For years, buyer rewards programs really boiled down to two basic implementations: Either discounts such as coupons, or real-world physical gifts. While even in this form, loyalty programs were highly effective and virtually always showed superior ROI, the field has evolved significantly with the development of digital rewards programs.
Digital rewards programs offer brands far more ways to engage with their customer base and increase loyalty, while generally at a lower overall cost than physical reward programs. Gifts are still sometimes involved, but even then, the overall cost is less.
Three Ways Digital Rewards Programs Are Evolving Customer Loyalty
- The Gifts Are Cheaper
Many customers today are perfectly happy receiving digital goods as rewards, which is great for lowering the costs of a loyalty program. Digital goods have no delivery cost to speak of, and can be replicated endlessly.
A store giving away a promotional CD, for example, would have to obtain the relevant music rights, press the CDs, package them, and ship them to the store and\or customer. A store giving away a promotional digital music album only has to pay the initial licensing costs -if any- and then everything else is effectively free.
- Instant Gratification
One of the biggest barriers to loyalty programs in the past was the often-significant amount of time that would elapse between redeeming the reward and receiving it. That is, the infamous “allow 6-8 weeks for delivery” disclaimer. Many considered the wait annoying enough they simply wouldn’t bother.
Today’s digital programs allow instant gratification, with rewards delivered only minutes -or seconds- after the transaction. This significantly increases interest and participation in the programs.
- Gamify Social Media and Even Real-World Activities
“Gamification” is a trendy topic, and for good reason. By turning completely mundane activities such as social media posting into semi-competitive events, with “awards” or “achievements” for participation, brands can incentivize activities which promote their products or lifestyles related to them.
It seems counter-intuitive, but there is a strong segment of buyers – particularly in the younger generations – who really will go out of their way just to obtain a flashy badge they can post to Facebook.
Brandmovers can design digital loyalty programs which are highly affordable, while still being extremely effective at boosting loyalty/motivation and providing you with great actionable data. Contact us today to learn about all your options!