Loyalty programs are a must and a well-established practice in the everyday commerce of shops and nowadays most coffee shops and restaurants propose a simple strategy based on 10 stamps for 1 free product.
Nothing more effective than that, isn’t it? But in a so crown world, are you sure this strategy is still valid? Let’s consider 3 troubling points that could fail your strategy:
1. A paper loyalty card doesn’t remind your customer that you exist
In my wallet, I have about 5 cards (2 supermarkets, 1 petrol station, 1 electronic chain, and 1 coffee shop). I always forget to take out 3 out of these 5 cards and I never remember which coffee shop’s card in my neighbourhood is in my wallet and eventually I don’t remember to show it up when I’m shopping.
I’m a marketing man and probably I’m more attentive than a regular client. So what about your clients? I doubt that a paper card will have a different destination other than just going in the washing machine with your paints.
You should have something that reminds your clients that your card and you still exist, not only when they shop but also (or above all) when they have not been shopping with you for a while. The good news is that technology can help you.
2. You paper loyalty card doesn’t engage your customers
Don’t think that your clients are not sleeping at night because they just need one more stamp to complete their cards.
Engagement is communication and involvement, taking and receiving, doing a question and giving an answer. Of course, a paper card cannot do it, even if it’s well coloured and the point system has a nice design.
The problem is that you should find a way to engage your clients in a different way but time is always limited in your 24h day and your loyalty card is… just a paper card. So what? The good news is that technology can help you.
3. Your paper loyalty card is not social
Communicating is a time-consuming activity and sometimes it’s very expensive. Even if you print flyers and spam your neighbours or use Facebook and try to catch followers, it’s very hard (if not impossible) for you to have coherent communication with your customer’s behaviour.
You should be clustering, analysing and, finally, communicating with your clients. This activity is easy for a big company with a huge budget, but how can small and medium enterprises do it?
Sometimes they lack knowledge and sometimes they lack a dedicated department for it? Eventually, you end up buying massive advertisements on Facebook. But is it the best strategy? The good news is that technology can help you.