Loyalty & Appreciation: Reaching the Connected Consumer

It is no secret that technology is reshaping the landscape of human interaction. In Kitewheel’s recent study, authors point out that brands must find ways to integrate both digital and traditional channels and touch points in order to reach today’s connected consumer.

According to Kitewheel, the majority of consumers expect an all-around seamless customer experience to be delivered by brands. Digital efforts should enhance outcomes across traditional channels, and vice versa. This seamlessness points to a brand’s ability to craft and provide positive consumer experiences, no matter what the platform.

The study shows that 54 percent of consumers expect that their experience will be seamless across digital and physical touch points, and their loyalty wavers when brands are unconnected.

“Brands are hamstrung by countless touch points, and different technologies, most of which were never designed to work together,” the study states, “They are challenged to find a way to easily connect all of these individually complex components.”

By striking a balance and creating a consistent experience from traditional to digital platforms, companies can capitalize on the opportunity to extend their reach. 43 percent of consumers in the study said they use multiple devices simultaneously while making a single purchase online – this is critical to note in reaching today’s connected consumer.

As mentioned in the study – loyalty is fickle. If consumers can’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll move to another company. This reinforces the importance of providing a positive customer experience, no matter what the platform.

This Month in Customer Appreciation and Loyalty Marketing – November 2014

In our latest edition of our loyalty and appreciation series, we bring you some of November’s most talked-about stories:

Extra: Have you seen our other blog series? It’s based on the Kitewheel study: The State of the Customer Journey. Check out the first post in the series ‘Loyalty and Appreciation: Using Mobile to Bridge the Gap’ here.

What other stories in the loyalty industry had you talking this past month? Let us know on Twitter at @eTrove!

Loyalty & Appreciation: Using Mobile to Bridge the Gap

Now more than ever it is important for both consumers and businesses to recognize the status of their relationship.

A recent study by Kitewheel, The State of the Customer Journey, found that 73 per cent of consumers feel that loyalty programs should be a way for brands to show their loyalty to the consumer. The same study found that 66 per cent of marketing executives believe that the same loyalty programs are a way for consumers to show their loyalty to a brand.

So, who should be loyal to whom?

“Businesses must revise their strategy and prove to consumers that loyalty goes both ways,” the report points out. There is currently an area of disconnect between consumers and businesses, with varying levels of expectation.

With the current combination of both digital and traditional platforms, brands are struggling to meet consumer expectation. This environment demands real-time convenience and immediate response, ultimately driving consumer loyalty and retention. Brands must “bridge the gap” between consumer data and experience.

This is where mobile marketing, a mostly untapped potential “bridge”, comes into play. According to the study, 76 per cent of consumers use mobile devices to compare prices and read reviews, but only half of businesses are taking advantage of these numbers by managing mobile apps or text messaging. By integrating timely responses brands can better facilitate the consumer experience.

The end result of all of this? The relationship needs to be a mutually beneficially, two-way street, showing appreciation both ways. Appreciation is, after all, the next step in loyalty. By making programs easy and personal for today’s connected consumers, brands can attract loyal and appreciative customers. “Loyalty is about the individual, not the segment.”

 

Check out part two and part three of this series.

This Month in Customer Appreciation and Loyalty Marketing – October 2014

We’re back again with another look at some of the most talked-about stories in the world of consumer loyalty and appreciation programs from the month of October. Yes – We said appreciation! It’s time to change the conversation and take the next step in loyalty programs.

What other stories in the loyalty industry had you talking this past month? Let us know on Twitter at @eTrove!

This Month in Loyalty – September 2014

We’re back again with another look at some of the most talked-about stories in the world of loyalty programs from the month of September.

What other stories in the loyalty industry had you talking this past month? Let us know on Twitter at @eTrove!

This Month in Loyalty – August 2014

What got people talking in August? We bring you the month’s most talked-about stories in the world of loyalty programs.

What other stories in the loyalty industry had you talking this past month? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter at @eTrove!

This Month in Loyalty – July 2014

We’re back again with another look at some of the most talked-about stories in the world of loyalty programs from the month of July.

