Did you know that almost 65% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers?
It's no secret that the most successful businesses don’t just dedicate time and money to bringing in new customers, but also to keeping the ones they already have. And those that have figured out how to keep customers coming back often see an immediate increase in revenue. In fact, returning customers spend an extra 33% more than new ones.
So, how can you encourage customers to come back?
We think the best route is creating a customer loyalty programme. But it’s not just large corporations that can benefit from loyalty schemes. In fact, any company that relies on repeat customers can implement a scheme and use it to their advantage.
Let’s look at some of the best customer loyalty programmes that have worked wonders, to get you feeling inspired.
As part of its loyalty programme, Starbucks customers are rewarded based on how much they spend, rather than how often they visit. For every £1 spent, three stars are earnt – and 150 stars equals a free drink.
And it’s clear that offering this points-based incentive is a great way of keeping customers coming back for more, since 21% of customers come back for a second visit within three days – and 10% are extremely loyal, coming back within 24 hours.
But creating a scheme like Starbucks’ doesn’t have to be complicated or cost the earth. While it’s true that Starbucks offers a ‘rewards’ app to allow customers to track their Stars, you can consider getting started with a simple card and stamp.
At the most basic level, loyalty programmes are incentive-based. But the Body Shop’s ‘Love Your Body Club’ takes its programme in a different direction. Known as a force for good, the club is a community that helps customers make a positive impact on society and the world.
The club has an incentive scheme just like other loyalty programmes, but the difference is that members can either use the points earned each time they shop, or donate them to charity. For every £1 spent, they receive 10 points and for every 500 points earned, they’re automatically rewarded with a £5 voucher. Not to mention, a free £5 voucher on their birthday, prizes and early access to new products.
The charity element here doesn’t only let customers do good for simply shopping, but shows them The Body Shop is committed to supporting charitable causes too. And helping customers feel like they’re making a difference is a sure-fire way to build a loyal following that recommends you to friends and family.
The success of the ‘Love Your Body Club’ is partly due to the fact that it perfectly aligns with The Body Shop’s ethos and positioning. When considering this type of loyalty programme for your business, make sure to think about whether this makes sense in the context of your customer or product offering - to avoid looking ingenuine.
For Nike, loyalty programmes are more than points and discounts. With a Nike membership, users gain access to exclusive perks, with a personalised website for each individual. Plus, loyal customers get gifts on their birthdays and on the anniversary of their membership.
Nike’s loyalty programme is proof that incentivising customer loyalty can encourage spending. After all, with access to free shipping, exclusive styles, and invites to exclusive events, workshops and workouts, it’s not surprising that Nike members spend three times more than non-members.
The most innovative loyalty schemes take focus away from getting customers to spend more. Instead, they are connected to your products and focus on creating value for customers. For example, if you were a small pet shop, offering free dog treats could be a real winner.
H&M’s Garment Collecting programme lets customers swap a bag of old clothes, from anywhere, for a voucher of store credit. The fashion powerhouse either reuses, repairs or recycles the items, letting customers feel they’re doing their bit for sustainability, and getting something free in return. And it goes without saying that most customers will go on to spend more in-store, using their voucher towards a bigger purchase.
While giving away free credit might not be feasible for your business just yet, H&M’s programme shows the power of helping your customer feel good and do good. If you can find a way to do this, you’ll increase loyalty and keep them coming back for more.
Want to replicate these examples in your own loyalty programme? Community and exclusivity should be at the core of your strategy.
While old-school loyalty cards still have their place, an innovative rewards programme that shows customers your gratitude is an easy way to increase repeat purchases. Do it right and customers who feel valued will keep coming back; they’ll spend more, refer you to others and try new products.
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