Build customer loyalty with rewards and other tactics that motivate, according to Marketing Profs.
Remember S&H Green Stamps? Our mothers and grandmothers would collect these gummed stamps from supermarkets, gas stations, and other stores, pasting them into booklets that they would then exchange for prizes from Green Stamps catalogs. That pioneering retail loyalty program was extremely popular in the mid-1960s, before the recession of the 1970s reduced its perceived value.
Although recession may have killed Green Stamps in the ’70s, the most recent recession has had the reverse effect, as rewards programs gain popularity online. Since 2008, inspiring loyalty among consumers has become much more challenging. Even as the economy bounces back, private labels are holding on to their share of the market. Brands need to creatively find ways to drive loyalty in an already-crowded marketplace.
An online rewards program is a great, cost-effective tool to achieve that goal, partly because they’re not aspirational. Consumers can collect enough points to make purchases within weeks or even days—not years, the way some credit card-based programs function. (Does anyone beside the frequent business flyer ever get free airfare to Hawaii?)