  • Exciting news for us this month! eTrove was nominated “Best in B2C Innovation” at the 2014 Digital Alberta Awards.
  • Customers join loyalty programs, but often don’t participate. 5 tips for making your program work. (via Customer Experience Insight)
  • Adweek takes a look at how marketers are going digital with loyalty programs to connect with consumers.
  • Brand advocates are more than just loyal customers – they’re ambassadors. How to use them to build loyalty. (via Duct Tape Marketing)
  • How can your business reap the rewards of loyalty marketing? By creating brand advocates, among other things. Check out our blog from earlier this month to learn the other benefits.

What other stories in the loyalty industry had you talking this past month? Let us know on Twitter!

eTrove Nominated for 2014 Digital Alberta Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2014

Calgary, Canada – Vertical Motion, the team behind eTrove, the first two-way mobile loyalty platform, has been nominated in the ‘Best in B2C Innovation’ category in 2014’s Digital Alberta Awards. Vertical Motion’s body of work, and their commitment to providing quality solutions to every client, has also garnered them a nomination in the ‘Mobile Applications’ category.

Read more

Loyalty marketing: How Businesses Can Reap the Rewards

In today’s business world, it’s rare that you’ll find a company not employing a customer loyalty program. Hugely successful for both big and small businesses, loyalty programs reward repeat customers. In turn, repeat customers help to increase sales, profit and overall business.

Based on a report by Manta and BIA/Kelsey, repeat customers spend 67 per cent more on a purchase than a new customer. The same report shows that boosting customer retention by as little as 5 per cent can increase profit up to 80 per cent. With that said, it’s cheaper to build loyalty with existing customers than it is to recruit new business.

I’m living, breathing proof of loyalty marketing in action. My office is situated right across the street from a big-brand coffee chain. About a block down the street there’s an independent coffee house that charges the same five dollars for a latte as the coffee power-house conveniently situated within view of the office window. However, the independent coffee house gave me a “coffee card,” rewarding me with a stamp for every coffee I purchase, and after eight stamps my ninth beverage is free. Is it the challenge of filling up the card that draws me to return there every day? Maybe. But whatever the case, I think the loyalty card must be working.

While customer loyalty programs are good for all businesses, here are a few reasons why they are especially beneficial for small businesses:

Convenient in this Web 2.0 world

In our tech-savvy society, it has become increasingly common for loyalty programs to go digital – granting access to rewards through tools like apps that are accessible without a card. This is a cost-effective way for a business to provide customers with the incentive to make repeat purchases, not to mention it’s far more convenient. Going mobile also allows for social network integration, something that helps connect small businesses with an audience online.

The best part? No business will have to hear “I forgot my card” ever again.

Generates a system of brand advocates

A well-executed loyalty program is not just a way to retain customers – a loyalty program can actually help to boost the growth of a small business. A good loyalty program should be a reciprocal relationship, building a bond between business, brand and consumer. Some companies offer discounts for their loyalty program members to share deals with friends – 20 per cent off a purchase for you and a friend – not only benefiting the returning customer, but also creating new business and support as well.  A loyalty program can help a business build a network of supporters who will support and share the brand.

Gives an edge over the competition

Most of us demonstrate customer loyalty on a daily basis with our regular purchases; think about where you purchase groceries, gas or even sports equipment. Loyalty programs encourage patrons to choose one business over the other, even if the two are virtually the same, quite simply because we all want to save a few bucks here and there. It is any easy way for a business to make their mark as a competitor in their respective market, all because their customers feel appreciated through incentives and rewards.

Developing a customer loyalty program is well worth the rewards… rewards for both business and customer. Loyalty programs not only drive customer retention, but can help small business reach their full potential and expand their customer base. Technology makes rewards programs cost-effective and accessible, and these programs help to generate support for the brand while providing a competitive edge in the market.

 

 

Sources:
Boosting customer retention by 5 percent can increase profits by as much as 80 percent. – http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233021

Based on the same report by Manta and BIA/Kelsey, a repeat customer spends 67 percent more on a given purchase than a new customer does – http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233362