Can Customer Loyalty Programs Acquire New Customers & Maintain Loyalty?

Bob Legters
Chief Product Officer, FIS Payments Division
Posted on September 10, 2015

Customer Loyalty

The retail industry is undergoing a dramatic shift in how payments for goods and services are rendered. Consumers want a streamlined process that saves time and effort yet earns rewards. Retailers must evolve and adapt with technology innovations in order to remain relevant and meet the changing needs of their customers.

With changes happening so quickly and constantly, how can retailers keep pace so that they acquire new customers and retain existing ones? The answer may lie in making mobile payments and loyalty programs a priority in their strategy.

Building Customer Loyalty through Mobile Pay

When it comes to mobile payments, having the right system in place will be key. Retailers can enhance the customer experience and build loyalty by offering NFC-based solutions (such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay), and by creating their own mobile wallet or leveraging a bank’s version. Retailers also need to stay tuned to emerging technologies that consumers might demand, such as MCX’s CurrentC, a mobile wallet, loyalty and offers platform scheduled for release in 2016.

Solutions abound for retailers to connect with their consumers, but by offering payments through any device through any channel, retailers can stay ahead to maintain and gain new customers.Making these decisions can be daunting because it’s not easy to be everything to everyone. That said, no action is worse than not picking a path to support.

Driving Retailer Customer Loyalty

Loyalty programs have become more sophisticated. The days of the punch card and earning stamps are over. Now, a variety of different customer loyalty program options are available to savvy shoppers. A typical customer carries a smartphone and has the ability to check prices for goods across multiple retailers. To keep those customers coming back to the store, retailers must gather information on their spending habits and create personalized offers to them based on their interests. Knowing your customers’ habits can then drive strategies for building loyalty programs.

In addition to adding value to their customers’ shopping experiences, these programs need to be interactive and engaging. With punch cards and stamps a thing of the past, retailers need to be where their customers are – on their mobile devices. For instance, instead of emails, retailers can leverage technology that pushes notifications straight to their consumer’s phone. They also can send flash sale alerts via text message to entice consumers.

Learn about Customer Loyalty Habits Through Data

Another key to building loyalty is to know who your customers are and what demographic trends affect them. In a recent study based on Millennials alone, 83.3% said the reason for joining a customer loyalty program was to save money and 74.4% said they complete surveys in order to earn “points” for use at a business. Retailers must find what works for each specific consumer group and market directly. It is known that social media is a powerful tool in loyalty marketing to consumers, yet each age demographic uses social media differently.

This same study also pointed out that no matter the age group, discounts and coupons are the most important benefit in a loyalty program, and retailers would be well-advised use this to their advantage.

Retailers control their own brand and image. Today, a business has exposure from multiple angles, whether from online reviews, word of mouth, and social media marketing campaigns or television ads. Such exposure will get customers in the door, but to hold on to them, a retailer must create an engaging experience that encourages them to come back.

 

What do you do to maintain and gain new customers?

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Bob Legters
Chief Product Officer, FIS Payments Division

For the past two decades, Bob has focused on products and services support for clients. He has spent 17 of those years in a leadership role with groups ranging from 5 to 200 employees. Bob’s unique experience allows him to efficiently operate at a level that exceeds the normal executive role of understanding and recognizing client and consumer needs in the payments space.