Walt Disney famously said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.
What the creator of Mickey Mouse was doing decades ago was telling creators and brands to offer the best product or service in the industry in order to get customers hooked to the brand and transform them into advocates. While this strategy may have worked very well in the past, customer retention and loyalty programs are no longer so straightforward. Especially in the retail industry with new brands being launched every day, retailers must stay alert so that their customers remain loyal to them.
A game of loyalty
Fully cognizant of the winds of change in customer retention practices, Salesforce Commerce Cloud provided the means to design and run loyalty programs that help merchants branch out their offerings. For instance, customers are no longer interested in the traditional loyalty programs of stocking up points with every purchase and using it at a later time. Salesforce e-commerce allows merchants to bring together various touchpoints such as marketing executives who create the loyalty programs, and the merchandising and order fulfillment teams to plan what can be offered as free merchandise and when customers can enjoy free or expedited shipping.
A study conducted by Salesforce concluded that 78% of consumers bought from brands with loyalty programs. The Loyalty Management feature offered by Salesforce Cloud Commerce allows merchants to design and create unique loyalty programs based on membership or points and offers a plethora of options for retailers to play around with.
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Baby steps to winning loyalty
Let’s take a look at new parents Jake and Kim, who have just welcomed their baby girl. The customers of baby products had no idea how many packs of diapers their baby will run through the first few years of her life. The surge in their monthly expenses had them panicking until their friends pointed them out to an e-commerce site that caters to the needs of infants, babies, and toddlers. They discovered loyalty programs that allowed them to buy discounted diapers and other baby essentials along with free shipping and merchandise. Finally, they were able to breathe in peace.
Over the last couple of decades, retailers are seen building a relationship with their customers that goes beyond the checkout counter. This gives the retailers an edge over their competitors as they are able to establish brand credibility and spur loyalty by providing the customers exactly what they need.
A successful loyalty program is more than just a strategic initiative by a retailer to increase sales. To pull it off, retailers must be able to tie together various key systems—such as the point-of-sale (PoS), storefront, mobile apps, order management system, and inventory management system—in order to offer loyalty benefits.
The fruit of loyalty
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said, “Get closer to your customers, so close that you tell them what they need even before they realize it themselves.”
What he means, quite simply, is, ‘know your customers’. Merchants can build various loyalty programs based on customer segment, behavioral analysis, establishing ROI, and prioritizing loyalty levels. Loyalty programs that are built on strong research and based on a thorough understanding of customer behavior and response to existing loyalty plans are sure to make a deeper and lasting impact on the target audience.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud allows merchants to create loyalty programs in four easy steps:
- Setting up the program: The merchant can define different types of loyalty programs and set their durations.
- Creating an end-to-end member lifecycle: Retailers can maximize the use of loyalty programs by promoting their uses at the right time and influence customers in the decision-making process.
- Defining and tracking member behaviors: Retailers can study customer behavior as they react to the loyalty programs.
- Reviewing performance and taking action: Merchants should periodically review the results of the various loyalty programs to gauge their effectiveness, engagement, and liability to form or tweak the existing programs.
With Salesforce e-commerce brands can create unique and experiential loyalty programs that improve brand stickiness through customer engagement.
Are you interested in gains from well-executed loyalty programs? Let us help you build a better and stronger relationship with your customers. Reach out to us to learn more.
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