The Perks of a Loyalty Program

By Carly Hegstad
  • Restaurant
  • 05.18.18
  • 4 Min Read

If you work in the foodservice or retail industry, you’ve probably asked the question, “How do I develop loyal customers?” It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves. While there are a variety of ways to build loyalty with your guests – such as strong in-store experiences and perceived value – brands may choose to build a loyalty program to gain it. While these programs may not be for every brand or industry, there are five key benefits (just to name a few) that a loyalty program could have for your business.

1. LOYALTY PROGRAMS CAN REDUCE DISCOUNTING.

You read that right. Too often people think that starting a loyalty program means sending out discounts to people who were planning on coming in anyways – but that’s a flawed approach. A successful loyalty program is all about incentivizing more visits, sending segmented offers and personalizing your messages. This way, when you do send a coupon out, it’s to a targeted audience with intention to upsell or cross-sell them, which can help bring more sales and transactions in the long run.

2. LOYALTY PROGRAMS CAN INCREASE TRANSACTIONS.

Loyalty programs can help you increase customer frequency because you’re giving them an additional incentive. Your guests are no longer coming in just for your product or service but are also gaining some sort of reward for their visit. Whether it’s through collecting points based on frequency, spend or buying certain products, you’ve just doubled their incentive for choosing your brand over competitors.

3. LOYALTY PROGRAMS CAN UPSELL GUESTS.

Your loyalty program will allow you to start seeing trends in your customers’ overall purchase behavior. You can then incentivize your guests to buy more than their regular purchased items or to spend above their average purchase. Not only does this provide a targeted approach to upselling – can also help eliminate waste on offers that may not apply to a large segment of your guests. Over time, you’ll be able to see how loyalty check averages and basket data compare to non-loyalty guests and determine if program members are producing a lift in sales.

4. LOYALTY PROGRAMS CAN AUTOMATE YOUR MESSAGES.

While there’s a good amount of work that goes into setting up a successful program, messaging automation can do the heavy lifting for your team in the long run. Once you have identified key audience segments and the right messaging opportunities, you can automate the workflow to outline the right timing for messages to be sent to your customers. Imagine being able to run all these messages with a simple on and off button:

  • A customer receives a personalized message as soon as they sign up.
  • A survey is sent to your customer right after a certain type of purchase.
  • You prompt another visit based on the purchase your customer made yesterday or last week.
  • A message goes out every Thursday afternoon to inform your “deal-seeking” audience segment what this weekend’s promotions are.
  • Your customer receives a personalized message after you haven’t seen them in a certain amount of time.

5. LOYALTY PROGRAMS PROVIDE BETTER AUDIENCE INTEL.

Not only does loyalty data allow you to make more informed decisions on future marketing efforts, such as what segment to target, what messages to send and what creative to use, but personalized messaging builds a stronger experience with your customer. And it’s no secret that a strong customer experience can lead to repeat visits, starting the cycle all over again.

With these five key benefits, plus a list of many more, a loyalty program can be a game changer in bringing your guests back in store. If you’re considering moving in this direction, even at a smaller scale, we’re here to be a partner and support you in the process. Still not quite sure if a loyalty program is right for you? Take a look at how we helped move the needle for Taco John’s with their loyalty program or catch up on other ways you can personalize messages to your guests.