It’s a basic human desire.

What? You ask.

To be liked and loved.

The basic aim of a retail business is to provide the goods and services that people desire. For those retailers focused on building a thriving customer base, they go further. They embrace the concept of building a loyal customer base.

I believe that customer loyalty is built on three pillars.

  1. Providing your customers with the right product and services that they desire.
  2. Being fair and reasonable with pricing.
  3. Showing your appreciation to your customers.

The concept of retail loyalty programmes is not new but often the fundamental causes of loyalty are taken for granted.

Ask yourself this question. Why would your customers be loyal to you if you do not have the products they want or if your pricing for those products is too high?

No matter how enticing your loyalty programme may be, it will not be able to overcome the shortfall of not having
the right product and price.

A loyalty programme can be seen as the icing on the cake. It’s your way of acknowledging your customer’s contribution to your business and it gives them another reason to keep on shopping with you rather than your competitors.

Whether your loyalty programme is based on providing customers with points based rewards that enable redemption of offers, loyalty discounts or special loyalty customer sales, there are a number of important aspects that must be developed for your programme to be effective.

You must be able to identify your loyal customers. Knowing who are your best customers and then identifying them when in store is critical. Your programme must be easy to administer across multiple sites and staff members and the effectiveness of your programme should be measureable.

There is no denying that the best way to manage a loyalty programme is via electronic based Point of Sale solutions.

The POS system will help you identify who are the customers that are the most loyal, allow staff to identify loyalty programme members either through scanning a loyalty card or searching by their name, administer the loyalty campaign rewards and report on the effectiveness of the campaign.

In multi-store, omni-channel retail environments, the need for coordination in your loyalty programme are even greater. You may have loyal customers purchasing from your online store or at multiple store locations. For the customer to feel loved it is imperative that no matter where they shop they are acknowledged as being a loyal customer.

Loyalty is not granted but earned so next time you develop your loyalty programmes keep in mind the reasons as to why customers remain loyal and ensure you have the systems in place to effectively support your aims.

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