Mutual Characteristics of Local Loyalty Programs: Insights and Tips
“Do you have Yuu membership?” You might be asked this question a hundred times while shopping in one of the stores under the Jardine Group. Among all the loyalty program applications downloaded on your phone, how many of them are frequently used in your daily life? And how many of them are the ones that you have downloaded just for the welcoming rewards? If you were the merchant, you wouldn’t expect your loyalty program to be a one-time thing after investing a lot in application design and CRM development. Let’s look at some mutual characteristics of the most popular loyalty programs and see what you can learn from them and enhance your loyalty program!
Exclusive rewards for members
What really attracted new customers to register for a membership of your company? Is it welcoming rewards or loyalty point rewards? The answer is both, and they are both members-only privileges. If you would like to enjoy special treatment or membership discounts, you will have to register for a membership account or upgrade your membership to a certain level. In such a way, they are more likely to keep using the loyalty application and redeeming points in the future. Take YOHO as an example, the membership price is $100 to $300 lower than the actual price, which is very tempting to a lot of people.
The traditional loyalty programs mainly provide gifts or offers to the customers, but recently, instead of attracting a large number of new customers within a short period, merchants are now focusing more on retaining their loyal customers. Although the ROI of an offer giveaway event (such as Hot Summer Deal by The Tourism Board, which allows merchants to giveaway their coupons and offers.) is not high, the long term benefits will still be desirable for a lot of merchants, which is the increase of customer lifetime value.
Since there are already a lot of loyalty programs, loyalty schemes nowadays are not limited in goods privileges. Service privileges is also a standout feature. Goods privileges is the coupons, discounts, or offers received by the customers after purchasing for a certain amount; while service privileges are membership-based. As long as you meet the membership requirement, you may enjoy exclusive service when you visit the stores even though you did not purchase anything. From the merchants’ point of view, your previous purchasing records are enough to prove that you are a loyal customer, and thereby they are happy to provide you with exclusive services. For example, the VIP members of HKTVMall may enjoy lower free-delivery spending requirement and exclusive hotline service; The diamond member of Ztore may have the priority to choose the delivery time; The BESPOKE scheme of Landmark provide members with parking services, exclusive VIP lounge, private wine-and-dine service, and more personalized services; Lane Crowford provide VIP members with personalized styling suggestion, VIP lounge when purchasing, and the qualification for fashion events.
Easy Earn and Burn
No one likes a complicated application. To retain customers, apart from providing them with user-friendly UX and UI design, we should also avoid complicated points calculation and other redemption rules. Imagine if there are two similar shopping mall, the first one allows customers to redeem 1 point for every $1 purchase immediately with no constraints; while the other one requires customers to spend $100 to earn 1 point, you can only get 2 points if you have spent $299, and you also need to bring the receipt to the reception for registration. Without a doubt, customers will tend to shop in the first mall. The easier, simpler the loyalty program is, the more customers will be willing to use it, since redeeming points does not take them too much effort.
Apart from easy to earn, the loyalty points should be easy to burn. The redemption goals should not be too difficult or take too long to achieve, otherwise the attractiveness of the rewards will fade away and so will the interest of the customers. Therefore, if you noticed, some rewards in the supermarket that might take up to 100 stamps in the past can be redeemed with fewer e-stamps nowadays. Merchants nowadays tend to use small e-stamp cards to attract customers to register an account, such as Yuu, OK Stamp It, Alipay HK, or Foodpanda, they all have offers like “Stamp 4 Get 1 free” or “ Free coupon for three stamp”. Apart from that, loyalty points nowadays can be transferred among relatives and friends, the merchants also provide small rewards such as one-hour free parking, rewards that can redeem with a few points and some cash… These are some ways that allow members to easily use their points with more flexibility.
Collaboration and Synergy
Via collaborating with reward partners, credit cards, and other loyalty programs, merchants may provide more rewards, points using options to the customers, as well as promoting the collaborated brands, increasing their exposure.
There are three main categories in collaboration, the first one is a loyalty program collaborating with another loyalty program, which means that customers may earn points and spend points in two loyalty programs. For example, KMB collaborated with The Point, if the customers linked their accounts of these two programs, they may earn points for their The Point membership while taking buses under KMB. In this way, customers will be attracted to become members of both programs. Another example will be Shell and The Point, Asia Miles, HKT The Club collaboration, their members may centralize their loyalty points and enjoy more flexibility in redeeming loyalty rewards.
The second category will be the collaboration of sub-brand and reward partners, which aims to increase the variability and attractiveness of the rewards. For example, the loyalty program of Yuu allows members to use their loyalty points to redeem rewards, coupons, or offers from the brands under Jardine Group, rather than limiting them into one brand. Another example will be The Point, members of The Point may use their loyalty points to redeem staycation packages, wine-and-dine services, or mooncake under the brands of Sun Hung Kai. The rewards are more attractive and there are more options than just providing rewards from a single mall.
The third category is the collaboration with credit cards or virtual banks, in which the merchants provide discounts, cashback or loyalty points for specific credit card users. For example, HSBC card holders may enjoy discounts and triple points when filling gas in Cartex, which attracted HSBC card holders to visit Cartex while attracting Cartex customers to register a HSBC credit card. Another example is the special discount day of HSBC credit cards in The Point. Apart from original discounts by the merchants, providing additional credit card discounts may attract credit card holders to purchase in the mall. Collaborating with credit cards and banks may attract new customers with specific credit cards to visit the mall regularly.
Thank you for reading, we hope you can be inspired by our insight! If you are thinking about developing a new loyalty program for your brand, feel free to visit our website to learn more. Also, feel free to contact us for consultation and professional advice!
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