15 years ago, loyalty was simply about points. Tesco had its Clubcard, Boots the Advantage card and various other retailers used a loyalty system to reward shoppers who repeated purchases. So, in today’s world of ever-growing data insights and with the latest digital technology, how has loyalty developed?
The aim of loyalty schemes in the past was about giving customers a discount for signing up to a programme and the assumption was that they would continue to be a part of this subscription if the discount levels were attractive.
However, the plethora of options has meant retailers have had to differentiate themselves from the competition by enhancing their offering from simply discounts. Amazon has really set the pace in this area with the advancement of paid-for-loyalty programmes, where customers now pay a small premium in order to receive access to streaming services as well as faster delivery options. Prime has proven to be phenomenally successful over the years.
The priorities of what customers require from loyalty programmes has changed too. There is less attraction to simply receiving points or discounts when making a purchase – consumers expect more for their loyalty. There has been increasing focus on incentivising engagement through more personalised and exclusive offers, such as tickets to festivals or meeting celebrities in person.
So what methods can we expect in the future from retailers to retain customers?
In this profile piece, Webloyalty’s Managing Director, Dominic West, shares his experiences of over a decade of working within the field of loyalty. His recollections encompass the early days of loyalty programmes created by the supermarkets and the newer methods of engaging with shoppers using the latest digital technology.
There are certainly many innovative developments taking place within the loyalty world right now and the future of loyalty looks very exciting.Dominic West
With the growing treasure trove of data, retailers will have the ability to gain valuable insights from their customers based on their activity. Can this unlock the potential to take loyalty to a whole new level?