Fact: it costs a business about five to ten times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. What’s more, current customers spend 67% more on average than new customers.
So how can you keep customers coming back to your business? Create a loyalty scheme. Almost three-quarters of Australian consumers over the age of 14 are members of a loyalty program, so there are tremendous opportunities waiting for your business if you get it right.
What is a loyalty scheme?
A loyalty scheme is offered by a business to customers who visit frequently to make purchases. The program offers rewards for regular purchases. This might be free gifts, money off vouchers, discounts, access to exclusive products and events, or something else. At the same time, it enables you to gather valuable information about customers (who are they? What, when and how do they purchase?), which will help you grow your business.
There are lots of great examples of successful loyalty schemes. Woolworths Rewards is Australia's most popular loyalty program counting 49% of all consumers in its membership, with Coles Flybuys a close second. Chances are you have either one or both of these loyalty cards in your wallet.
But there are smaller examples too. How many times have you picked up a coffee card for the promise of a free tenth coffee? From yoga studios to salons and dog groomers, a growing number of small local enterprises are getting onto the loyalty wagon.
The secret to getting your loyalty scheme right
A winning loyalty scheme is not as simple as giving customers a card and telling them to collect points. You need to create a program that is relevant and valuable to your customers, and brings rewards for your business.
This comes from knowing what drives your customers to buy, what excites them and how they interact with your brand. Do they want money off purchases? Or would they prefer a freebie? If you’re not sure, conduct a simple survey to find out.
Choose how customers will collect points
Once you have worked out the right rewards for your customers, think about how they will collect points. There are two methods you can manage easily using the FUSE platform:
1. Create a basic loyalty card. Create your own loyalty card for the customer to present at the checkout. The simplest form is a cardboard design that can be punched or stamped by your employee (like a coffee shop card). This includes a “one free” or “10% discount” after a certain amount of purchases. Need inspiration? Check out Pinterest.
2. Use a simple point system. Regular customers can earn points with every purchase, which can be used to “buy” a reward (e.g. Woolworths Rewards, Flybuys and MyerOne). This type of loyalty scheme requires a plastic membership card, which customers can swipe with every purchase. You can also add other ways to gain points. For example, a Melbourne yoga studio rewards members who write reviews, share posts on social media and refer friends.
Make your customers feel special
To get the most out of your loyalty scheme, engage your members and make them feel special. Invite them to special VIP events. Give them exclusive offers or previews. Again, you need to find out what your loyal customers value.
Recent research shows that most loyalty program members will spend more and shop more often if they can share their rewards with others. Is this something you can offer to your members?
Creating a customer loyalty scheme doesn’t have to be complicated. Take some time to understand what your customers want and make it easy for your customers – and your business – to gain rewards. What are you waiting for? The FUSE platform makes it easy to create your loyalty scheme. To find out more, contact the FUSE team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 9008 8500.