Through Loyalty Programs
The rise of the internet, mobile technologies, digitalization and the internet of things has led to disruption across all business. Businesses and customers had been adapting to digital channels. The pandemic has only accelerated this trend. Marketers are left pondering which channel is best suited for their business. The answer is simple – an omnichannel retail. For modern businesses, it is critical to give customers what they want, when they want it, and where they want it! This is placing increased pressure on businesses to fulfill the promises made to the customers. Simply selling products on multiple channels does not create an omnichannel experience; this experience must be seamless across all of the channels and must not be restricted to just shopping but focus on holistic customer engagement. That is the key difference between a multi-channel and an omnichannel experience, which can be easily achieved through a loyalty program.
Why an omnichannel experience is a must?
In the “Internet of Things” era, every business is expected to have an online presence. A recent study by Harvard Business Review across 46k shoppers revealed that an omnichannel experience helps businesses differentiate themselves from their competition.
Further they found that:
Only 7% shopped exclusively online
20% were store-only shoppers
While 73% moved across multiple channels
How loyalty programs help with omnichannel marketing?
The best loyalty programs act as an extension of the overall marketing and branding tenets of a business. Consequently, such programs are one of the easiest and fail-proof ways of implementing an omnichannel marketing experience to engage customers.
Loyalty of customers needs to be nurtured continuously, and not only at the time of their purchase. Multiple points earning activities across various channels engage customers in a 360-degree manner. For customers, these activities are simple to perform, and they come with a promise of getting a reward once enough points have been accumulated. Loyalty programs can segment these customers based on their interactions, purchase behaviour and other attributes; leading to customized promotional material & loyalty-based promotions. Such activities and communication ensure that the business has a good brand recall when the customer is looking to make the subsequent purchase.
Loyalty programs assist businesses with a smooth omnichannel marketing. The points can be accrued and redeemed across multiple channels; and loyalty rewards dashboard is also accessible through various channels. Whether its accumulated points balance, tier information, available rewards or history of their past activities – it’s all available on the go. The customers get the convenience they seek and exhibit more loyalty towards such businesses. In short, customers who engage more with omnichannel businesses and loyalty programs, tend to be more loyal, and have higher average order values.
Lock-down restrictions, availability of products online, and hygiene considerations for delivery has increased brand switching behavior. It is thus imperative that brick-and-mortar stores create an omnichannel marketing outreach, augment their market presence, and build holistic customer engagement. The scenario presents tremendous opportunities to get the best of both worlds. For example, a new omnichannel model: buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) has gained a lot of traction. In store pick up present an opportunity for upselling or even sampling new products which is not possible through online mediums.
A loyalty program can create omnichannel marketing to build on the strengths of different channels and structure business growth.