How to Build a Customer Loyalty Program for Your Online Store

Dazhi Apr 28, 2022

What does loyalty mean to you as a business owner? This word may have a variety of meanings depending on the person’s beliefs and principles in life. But, in terms of business, loyalty means having a customer who remains your customer for many years and your various products or service. It’s like creating a lifetime commitment with someone, promising not to look at others around. In eCommerce, it is called a customer loyalty program.

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What is a Customer Loyalty Program?

Technically, a customer loyalty program refers to an approach in marketing wherein a company recognizes and offers rewards to its customers for constantly purchasing or patronizing its products and services. When you’re able to gain trust from your customers, it becomes easier for you to make them repeat their purchases. Similarly, for customers who are loyal to your brand, it is impossible for them to just switch to other brands in the market no matter what.

According to research, your profit in the future is made up of 20% from your previous regular customers. Is it bad for your business to reward loyal customers? It’s not. The good reviews that your loyal customers provide attract more sales. They may also refer your products and services to others and be more understanding of certain operational issues at times.

But, how does customer loyalty start? It comes from high-quality products, exceptional customer service, and a good customer experience that eventually lead to complete customer satisfaction. When this happens, more and more people will come to your store and become your loyal customer.

The Importance of a Customer Loyalty Program

It doesn’t matter if you own a big corporation or just a small business. In providing a customer loyalty program, what’s important is your sincerity and your desire to keep your customers’ loyalty to your brand. In personal stores, offering a customer loyalty program via loyalty cards, points, or discount cards is easy. Yet, in eCommerce, things are done differently which requires more effort from the sellers.

Customer loyalty concept with woman hand drawing on chalkboard

Back in 2020, a study showed that 95% of buyers look for a new way of being rewarded by the companies and brands they patronize. They say that it’s not enough to just hope for customer loyalty and not do anything to achieve it. Other reasons that make customer loyalty programs a necessity for businesses is listed below.

Loyalty programs create an emotional connection between customers and sellers. Giving incentives is one of the best ways to drive sales and increase loyalty among customers. It’s the perfect way to your customer’s hearts as they create a feeling of appreciation from online brands in exchange for their purchase. Such feeling stays with your customers, especially every time you have a new product that they may find useful for them, too.

The ROI from repeat customers is higher than from new ones. The chance of getting new customers is only 31% while having repeat customers is up to 50%, thus, providing higher ROI. Keeping your customers loyal to your brand is crucial because it is where you can build a long-term value and assurance for your business. Otherwise, you will just be aiming for new customers each time.

Loyalty programs bring in new customers. The best tools you can use to advertise your brand are your satisfied customers. Because they are happy with your service, they eventually become loyal and willing to refer you to others. In such a case, giving loyalty programs like incentives and points to customers who invite people to your store will be very effective and enticing. Customers who started as a referral have a higher chance of becoming regular customers than those who just walked in.

Customer insights are provided by loyalty programs. One advantage that eCommerce has over personal stores is that you can view some real-time data about your customer’s purchases and use that to formulate or choose the perfect loyalty program to offer to them. Both your store and your brand benefit from this. Through online monitoring also, you can see the kind of loyalty program that’s suitable for a certain group of people and those that need to be changed.

Customer loyalty programs have become easier nowadays. With eCommerce, most loyalty programs are accessed through an app. Thus, this requires you to have an internet-enabled loyalty program for easier access. Modern shoppers will be interested to visit your shop and purchasing from you in that manner.  

7 Helpful Tips to Create a Customer Loyalty Program

If you want to stand out using your very own customer loyalty program, following some creative tips will be necessary. Break away from the tradition and let your customers know that yours is well-thought-of and planned. The list below contains some of the common tips you can try.

1. Focus on providing excellent customer service. As they say, the first impression lasts. In business, this means customers remember their first interaction and experience with your brand which can either make them feel bad or satisfied. A repeat of purchase is likely to happen only if customers receive such a nice service from you with the empathy and patience that you show them. This makes their experience very memorable and worthwhile which will develop their loyalty.

2. Provide personalized content. Being relevant is always a key to any business. Be it a restaurant, a shoe store, or anything; be sure to relate your products to your customers. This way, you can better make customers focus on your brand. Use surveys, previous purchases, and other ways to gather essential information about your customers. With the little information you know about your customers, you can plan and choose the products that best match their needs.

Coupon in box

3. Give discounts and free shipping offers. Give away some exciting perks but not too regularly. Customers are more likely to repeat their purchase if they have something to look forward to. For subscription services, offering an early renewal of cards will be a smart move to make.

4. Create persuasive customer loyalty programs. Spark up that loyalty you’ve been wanting to get from your customers through an attractive customer loyalty program. Try persuading customers to revisit your store to get more exciting gifts like discounts and free shipping offers. You can never imagine how thrilled customers who love to shop would feel about this!

5. Plan a retargeting strategy. Stay connected with your customers by planning a way to encourage them to come back again after one purchase. Show them a simple reminder through social media.

6. Make a follow-up through email. Following up on your customer who has forgotten to check out some items in their cart can be more effective when done through email. By looking at their cart, sellers can easily identify which items are interesting to customers.

7. Provide different ways of communication. It’s like telling them that you are always available for their inquiries and concerns. Give them the fastest way to contact you anytime to develop trust.

Customer Loyalty Programs You Can Learn

After learning about the tricks on how to make a customer loyalty program, it’s now time to see how they would work if used for a certain website or online store.

  1. Amazon Prime

- 82% of households in the United States are subscribed to this service that offers some very useful discounts and rewards. It starts when you join and continues as you purchase more from them. It only proves how successful Amazon is today that even their customer loyalty program has become a big hit!

  1. Evy’s Tree

- An increase of 58% was achieved by the retailer store Evy’s tree with its loyalty program. They had an “Insider’s Perks’” page that discusses the instructions on how customers can activate points and some exclusive rewards.

  1. Dr. Axe

- Customers can easily redeem their rewards in just a click through the LoyaltyLion app. There is no need to get a coupon or a code to use their service. Likewise, the company added a new feature that allows customers to apply the points they earn in purchase to the same purchase. This eliminates the need to wait until your next order.