THE CLARUS Blog

How the Speed of Loyalty Program Benefits Impacts Your Bottom Line

When your brand launches or revamps a loyalty program, you hope it will be attractive to consumers and elevate their engagement and spending frequency.

The main attraction of any loyalty program is your benefits.

From our research, the quicker you provide benefits to members of your loyalty programs, the more engaged they become and the more often they shop.

According to our 2021 Loyalty Industry Data Study, most (86%) retailers that offer benefits within the first week say their loyalty program members shop at least once a week— and that number falls to 63% for those who offer benefits within the first month.

When you deliver loyalty benefits quickly to your members, you’ll reap immediate and long-term results. Here’s why.

 

Your Loyalty Program Members Want Instant Gratification

Consumers don’t want to wait for anything anymore. And that includes loyalty program benefits.

They want instant gratification from your loyalty program. When they sign up, give them a reason to engage right away and often.

Traditional loyalty programs that require customers to spend over time for rewards that come later don’t do enough now.

Our world has changed and COVID-19’s impact on consumer behavior has been significant and may prove to be permanent. Your world has seen a massive shift toward ecommerce. Consumers have migrated online and competition is fierce.

New consumer behaviors, along with heightened expectations, have led to a focus on convenience. Seventy-five percent of consumers have tried a new shopping habit since COVID-19 started.

People don’t want to wait and that’s where instant gratification comes in. The pandemic has reinforced this narrative and fast-forwarded the need for differentiation.

In a perfect world, everything for consumers would be instant.

According to our Premium Loyalty Consumer Data Study, 60% of respondents said instant benefits would motivate them to join a premium loyalty program.

The instant gratification element is what brands can use to spark emotional loyalty among their customers.

 

What Brands Offer Instant Loyalty Benefits?

Foot Locker launched its FLX loyalty program in early 2020.

Members receive a “head start” on sneaker releases, regardless of tier, and shipping is free with no minimum spend.

Members of the CVS CarePass premium loyalty program pay a $5 monthly fee or $48 for an annual subscription.

CVS CarePass benefits include delivery perks, discounts, and $10 monthly to spend in its stores. Also, members receive 20% off CVS Health® Brand products, free same-day prescription delivery and free 1- to 2-day shipping.

Canadian athletic apparel retailer lululemon Athletica combines transactional and experiential benefits in its enticing premium loyalty program.

For an annual $128 membership fee, members enjoy not only free merchandise and free shipping, they also can take part in top-tier online and in-store fitness classes. And that fee includes a pair of yoga pants or shorts.

These are all examples of brands that don’t require their members to wait for loyalty program benefits.

 

What Can Your Brand Do?

Listen to your customers.

If you want to provide them attractive benefits in a loyalty program that will make them spend more and engage more, talk to them, and learn their pain points.

Address those pain points in the benefits included in your program.

Loyalty must be an ongoing companywide project. There must be buy-in from the top down.

Spend time working on your customer loyalty and engagement strategies so they become more attractive and engaging. Consider investing with a loyalty partner to manage your program.

Retailers who work with an experienced partner/vendor proved to be 3.5x more likely to have updated their loyalty programs in the prior month.

 

Work Hard to Make Your Loyalty Program an ‘Instant’ Success

Nearly two-thirds of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult for retailers to maintain than ever before. And that was BEFORE the pandemic.

Retailers that offer discounts sooner experience ROI faster.

Our instant culture doesn’t allow for consumers to wait for loyalty benefits. They want them now and you need to provide them to stay relevant and valuable.

Look to your competitors to see how they’re incorporating fast benefits, talk to your customers to see what they value, and think of how you can reward them every time they engage with you.

 

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