Loyalty Programs: What Future Does It Have ?
The French slide on average between 6 and 7 fidelity cards in their wallet. At the time of the digital transformation that is changing the strategies of the brands, loyalty techniques are in a state of flux: we move from mass marketing to personalization marketing. The challenge is no longer to touch more, but to strike better, and lastingly, to increase the customer base on a perennial basis.
Accumulated points for exclusive promotions: This type of mass loyalty program is a pillar of customer relations: it is essential for the company that uses it to build its image and to collect valuable and judicious data for consumers who find exclusive offers. For retailers, offering them is no longer an option: it is an obligation. However, more than half of French people no longer feel privileged by loyalty programs. At issue is the still too collective nature of the programs deployed. This system of cumulative points is practiced by 80% of the brands in France and more than half of them reward the loyalty of their customers with vouchers. While loyalty programs may seem trivialized, the digital transformation offers them a new clientele to conquer and increasingly varied means to achieve it. The arrival of mobile has marked a turning point in loyalty and marketing strategies in general. Today, the web and new technologies offer more targeted loyalty techniques: we are moving from mass marketing to personalization marketing. The use of new purchasing tools such as the web or Mobile has led to a change in customer behavior. From now on, the purchasing process begins with a discussion, research, sometimes a benchmarking: it has become less spontaneous, more thoughtful. Behaviors that can be analyzed with the data that loyalty programs collect. Today, the strategy adapts to each customer in real time and this individualization upsets the customer relationship.
From transaction to emotion
To respond to a certain standardization of the loyalty market, brands have turned to the new uses that drive customer relations today. Fidelity becomes more and more omni-channel. It is transposed on the web, by sms, it uses newsletters, push notifications and localization, it invites itself in everyday life by downloading the application, creating an online personal account or gamification. Powerful levers of business intelligence that, under cover of an inscription, give the sign access to a lot of information that conditions a customer relationship of a new type: by collecting data, personalization comes. Brands now know what behaviors their consumers adopt and adapt their communication according to each of them in real time.
The customer relationship of tomorrow is no longer translated solely by an exchange of advantages according to the purchases made: more transactional only, it becomes emotional. There is a real phenomenon of adherence to brands by the values they convey and in particular by the content they share on their social networks, both a tool for communication and a link between the brand and its client, a showcase Its products, its image and the public to which it is addressed.
Around its networks, the brand creates a community, a sense of belonging, then activating fidelity. All possible means of communication are good: one must become omni-channel, and meet the needs of customers continuously. Technologies are at the service of these new uses, from the Beacon to the development of push notifications. We no longer speak of building a relationship based on transaction, but of offering a customer experience, transforming a consumer into an ambassador and developing a friendly proximity.
Tomorrow, the connection with the consumer will be continuous. Loyalty must be invoked in the daily life of consumers, where the web will go from media to service center. If the loyalty card as we know it today will soon dematerialized, a multitude of new supports will come to embody it. Interactive kiosks, intelligent receipts or the use of biometrics are already beginning to be part of the loyalty roadmap. And these are only the first fruits.
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Author: Azhar Iqbal
Azhar Iqbal, with more than 15 years of programming experience, posses a firm command over system analysis, system design and custom software solutions. He envisioned utilizing his extensive experience and expertise to elucidate Telephony Applications Development and design more practical solutions. You can reach him through his website Ranking Solutions or LinkedIn Profile.