Examining the benefits of store cards and loyalty programmes

Here's why you should not disregard the benefits of tools like loyalty programmes in your business.

Pretty much every major store has its own special card or reward programme these days, and it’s got to the point where some customers reject these offers on autopilot. Some businesses still see a lot of success with this tool though, and it seems like it’s mostly a matter of how it’s implemented and presented to customers. There are lots of potential benefits to running a programme like that in your own store, and if you still haven’t explored them yet, it should be one of your main priorities.

Improving customer retention

One of the best things about a loyalty programme or store card is that it entices people to keep coming back to your store, and that’s one of the main reasons to run such a programme in the first place in the eyes of many entrepreneurs. The loyalty programme trend keeps getting more pronounced and it’s all around us, and those who get in early on are going to be the ones that benefit the most in the long run. After all, you’ll want to have something to stand out with compared to all your competitors, especially in a more crowded market.

Credit repair experts at Lexington Law suggest that branded cards are on the rise. More and more companies will be offering them to loyal customers so get your business on the bandwagon. “Issuers and retailers are working together to attract loyal customers with an established relationship and ‘sweeten the deal’ by offering special perks, discounts, or exclusive offers if those customers open a co-branded credit card account,” state Lexington representatives. “We will likely see this trend expand in many creative ways throughout 2018.”

More data for trend analysis

Data is quickly becoming the currency of tomorrow, and finding new ways to collect and analyse information about your customers can always be beneficial to your operations. This is one of the core functions of a store card and it can be an extremely powerful tool for figuring out what people like to shop for during different times of the year. You can even analyse trends on a personal level, figuring out the needs and interests of specific groups of customers, and you can significantly improve the way your store is structured as a result of that.

Promotional opportunity

A loyalty programme can also be a great opportunity to promote something, whether it’s a product you carry in your own store or something customers can buy elsewhere. Cross promotions can actually work very well when using a store card as the main platform, but you have to be careful not to make it too annoying for customers who are not interested in the deal. After all, you don’t want to alienate a large group of people while attracting a smaller segment, but sadly, this is exactly what we’re seeing on a shockingly regular basis with some stores.

You should not disregard the benefits of tools like loyalty programmes in your business, especially if you’re more directly involved in engaging consumers. It can take some time to set up a programme like that correctly and ensure that it matches your current business requirements properly, but once you’ve gone over that hurdle, you’ll find the experience to be a very smooth one. Even if you don’t keep using the system in your company in the future, it will at least be a good learning opportunity that can help you identify some interesting market trends, information that would normally require a lot of specialised research to get access to.

Further reading on loyalty programmes

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Related Topics

Customer Loyalty

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