71% of consumers who are members of modern loyalty programs say membership is not only beneficial to their wallets, but a meaningful part of their relationship with a brand. If you are not yet running a loyalty program for your business – 2020’s the time to start. As texting is the most frequently used app on a smartphone (the average adult spends 11 minutes a day messaging), messaging is an incredibly important channel for businesses of all sizes. What does the future hold for customer loyalty programs in 2020? Here are a few of our predictions:
1. Emphasis on Increased Customer Data Safety
Recent news shows loyalty programs are a hot target for cybercriminals. Loyalty fraud increased by 89% last year. Security, when a customer enrolls in a rewards program, is a hot-button issue. Smart retailers will continue to emphasize increased data safety to their customers while reinforcing loyalty program security with apps that make it infinitely more difficult to intercept customer data.
2. Automation Solves Friction Points
With overly hectic modern lives, customers want transactions that are quick and easy. Smart loyalty programs meet customers where they are, both in-person and online. We’re seeing a trend toward more conversational AI that helps customers track rewards and communicate with your brand more regularly. Providing custom responses and messaging based on previous results and customer activities not only saves your team time – it better engages customers, while boosting ROI.
3. Partnerships Drive Revenue
From Taco Bell Doritos Locos tacos to Spotify and Waze working together to provide in-app music during your commute, large brands are showing the power of collaboration and partnership. When businesses collaborate on podcasts, cross-promote on Instagram and Facebook and share costs on traditional mailings, strategic partnerships form and work well by cutting costs while doubling the exposure from combined contacts and follower lists.
4. Omnichannel Touch Points
Successful loyalty programs in 2020 go beyond a single one-time offer and provide personal and authentic connections across all touchpoints. Consumers own more devices than ever and often switch between channels. In a recent study, omnichannel campaigns showed an 18.96% engagement rate, versus a 5.4% engagement rate for single-channel. What does that mean for business owners? Neilsen research has shown that it takes 5-9 impressions for a potential customer to take action with a brand. Agile business managers share helpful and relevant product information, incentives and ideas not just via text, but in multiple places, through a centralized system. Trending now is AI which can interact and personalize messages, responding to a customer’s unique needs and preferences, and keeping the business top of mind past the initial impression.
Effective loyalty solutions build relationships with customers, add value to their lives, and in return, increase your bottom line. To maximize sign-ups, loyalty programs must be easy to join and easy to earn rewards. With Bespeak, customers join for the rewards, and come back more often because of your perfectly-timed messages. To find out how you can grow returns at every point of the customer journey, contact us.