The Race for MVC’s: Most Valuable Customers

With so many loyalty cards out there, businesses are faced with a tough challenge of discovering which customers do not actively participate in a company’s loyalty program. Having a good business strategy when developing and managing a loyalty program is key for a company to avoid becoming another rewards program a consumer signs up for and then neglects. By measuring the success of loyalty programs and customer data, businesses can customize rewards and discounts that customers receive and make adjustments to optimize their offerings.

According to the 2015 Colloquy Census, “U.S. customer loyalty programs memberships have topped 3 billion for the first time” in history.  Every time a customer checks out, it has become commonplace to be prompted for a retail loyalty cards, both in store and online.  TIME magazine stated that in 2013, the grocery chain Shaw’s decided to get rid of loyalty cards all together due to the fact that the card was no longer special for the customer or businesses.  A quality loyalty program allows retailers to retain customers, encourage repeat store visits, and increase purchase amounts.

Every customer wants to feel special. Each one is seeking a retailer to deliver a personalized experience to them. This is most often delivered through unique in store décor, staff training, etc. With the increase of internet shopping, it has become tougher for retailers to extend this online. Increased access also means consumers can cross reference prices and products between different retailers in a matter of seconds. While people are seeking retailers to cater to their needs, it is important for businesses to put the same effort into programs that will attract them. Companies can use data collected to create targeted rewards based on customer preferences. Using an ERP solution, businesses can store detailed customer data from past purchases as well data received from third parties and provide a central hub to consolidate the data into one central location.

Numbers always give the bottom line of success and failure.  More companies are using an all in one solution for all of their retail business processes through ERP systems.  Businesses use retail solutions to manage all of their day to day business processes, while collecting data from customer activity.  A marketing promotion may include discount coupons and free items offered to a specific targeted group or customer.  By collecting data on what sales came from what promotion and which customer, marketing departments can determine which promotions were effective.  Marketing departments rely heavily on customer data for business decisions.  Having an ERP system that produces numbers and barometers can give companies a real time look into a targeted promotion.  Through analysis of the data, a marketing department can then determine the best strategy for a successful loyalty program. 

The loyalty programs offered by businesses and their competition is heavily saturated.  It is important to make sure that customers are actively participating in these programs.  To do this businesses need to start paying more attention to the changing needs of the customer.  Retailers need to reach customers before their competition does. With widespread, daily use of social media, retailers are now able to track how customers react to their brands. A variety of channels-  including Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, etc.-  are providing check-in features and becoming platforms for consumers to see friends activity and share promotions with their own networks. These platforms allow for comments, reviews, and are only continuing to grow. Companies are still perfecting their social media presence, leaving the potential for massive gains for those who have already devised their social media recipes and have found success Contact HSO to learn more!

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