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Future of Shopping Part 5: Three Ways Brands Can Enhance Loyalty Programs to Build Stronger Relation

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Loyalty programs have been around for ages and the benefits are undisputed. According to Bond research, 78% of consumers agreed that loyalty programs make them more likely to do business with brands and 68% are more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs. The only issue with an initiative that garners this much value is that every brand on the block now has one. When a loyalty program becomes the bare minimum, it is time to bring it to the next level with distinct purpose, enriched usability, and exclusive incentives. In this blog we will break down three ways to enhance your approach to loyalty programs to regain a competitive advantage.

Boost Brand Consideration by Leading Loyalty with Purpose

Consumers affiliate themselves with companies that share the same values not only because they identify with them, but because companies hold far more power to make tangible changes in the world. It is for this reason that consumers look to brands as purpose stewards. Consumer loyalty becomes the fuel for large companies to achieve the mutual goals.

While we know that 84% of global consumers are more inclined to buy from a brand whose values align with their own, this credibility only holds if the company is clear with their purpose. Brands must make tangible efforts that consumers can see and understand, such as direct donations, which is expected from over half of North American shoppers.

Successful brands are turning action into a shared initiative. The Body Shop’s loyalty program does an excellent job of this. Grounded in their clear purpose of celebrating body inclusivity, they allow consumers to translate their loyalty points into charitable donations that directly support the cause. The Body Shop still makes their own donations like many other retailers in the space, but their twist is allowing the consumer to contribute with rewards and granting the satisfaction that they are personally making an impact as well.

Increase Engagement with Flexible Earn & Spend Options

We know that personalization is important to consumers, in fact, 78% of consumers are more likely to recommend brands that personalize shopping experiences to others. Flexibility is just another form of personalization which many consumers have grown accustomed to when it comes to payment options.

With some flexibility in how they earn and spend loyalty points, consumers will take it upon themselves to get the best return on their loyalty investment. Bond research shows that 68% will modify timing of purchases just to maximize the benefits they’ll receive. Making the most of their efforts will leave them satisfied and eager to share their savvy approach with friends.

Brands planning to meet personalization desires should enable consumer-directed flexibility. The Sill, a direct-to-consumer plant retailer, deploys an array of avenues for consumers to both earn and spend loyalty points. These options span mutually beneficial actions such as inputting your birthday, following the social media pages, signing up for the newsletter, and more. They have set up a program that every consumer can see themselves leveraging in their own unique way.

Garner More Spending with Paid Exclusivity

In the past, loyalty was built through committed spending habits and rewarded with perks. For example, a coffee shop may reward you for buying nine cups by giving you the tenth one for free. Nowadays, many consumers don’t have the patience for this process and would rather opt in to paying for the loyalty perks, sparking the concept of paid loyalty programs. These programs have measured successful results, noting that consumers are 62% more likely to spend more on a brand after joining a paid loyalty program.

Willingness to spend more while invested in a paid loyalty program stems from a desire to not miss out on the deals and make the most of their commitment. The fear of missing out has only been accelerated in the digital age, leaving retailers the opportunity to capitalize on the appeal of exclusivity.

Exclusivity sells, making it a pillar of paid loyalty for modern brands. The Real Real is an online retailer that sells used designer clothing. Their paid loyalty program titled ‘First Look’ allows customers to get exclusive access to items dropping before any other shoppers on the site. Ultimately, selling an exclusive experience that promotes more loyal spending and brand devotion.


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