Millions of people annually make New Year’s resolutions.
Whether it’s eating healthier, exercising more, or just trying to be an overall better person, everyone has the best intentions when heading into a new year.
But most fail to keep them.
In fact, about 80 percent of those annual resolutions fail by February.
Doesn’t the same hold true for retailers?
Even if a company has the best intentions like creating more value for customers or simply increasing sales, it can be tough to follow through.
That’s why when it comes to loyalty, the key is to have a firm strategic plan mapped out that will carry your loyalty narrative seamlessly through the next 12 months.
Here are three loyalty resolutions for 2020 that can propel your brand to greater success:
1. Focus on Loyalty Moments, Not Just Transactions
Capturing customer loyalty is challenging in today’s world. It goes way beyond the transaction.
Some brands realize that every customer interaction presents an opportunity to create a loyalty moment.
When done correctly, these cumulative moments build emotional connections that lead to customer loyalty.
By creating loyalty moments, brands can begin building strong two-way relationships.
One important way brands can create loyalty moments is through the in-store experience.
West Elm prides itself in offering localized, memorable customer experiences. Company officials collaborate with community-based designers and artists and conduct a variety of localized workshops.
At The Finish Line, company officials offer immersive experiences for customers that take storytelling to the next level through the integration of technology.
For example, The Finish Line’s RFID digital display (known as The Finish Line sneaker feed) gives customers the ability to drop a shoe on a shelf and see unique content.
This content includes consumer ratings, video inspiration, product details, and socially integrated images that showcase how customers can style the product.
Creating loyalty moments through social responsibility and charitable giving is another great way to engage consumers.
Delivering memorable customer experiences creates loyalty moments that develop emotional connections.
2. Combine Transactional and Experiential Benefits
Adding an experiential element to your loyalty program will create greater engagement and build deeper customer connections.
While transactional loyalty is important to consumers, experiential loyalty is what separates and differentiates brands from their competition.
Experiential loyalty elevates overall engagement and creates sustainable bonds with consumers.
The key is to offer a mix of transactional and experiential benefits that attracts and retains loyalty program members.
Customers want experiential benefits but are typically drawn to a brand through transactional benefits.
An instant benefit like free shipping is compelling for members and keeps them coming back.
Providing members memorable moments through instant benefits every time they shop with you is an important piece to building long-term loyalty.
Restoration Hardware gives program members 25 percent off every purchase, and then adds experiential benefits that make sense to its customers, like complimentary interior design and concierge services.
Brands need to find a happy medium to provide relevant transactional and emotional benefits to retain loyalty program members.
Points, discounts, and cash back elicit emotional responses in consumers, but experiential benefits resonate deeper and create emotional loyalty.
Don’t ignore transactional benefits because they are the reason why customers become members of your loyalty program.
But rethink these benefits to make them more instantaneous so customers receive these loyalty moments every time they shop with you.
3. Think About a Premium Loyalty Tier for Your Best Customers
Consider implementing a premium loyalty program this year because it offers instant benefits to your best customers and elevates all member-brand relationships.
While traditional, transaction-based loyalty programs allow customers to earn rewards after a certain amount of purchases are made, premium loyalty programs reward members immediately with instant benefits.
Brands can certainly add a premium loyalty tier to an already existing traditional loyalty program.
Premium loyalty differentiates your brand from the competition and makes your best customers exponentially more valuable.
Members engage more often than members of traditional loyalty programs and spend more when they do.
A premium loyalty program makes your brand top of mind and achieves this through a convenient shopping experience, exclusive offers, cash back savings, and more.
It gives members valuable benefits that make their lives easier 24/7.
Members pay an annual fee (i.e. Amazon Prime) in exchange for valuable rewards that they can use immediately and as often as they want.
Looking Ahead with 20/20 Vision
When you start an exercise regimen of any kind, especially at the start of a new year, it’s great until you can’t follow a routine. Then, the visits to the gym decrease and you’re left rudderless without any direction.
As a retailer rethinking loyalty as a pivotal marketing strategy, that exercise must be followed, modified, and optimized as frequently as any successful workout routine.
Differentiate by how you communicate with your customers and how you engage them through relevancy and personalization.
Create small loyalty moments through every interaction and you will build emotional connections.
Consider implementing a premium loyalty program because it focuses on instant gratification, enticing 24/7 benefits, and puts the customer at the center of everything you do.
It’s about giving the best your brand has to offer to your best customers and realizing the best results for your brand.
What are your New Year’s retail resolutions and how will they improve your loyalty strategy in 2020?