Whether customers are shopping online or in your brick-and-mortar store, a strong loyalty program can help encourage repeat visits and more frequent purchases. Today we are going to look at how you can develop a loyalty program students will love and a few ways to promote it to the campus community.
Bringing excitement to your loyalty program
Loyalty programs are commonplace in retail environments. When looking at your store’s current program or while planning to implement a new program, think about the loyalty programs you have joined. Which ones are your favorite? Why?
There are many types of loyalty programs because they are easy to customize to fit individual stores. Some popular models include:
Earn discounts with points – Some stores choose to set up a model where customers earn points based on the amount of money they spend. These points can then be applied as a discount to a future purchase once a base threshold is met or they can trade in points for free items. For example, with a movie theater point system, you might earn a free popcorn or soda based on the number of points you acquire.
Get coupons or custom promotions – This method sends loyalty members special coupons or custom promotions designed to get them back to the store. It may or may not be points-based. The ultimate idea here is to encourage repeat visits. For example, Kohls Cash is given to every Kohls shopper. You do not have to be part of their loyalty program. You simply earn an amount off your next purchase based on what you spent that day.
Buy X amount and get something free – This is a popular method with convenience stores and fast food. Buy nine burritos, get the tenth one free. Buy 10 cups of coffee, get your 11th free. This encourages continued loyalty to your brand. Sure, a customer could buy a burrito or cup of coffee somewhere else, but if they are building toward a free one, then they have a good reason to stick with that establishment.
The most important parts of designing your loyalty program are to make sure it is practical for your store and customers and to ensure customers can easily identify their reward. If the program is too complicated or customers cannot pinpoint exactly what they get, the effectiveness will wane.
Promoting your collegiate retail loyalty program
Once you have your loyalty program set up, it is time to promote it. The best way to promote the program is at the register when customers are checking out. However, we have compiled a few more ideas to help you boost your loyalty program this year.
Welcome gift – A fantastic way to boost signups for the loyalty program is to offer a welcome gift. It doesn’t have to be a big item, just something that will catch students’ interest. Do you have old merchandise that you haven’t been able to get rid of? This could be a good use for that.
Run an enrollment drive – Treat your loyalty program like an event. Make a plan and start promoting the program. Consider sending a series of emails, scheduling social media posts, and/or creating a pop-up sign-up form on your eCommerce site.
Celebrate loyal customers – FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a great way to promote your loyalty program. Use social media to celebrate loyal customers (with their permission). When they come in to use a loyalty coupon or their loyalty points, get a picture with them celebrating their savings. Show your other customers what they are missing by not participating.
Provide multiple sign-up opportunities – Do you have an easy way for customers to sign up online? Is there a way for customers to sign up at remote, pop-up store locations? Maximize the number of opportunities customers have to learn about and sign up for your loyalty program.
Gamify sign up – How can your store turn signing up for your loyalty program into a game or part of a game? It could be a task on a scavenger hunt (store ran or school ran). You could create a referral system where current loyalty customers get something for recruiting five more sign-ups. Meet with your staff and throw around ideas on how to make signing up fun.
How does your store currently promote its loyalty program? Get more ideas on how to promote your loyalty program with this free marketing plan.