8 Loyalty Program Best Practices to Inspire Your Summer Marketing

Uplift your retention rates this summer and get inspired by these usecases!

A Showcase Of 8 Amazing Loyalty Program Best Practices

We all know that customer retention is vital. After all, lowering your churn rate by 5% can increase profitability by 25-125%. One of the best ways to ensure retention is through a comprehensive and robust loyalty program. Implementing one can increase overall revenue by 5-20% and boost repeat purchases by more than 10%.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 8 examples of successful loyalty programs best practices and campaigns to inspire your marketing for the upcoming months.

The top five loyalty programs by growth from 2014 to 2015 belong to Subway, Barnes & Noble, the Children’s Place, ShopRite, and Lowe’s. Successful programs like these often offer customers value beyond mere discounts and reward customers for actions other than just purchasing products.

1. MyLowe

In the case of the former, Lowe’s promotes its MyLowe’s program as a helpful resource in addition to a source of savings. Their program reminds members to purchase things like air filters and can keep an online inventory of items in a shopper’s home. Adding features like this to your loyalty program is a cost-effective way of keeping your business in the minds of your customers.

SocialAnnex Perpetto 1 - MyLowe’s rewards benefits

MyLowe’s rewards benefits.

 2. Olympus

Another way to add value is to create a community of resources centered on your loyalty program. Olympus Camera has a customer photo community, in which users can upload their pictures and share and comment on each other’s’ work. Photographers get rewards points for uploading photos, and this incentivized sharing generates a lot of great content. This type of forum solidifies Olympus’s status as a centerpiece of the photography world and shows customers that their site is for more than just purchases.

Olympus’s user photo gallery.
Olympus’s user photo gallery.

3. Nordstrom

Nordstrom’s Fashion Rewards program adds value beyond discounts with free alterations, early access to sales, VIP in-store events, and more. The free alterations (up to $100 worth for the lowest level of member) send a strong message to shoppers that Nordstrom’s clothing is worth the investment, while the other non-monetary perks prime shoppers to, well, shop.

Nordstrom’s loyalty program offers free alterations.
Nordstrom’s loyalty program offers free alterations.

4. REI

REI’s loyalty program rewards shoppers with perks beyond their products, like discounts at certain ski resorts and bike and ski maintenance. These additional benefits speak to a commitment to help REI customers achieve their goals, enjoy the outdoors, and make the most of their purchases.

Some of REI’s other member benefits include exclusive products and discounts.
Some of REI’s other member benefits include exclusive products and discounts.

5. Bebe

Bebe’s customer loyalty program rewards customers for engagement too. Customers can get points for referring friends, hashtagging photos on Instagram and Twitter, and even visiting the site! By fueling this type of activity, Bebe positions itself as a destination and community – it’s not just a place to buy clothing, rather, it’s an idea. Customers also are thankful that they’re being acknowledged for more than their money. They’re vital members of the Bebe world.

Bebe rewards customers for hashtagging photos.
Bebe rewards customers for hashtagging photos.

Another tip from Bebe to note is that they hand out fliers about their loyalty program in their stores. This ensures that all customers, regardless of which channel they’re using, know about the program’s benefits.

6. Dr. Brandt

The skincare company Dr. Brandt has a comprehensive loyalty program that rewards users for buying, connecting on social, referring friends, and even sharing product links on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Customers also get points for contributing content via the site’s questions and answers and ratings and reviews platforms.

Dr. Brandt rewards for social engagement and reviews.
Dr. Brandt rewards for social engagement and reviews.

 7. Gilt

Gilt also has a program that rewards customers for engagement and merely visiting their site. What makes their platform even more unusual is its membership deals with Hilton, Jet Blue, and United. Members of these businesses’ programs get additional points for signing up with and shopping on Gilt. These partnerships speak to Gilt’s positioning as a glamorous lifestyle brand while giving it greater visibility.

Gilt’s loyalty program amplifies its status as a lifestyle brand.
Gilt’s loyalty program amplifies its status as a lifestyle brand.

8. Walgreens

Walgreens’ Balance Rewards program really puts health first. Aside from awarding points for purchase, the pharmacy and retail chain lets customers earn every time they get a vaccine. They also have a fitness incentive component, in which customers get points for setting goals, linking digital fitness devices, walking, running, and doing other sorts of exercise.

Walgreens rewards its customers for making healthy choices.
Walgreens rewards its customers for making healthy choices.

If you don’t have any loyalty program yet, it is high time that you consider a way to be there for your customers in a helpful and modern way.

Start this summer and let us know below about your ideas.

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About the author: Eliza Fisher is a Marketing Associate at Social Annex. She is passionate about helping eCommerce sites grow and retain their customer base.
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