Customer loyalty: every retailer knows it’s essential to successful, sustainable retail, and the sign of a great brand experience that shoppers can align with.
The Pareto principle notes that 80% of your revenue will come from the top 20% of your loyalest customers - do you know who yours are? And if you do, how do you recognise and reward them?
Recognising the loyalty of your customers is essential for their overall experience. Our soon to be published consumer research found that 62% of female and 57% of male customers felt ‘bothered’ if their loyalty was not recognised by retailers.
Loyalty schemes have been the method of choice for most retailers, but for retailers that don’t choose to go down this path (and even those that do) it’s important to infuse recognition of the loyalty of your customers throughout the customer journey.
This blog will highlight a few ways you apply best practice of spotting your loyal customers, learning about their habits and showing your appreciation for staying with you.
How to spot your loyal customers
To truly be able to recognise loyal customers customers, it’s imperative to have a full view of their customer journey, both off and online. After all, someone who shops in your high street store every week, but only occasionally online should be rewarded just as much as a regular online shopper.
What loyalty looks like will differ from retailer to retailer - for instance, loyal customer behaviour in a mattress company will look very different to a makeup retailer.
Customer loyalty can be recognised throughout their journey, but when it comes to identifying your very loyalest customers, factors retailers might wish to consider include:
- how much a customer has spent (CLV)
- the number of purchases they’ve made with you
- how frequently they shop
- whether they have made several word-of-mouth referrals and encouraged friends and family to also purchase with you
Using a customer marketing platform, like Ometria, you can segment your customer base and ensure that they receive marketing messages specific to their status. More on that here.
5 ways of recognising customer loyalty in your marketing messages
So we’ve established that it’s important to engage with customers and not take their loyalty for granted, but how can you ensure you show your appreciation throughout all the messages you send?
1) Using dynamic content in emails
By using dynamic content you can personalise the message of your emails - both broadcast and automated - to reflect the loyalty of each individual recipient. For example, you can:
- Use personalised product recommendations to demonstrate that you understand their habits and tastes.
- Incorporate dynamic banners or blocks that change with offers or rewards based on the loyalty status of the recipient. For example, you might incorporate a block that offers VIP customers free delivery as a special treat (see below).
- Use dynamic content to make the copy in an email reflect the loyalty status of the recipient (e.g. ‘Thanks for making your another purchase with us.')
Although ASOS has an in-house loyalty scheme, you can borrow from its use of dynamic content and note your customer’s frequency, or basket value, and encourage them to spend again with you with an incentive.
2) Using triggered loyalty recognition (or VIP) emails
When customers reach ‘VIP’ status, as per your thresholds (as we discussed earlier), you can send them triggered campaigns to alert them of their status and welcome them to the club. As loyal customers are likely to pay full price for items, you can offer something that addresses their other pain-points in the customer journey; this can be something like free shipping or returns.
(Psst! For more advice about loyalty recognition campaigns and more, download our Advanced Guide to Automation)
For customers that haven’t yet reached VIP status, but that are still loyal, you can employ loyalty recognition campaigns (like Papier’s below), as a chance to show them your appreciation:
3) Don’t be afraid to offer perks and special treatment
Offer perks to your loyal customers that you wouldn't offer anyone else. For example, you may want to offer early access to sales, sneak peeks of new product line and even in-store events. Here is another great example from ASOS, offering early access to their sale.
You can even take things a step further and send direct mail to loyal customers, thanking them personally, reiterating your brand story and it may even be shared by the recipient across their social media - which will direct more potential customers in your direction.
4) Don’t be afraid to go cross-channel
It is important, given the different ways customers are now used to being engaged with, that you incorporate other channels into your loyalty recognition plans. This might include:
- Triggering a note to customer services to reach out to a high-spending customer who has shopped in a significant while
- Sending direct mail, as noted above, as a way of thanks or reaching out to loyal customers who haven’t been interacting with emails
- Recognising their loyalty in your social ads - for example, ASOS recognises the fact that the recipient has signed up to its Premier Delivery service in the ads below.
A lack of loyalty scheme doesnt mean a lack of loyalty, you can use data to gain insight on your faithful shoppers and reward them for staying with you. If you do have some form of loyalty scheme, this is an opportunity to go a step further and really make beneficiaries feel like VIPS with personalised messaging and exclusive perks (here are some great examples). Going that little extra mile will keep you top-of-mind and maybe even encourage some word-of-mouth marketing. The key to retention is recognition, so make sure your loyal customers know that you notice them.