Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about the loyalty climate in great depth, and now it’s time to turn our attention to real-life. We can develop all kinds of theories as to how retailers should engage with customers across all channels, but what are they actually doing at the moment?

There’s no such thing as a single model for customer retention; each retailer or hospitality vendor needs to develop a strategy that works for their brand, and their shoppers. However, there are lessons that can be learned from those with a successful loyalty programme in place – and here are 4 strategies that think outside the box, to drive stronger relationships.

Going mobile-first

Mobile loyalty is a massively underinvested area for most retailers, however there are some retailers that are cleverly blending consumer benefits and commercial opportunities.

For example, some hospitality businesses are incorporating mobile payments into their loyalty applications. If customers are able to carry out a whole transaction without having to leave their app – collect points, redeem promotions and pay – this firmly incorporates loyalty into their brand experience.

Plus, channelling activity through mobile creates a rich source of data that companies can use to enhance customer understanding and tailor future marketing, to increase conversions.

Blending loyalty across channels

Leading on from mobile loyalty, some retailers are taking data-driven insights to the next level, and using them to highlight offers in all channels. By digitising their loyalty scheme and capturing greater customer insights in the store, they can tailor special offers not only by what the customer wants to buy, but where they are when they could potentially buy it.

For instance, rather than treating online as one channel and bricks-and-mortar as another, they are blending promotions across the two, pointing consumers to store marketing campaigns as well as ecommerce offers. This is enabling their customers to get the greatest value for money in the channel they’re choosing to shop through at any particular moment.

Experiential rewards

Feeling valued doesn’t have to equate to money off, especially among luxury brands and retailers, which place a huge emphasis on the customer experience. Therefore, many companies are seeing great traction with money-can’t-always-buy perks, available only through repeat custom.

The model is simple: the more you shop, the more exclusive the offers customers have access to. However, it’s very effective, particularly among shoppers who have become tired of feeling their worth is counted in points.

Strength in numbers

Getting shoppers to be loyal to one brand is tough; many retailers realise that, and are therefore partnering with other businesses to create their own loyalty network. By doing this, customers can gain points with one brand, but redeem them with another, giving them greater choice and flexibility.

Whilst this does mean that not every retailer will reap the full benefits of repeat custom that loyalty cards are supposed to bring, they may gain custom from consumers that would have never shopped with them if they weren’t part of a rewards partnership.

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