header:

Footer:

Encourage onboarding

To optimize the onboarding experience of your loyalty program and increase sign-ups, give shoppers an incentive to become a member. This can be by awarding those who create an account with points, a free gift or a discount code. Never Fully Dressed give their customers 250 points when they become members of the program. This process shows shoppers the immediate value of signing up to the loyalty program. 

The more loyalty members you have, the more opportunity you have to improve customer loyalty and advocacy. So, make the lure of becoming a member irresistible.

Create a loyalty destination

Once you’ve gained members to your loyalty program, create an experience that keeps people engaged with your site. Include an integrated loyalty page that becomes your “loyalty destination”. This will be where members can clearly see all their account details, such as their points balance, rewards available, tier membership and more. A loyalty destination makes it easy for customers to stay up to date and engaged with the program and your brand. 

Never Fully Dressed has an integrated loyalty page on their website. It shows all of the information about earning points and redeeming rewards, as well as the individual member’s loyalty status. This personalized and seamless loyalty experience drives customers to engage with the program.

During purchase

Embed loyalty components

Make it as easy as possible for shoppers to use the loyalty program if they wish. Embed the points value of products and whether they’re on promotion on the product pages. As mentioned, clear communication is a key factor of good user experience. Making loyalty information clear and available during the customer journey will drive customers to continue using it and, therefore, become more loyal.

In-cart rewards

Shoppers don’t like waiting. 52% of online shoppers claim that quick page loading influences their loyalty to a site. Utilize this to improve customer loyalty with in-cart rewards. In-cart rewards allow customers to use the points they’re earning from their current purchase to claim rewards immediately in the checkout. 

This seamless no-fuss user experience combined with an instant gratification will not only delight your customers but also encourage them to increase their average order value. In the checkout, if a customer sees they are close to claiming a reward, they will be more likely to add extras to their cart and reap the benefits.

Post-purchase

Before you go

Instead of leaving customers to look for your loyalty program on their own, introduce a pop-up message after they have completed a purchase. Clearly notify them of the program, its benefits and an option to sign up easily. To increase the chances of them becoming a member, make the process as short and seamless as possible. After this, you will have more opportunities to improve customer loyalty.

You can also use this method to drive referrals, encouraging your customers to be brand advocates on your behalf. Referrals are a cost-effective way to acquire new customers. To maximize the chance of a customer telling their friends about your brand, make it a simple process using a pop-up and just a couple of clicks.

Include it in your email

You can also encourage customer loyalty in your post-purchase emails. These emails are the perfect opportunity to remind customers your loyalty program exists, share its benefits and encourage them to become a member. 

Never Fully Dressed use this tactic in their thank you emails to increase their loyalty program members. They award customers 500 points if they use the email’s call-to-action to create a loyalty program account. 

Key takeaways

To get the most out of your loyalty program and improve customer loyalty, your loyalty experience needs to be seamless, easy and clear. Optimizing your loyalty experience will motivate customers to become active members of your loyalty program, move up the tiers and even become an advocate.

Remember: A good loyalty experience will result in more loyal customers and more revenue. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about this and other key drivers of customer loyalty, you can read about it in our report, Loyalty: Up close and personal.

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

About the author

Steve Hutt

I'm obsessed with entrepreneurship, commerce, and Shopify. If you have the desire to implement what's working today for direct-to-consumer brands on Shopify, I'm excited you're here! Get the Shopify help you need. This industry blog and podcast is my digital brain where my guests and I share cutting-edge marketing strategy, must-have Shopify apps, and marketing platforms that will help you build and scale lifetime customer loyalty. To do this, I'm part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus and host of the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast.