A loyalty rewards program is a great way to engage customers and encourage repeat business. Research for our 2018 Global Path to Purchase Survey found an overwhelming 83% of shoppers worldwide factor in loyalty programs when deciding where to shop.
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But did you know that if your loyalty program isn’t integrated with your point of sale (POS) system, you are limiting ROI? Here are five good reasons to integrate POS and loyalty to maximize benefits for your business:
- More Meaningful Data
Using an integrated platform means all systems and applications share data. Loyalty data, although valuable on its own, can offer deeper insights when you analyze it with other information from the point of sale. With an integrated system, for example, you could easily determine the merchandise your most loyal customers are buying, which can allow you to forecast more accurately and avoid stock-outs. In addition, data from an integrated system gives you an overall, real-time view of your business — something that’s virtually impossible with nonintegrated systems.
- Smarter Marketing
Your loyalty program can also be a great marketing tool — if it can access the right data. Matching sales data with loyalty program accounts empowers you to make personalized offers to loyalty program members and to grow your business. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.
An integrated loyalty-POS system can also mean better marketing overall. Loyalty program members provide basic demographic information when they sign up for your program, which you can use to understand your customer base better and precisely tailor marketing. With a fully integrated retail management platform, including integration with your CRM system, you can communicate effectively with all of your customers and gauge the effectiveness of promotions and marketing campaigns.
Moreover, loyalty program integration with your POS system allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your loyalty program itself. Are customers participating in offers? Do they respond positively to rewards? Does it encourage repeat business? The combined data from your POS system and loyalty program can give you the answers.
- Customer Convenience
Another important reason to integrate your loyalty program with your POS system is to enhance customer experiences. With an integrated system, sales associates can enter the customer’s ID number or scan a loyalty card so points from a purchase are instantly added to the customers’ account. They can also easily check a point balance and apply points during checkout – which is the type of experience your customers want. A Bond Brand Loyalty study found 84% of consumers say instantly redeeming loyalty rewards points improves shopping experiences.
- Mutichannel. Multilocation Use
Using one, integrated platform also allows your customers to use their loyalty cards and redeem points anywhere. You customers can easily see how many rewards points they have, whether they’re shopping online, on their smartphones, or in any store location. Integrated platform = seamless shopping experiences.
- IT Efficiency
Another advantage to integrating systems is that they’re easier for your IT resources to manage, update, secure, and integrate with third-party applications. When you integrate systems, you gain the ability to centrally manage all of your applications, rather than logging into separate dashboards and spending extra time on clunky workflows.
A Loyalty Program is Too Important to Not Have
Your loyal customers are the most important to your business. Most retailers find that the Pareto Principle — that 20% of customers are responsible for 80% of revenues — applies. So it makes the most sense to do everything you can to optimize customer experiences for that 20%. Integrating your loyalty program with your POS system is a key step toward keeping the right merchandise in stock, personalizing service, and providing seamless loyalty experiences wherever your customers shop.