Businesses with a rewards program are much better at keeping their customers engaged in their new products or services. A weekly email often accompanies the program and keeps your business at the front of their mind.
A rewards system may seem like an overwhelming task, but it can be tailored to fit your individual needs and adapt as they change. If your business is struggling for repeat customers or you just want to expand your business, you should consider a recognition program.
Getting people into the store or on your website is only half the battle. Turning those browsers into buyers is the ultimate goal. If customers are required to make a minimum purchase or come back at a later date for a coupon, you are more likely to get their business more than once as long as they have a positive experience.
Here are nine reasons your business should start a rewards program:
1. Customer Loyalty
Creating a rewards program will bring back the same customers over and over and help keep your sales steady. Customers are also more likely to return to your store if they get an added benefit for doing so. Punch or stamp cards are the simplest way to drive the same customers back to your business.
Customers are willing to return to your business if they have a positive experience with your rewards program. The smallest discount or coupon makes a significant difference in how they will view your company.
2. Build Repeat Customers
Earning coupons that must be used at a later date will drive more customers to your website or to the storefront to browse. Getting a customer in the store is often the most challenging part of marketing, and loyalty programs help bring traffic to your business.
Repeat customers are often what holds a business together, especially in the beginning stages. By giving people an incentive to be that repeat customer, you and your business are helped.
3. Encourage More Sales
While only a small number of people are loyal to a single store, for a small business, this can be the majority of their sales. If people shop at the same store continuously, they expect their rewards to grow with the amount of money they spend. Whether it’s a significant growth or not, the increase in reward value creates more reasons for loyalty.
A simple points rewards program will encourage customers to spend more money to reach the next reward level. Whether that is an extra 5% off their next purchase, or a $10 coupon to use on their next visit, the sales will go up.
4. Better Customer Relationships
Especially in the physical store, a repeat customer expects the same level of high-quality service they received the first time they went to that location. For small stores, employees can get to know their customers and connect with them on a personal level.
By first building your repeat customer base, you can spend more time acquiring new customers. It is much easier and cheaper to gain more customers from good reviews and positive customer experience than to recruit customers unfamiliar with your company or products.
5. Benefits Outweigh the Costs
Creating a rewards program from scratch may seem daunting, but your program does not have to be elaborate, and once it is in place, it becomes less work to maintain. Introducing a rewards program to an already established business may be difficult, but it is worth it.
The longer your rewards program is in operation, the more return on investment you will see.
6. Market Research
By having your customers enter a personalized code or their email address, you gain insight into their spending habits. As you release new aspects of the program, you can evaluate the most beneficial choices to your unique business.
Some marketing techniques will work better with individual businesses than others, but with the market research you acquire, you can alter it to fit your needs. Be careful with marketing emails to customers who have already signed up, because an overabundance of marketing can turn away some customers.
7. Online and In-Person Options
Some businesses choose to separate their online store from their brick and mortar locations. Often, the deal in-store will be slightly better than the online version or offer something completely different. Customers in person are more likely to purchase more than one item or browse around the store, wondering if they need or want anything else.
Exclusive rewards for members of your loyalty program will help your business grow and expand.
8. Customers are Happier
Customers are happy if they believe they got the better deal on an item that was on sale or had a coupon. The exclusivity of the deal or the apparent extreme discount, will keep customers happy and returning to your business.
Happier customers are also more likely to tell their friends and family about a fantastic deal they got because of your rewards program.
9. Can Grow Your Business
Overall a rewards program is beneficial to both the business and the customer. Your business receives more traffic and more word-of-mouth advertising. The customer gets the item or service they wanted at a discount.
Acquiring new customers can be expensive and requires patience and quite a few marketing strategies. Rewards programs are simple solutions that will help your business grow for minimal costs.
A simple rewards program is often easily implemented and can cost very little to start. More complicated systems have benefits as well but will take more effort at the start. Look at examples of large business loyalty programs and decide what you like and don’t like about multiple systems. By doing this, you can be proud of the program you create.
For small businesses, it is recommended that you begin with a simple program, such as a stamp card or discount coupon, and advance to a more elaborate system as your research and customer base expands.
An overly complicated program will only turn customers away and potentially drive them to other stores. Do what is right for your business for where it is now and allow it to grow and evolve.