3 Ways Introducing Loyalty Programs Can Improve Your Small Business’ Bottom Line

If you are new to the small business world, the chances are that one of your top aims for the next financial year is to improve your business’ returns. One of the most effective ways that come to mind? Well it begins and ends with your customers. With the rise and globalisation of ecommerce, businesses have seen their reach extend beyond borders. On the other hand, they have also seen a rise in competition on a worldwide scale. In addition to building great employee relationships and securing any financial risks to your business, it is incredibly important that you focus on both attracting potential customers to your new small business and of course, retaining them.

3 Ways Introducing Loyalty Programs Can Improve Your Small Business’ Bottom Line - customer image

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It Can Cut Your Costs

Customer loyalty schemes and programs are a great way to help your business achieve this. It is also one option that many businesses are increasingly embracing. There is a great rationale behind this as well. It can cost businesses between 2 and 5 times more to attract new customers than it would cost to retain them. The amount of funds to be spent on advertising campaigns and market research to specifically target new customers along with introductory discounts can add up to a sizeable amount at the end of the financial year.  With the reduced spend on marketing and the increased repeat sales benefits of a successful loyalty program, you can see increased profits in no time. In the end, a low customer turnover is much more cost efficient than repeatedly attracting new customers every day.

You may have seen major corporations advertising their alternatives to this customer retention tool but it can also be applied to smaller businesses across the UK and worldwide. This goes beyond incentives such as discounts for repeat purchases and extends into your customer service as well. One thing to be noted is that loyalty programs are no longer effective being structured as they were a decade ago. In Deloitte’s 2017 Customer Loyalty survey, over 54 percent of people still valued a points based system but an increasing 32 percent of them would prefer to be given rewards that are better suited to their lifestyles and interests. So when you are considering the different customer loyalty programs to incorporate into your business, take the time to understand your customers’ expectations and your business goals.

It Can Help You Attract New Customers

It may seem counteractive but yes, focusing on retention tools can also help your business to attract new customers. Customers in the UK are increasingly loyal compared to their worldwide counterparts with65 percent considering themselves as loyal shoppersin 2017. It is therefore increasingly important to get customers to make first time purchases and have the chance to win their loyalty. A customer loyalty program can help you do this. In a study by Deloitte in 2017, over a quarter of the respondents said that a customer loyalty program would be a factor in them remaining loyal to that business or brand.

The benefits offered by the loyalty program are attractive to new customers. The idea of their purchase being rewarded every time they shop can be quite alluring to not only keeping customers but getting them in the door initially. Why choose a competitor and be rewarded for their support? Be aware that the relevance of your loyalty program is paramount. The rewards should be something your customers would appreciate and be happy with.

It Can Act Be A Great PR Tool To Build Your Brand

Great marketing and promotion can play a huge part in your income generation as a business. Using a well tailored loyalty program can improve the communication channels between you and your customers. In addition, you are able to better tailor this communication to your customers’ needs and interests including through emails and follow up offers. By recognising your customers individually, you are building a great foundation for customer satisfaction. In the end,customers will feel valued, differentiated and appreciatedfor their choice in shopping with your business.

Happy customers are a significant aim for all business  regardless of size. Positive word of mouth from satisfied customers is one the most powerful marketing tools a business can employ. Positive messages can improve a business’ market share by up to 20 percent in two years. On the other hand, a dissatisfied or unappreciated customer can tell up to 15 people about their experience. This tackles both aims of attracting new customers through word of mouth and also keeping current customers happy to encourage repeat business.

There are a variety of strategies you can adapt to achieve a better bottom line for your business. These three ways are great examples of why a customer loyalty program would be an essential strategy to include in your plans for business and profit growth. Customers are a key part of any business and encouraging their loyalty should be a priority.

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