Customer Rewards – What’s New in 2020?

April is International Customer Loyalty Month, so it’s a great time to discuss what to expect in customer reward programs.

Reward programs are no longer a one size fits all solution. Transforming a casual shopper into a life-time customer requires learning how to create brand loyalty and maintain engagement.

If you already know what you’re looking for and are ready to implement a customer rewards program that fits your brand and improves ROI, contact us through the EML Payments Contact form.

However, if you’re looking for a little more information to understand how to succeed through a customer rewards program, let’s jump right in.

Discounts to Cash Rewards

As the old saying goes, money talks and in the case of rewards programs, it definitely rings true! More and more companies are moving to a cash-incentive program. These programs pay out a certain percentage or fixed amount in the form of a check, statement credit, or gift card. Most credit cards have moved to this form of rewards program, and there are retailers making the move as well. Look out for more companies making the switch to cash rewards as the year progresses.

Discover recently made the move to cash rewards by enhancing their 5% cash back program and dropping their Discover Deals program. The change to a 100% cash-back rewards program comes as the company moves towards providing simpler and more meaningful ways for card members to earn rewards.

Personalised Rewards through Data

Tailoring your customers’ rewards experience gets easier every day, thanks to the vast amount of information companies can gather about their clients. Data mining is a valuable tool you can use to personalise a campaign and reach customers in a more meaningful way. Don’t overlook the opportunity to truly connect with customers you’re looking to nurture.

Let’s rewind to 2017 for a minute when DSW launched an email campaign that was a game changer for their rewards program. The email included the individual’s name, reward points total, active offers, and how much more they needed to spend to get a $10 off certificate. The campaign was a hit, and they saw over 60% higher open rates, and a 13% higher click through rate. This is the perfect example of data in action!

Keeping your customer communication personalised and frequent helps keep members engaged, loyal, and incentivised to spend more with your brand. If you’re looking to create a successful rewards program like DSW’s, choosing a platform that will leverage a reward program that’s flexible and adaptable now and well into the future is essential.

EML Payments Rewards program, gives businesses insights into their success with real-time reporting which allows them to know which users are driving real bottom-line business results, track spend, social activity, visits and feedback. This continuous feedback loop allows business to introduce ongoing improvements and refinements to their rewards programs.

Paid Loyalty Programs

With loyalty programs available almost everywhere, it’s no surprise customers want more than punch cards and discounts. They want an experience they can remember and something that makes their lives easier and adds value; even if it costs something to get it.

Amazon is a great example of a paid loyalty program. Today’s Amazon yearly subscription customer now gets free shipping, plus music streaming services, TV shows, movies and more.

For retailers in industries where products and price points are similar, a unique loyalty program can become the differentiator that creates that competitive advantage. Charging a membership fee means you’re able to give better deals and perks and give your customers a reason to shop exclusively with you. Also, that upfront investment will encourage customers to spend more so they can validate their original subscription.

Influencer Rewards Programs

Influencer marketing programs really took off due to the rise of social media. These programs are a new kind of rewards program, where social media users with a large following advertise a company’s products in exchange for a percentage from the sales they generate. The sales are usually facilitated via a discount or tracking code, free gear or other perks.

Influencer programs work! In 2016, companies that introduced an influencer marketing strategy to their marketing plan, saw on average $11.69 in earned media value for every $1.00 spent – that’s a 4.4% year-over-year increase. One of these companies was Nordstrom who estimates  74% of mobile traffic comes from referrals. Now that is cashing-in on an influencer rewards strategy!

Reward programs are everywhere, so make sure you prioritise the needs of your customers so can you deliver on your brand’s values. Through constant innovation and customer communication, you will deepen your relationship, stay top of mind, and build brand loyalty that will turn those customers into brand ambassadors.

Here at EML payments, we utilize the latest technology and card features to manage experiences and deliver personalized rewards in real time. Designing a flexible and tailored rewards program that influences consumer behavior and fosters brand loyalty is how you’ll generate incremental sales and profits. If you’re ready to learn how to attract & retain loyal customers through a rewards program that will grow your business now and in the future, contact us at EML.

Fill out the EML Payments’ contact form today to talk to a rewards program expert and see what works best for you and your business.