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Improving Customer Engagement with Loyalty Programs

June 16, 2017

Merchants of all sizes are always on the lookout for ways they can better engage with their customers, forging relationships that can last years or more and ensure plenty of repeat business.

Merchants of all sizes are always on the lookout for ways they can better engage with their customers, forging relationships that can last years or more, ensuring plenty of repeat business. Many have already discovered that one of the best ways to do so is through a loyalty rewards program, which can give a little added incentive to shoppers who keep coming back to a business on a regular basis. But these days, experts also suggest that this might be a great way to incentivize consumers to make more secure transactions.

But for any merchant that has yet to set up a loyalty program of its own, it’s important not to get too far ahead of the game, according to Retail TouchPoints. The first thing to keep in mind is that people absolutely can’t get enough loyalty rewards programs – simply put, they feel it gives them a benefit for making purchases they would have made anyway. So with the acknowledgement that people will be eager to sign up for just about any loyalty program that seems worth their while, there are a number of basic steps to start out.

A loyalty rewards program can go a long way for merchants of all sizes.A loyalty rewards program can go a long way for merchants of all sizes.

How will it work?
One of the most important aspects of setting up a loyalty rewards program is, of course, determining the kinds of rewards that will be given out, and how they’ll be tracked, the report said. For instance, will rewards members just get, say, 5 percent off on every purchase, or will they accrue benefits over time that they can then redeem? Analysis shows that a lot of times, people prefer redeeming built-up rewards, perhaps because it makes them feel as though they’re working toward something.

In addition, companies with both a web and real-world presence may need to consider how digital and physical transactions will co-exist.

A unique course that may be beneficial for merchants looking to get their rewards initiatives off the ground is by coupling them with new gift card offerings, Sterling Payment notes. While many smaller merchants may still rely on standard paper gift certificates, making the switch to cards can also engender more customer loyalty, especially when pairing them with rewards programs.

Taking many of these simple steps gives merchants more data on the customers who sign up, including details like their email addresses and demographic information. Combining these rewards programs with modern POS can also help to unlock crucial information about individual and overall shopping habits.

Restaurants can get involved as well
Of course, retailers have plenty of options for rewards programs, but so too do restaurants, according to QSR Web. In much the same way as the old punch-card system for coffee houses and sub shops has long been in practice, modernizing restaurant loyalty programs is made easy with new payment-based technology. An added benefit in the food service industry is that some restaurant chains with loyalty set-ups already report that they’re handling more transactions per hour as a result of the switch.

When incorporating a new loyalty rewards program, merchants may be wise to use that as an opportunity to examine their overall payment processing capabilities and bring them into the next generation.

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