With so many amazing loyalty programs in virtually every industry, it can be hard to determine which features are the most effective. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of the most important features for reward programs in cosmetics, apparel, food & beverage, jewelry, and subscriptions.
Even though the fundamentals of customer loyalty apply across many businesses, you can use each of these tips to fully tailor your own loyalty program to your particular industry.
The Expert Loyalty Program Tips You Need!
Cosmetics Pro Tip: Offer Status-Based Rewards
The best loyalty programs in the cosmetics industry create a sense of social status. This is because cosmetics brand understand that their customers are using their products to impact the way they appear to other people. This preoccupation with perception and appearance makes it clear that their customers want to feel special and be visibly appreciated.
VIP tiers are the most effective way to build this type of customer experience. When a customer spends a certain amount of money or earns a certain number of points, they move into a new rank that carries more prestige and benefits.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider is one of the best loyalty programs in the world because it gets their customers bragging about entering their top tiers: VIB and VIB Rouge. With added benefits like invitations to exclusive events and VIB-only products, these tiers not only increase your social standing – they improve your customer experience as well.
When you include tiers in your loyalty program, you’re able to recognize your best customers and treat them to the VIP status they deserve.
Apparel Pro Tip: Build a Community
Building a sense of community is extremely important when you’re trying to increase customer loyalty in apparel. Since the industry is heavily based on trends, you want customers to see what others are doing and feel like they can be a part of it so that they will follow suit.
Gongshow Gear created a strong brand community by incentivizing customers for referring their friends and sharing their store on social media. Getting their existing customers to share their store on social media created a highly public group of like-minded people all interested in hockey apparel.
This made it easier for other shoppers interested in hockey gear to find their brand and get involved with others who were already supporting their brand. Doing this increased the size of their customer base which continues to attract new customers every day. They’ve created the perception that their brand is trendy by leveraging their existing customers and rewarding them for spreading the hype.
Make your customer feel like a part of the in-crowd by incorporating social media sharing and customer referrals in your loyalty program.
Food & Beverage Pro Tip: Reward for Account Registration
In the ecommerce food & beverage industry, one of the biggest challenges is getting a new customer to make their first purchase. Some shoppers are still wary about ordering perishables online, but you can overcome this concern by rewarding a customer for registering an account.
Jones Soda rewarded me with 100 points just for signing up on their ecommerce store. Now that I’m comfortable with the idea of shopping for beverages online, Jones is the obvious choice because I already have an account, making the checkout process much easier!
When a previous customer already has an account with you, it removes a mental barrier that could’ve been preventing them from making a second purchase. Since all their information is saved, they can re-order with a few clicks which saves you the cost of acquiring a brand new customer and allows you to leverage email marketing.
Many companies in the food & beverage industry run off of low margins but high volume, which makes it even more important to have repeat customers. Paying a fortune to acquire a one-time customer who provides you slim margins is not a smart move. Get your customers coming back by motivating them to register an account with extra points that moves them that much closer to their first reward.
Jewelry Pro Tip: Incentivize Amazing Visuals
Would you buy an expensive diamond ring online if it had only one generic product shot? My guess is that you wouldn’t! However, what if we add a beautiful Instagram page and beaming reviews from real customers to the equation? Chances are that would be a different story.
Rewarding program members for leaving customer reviews and social media shares are two highly effective ways to make it easier for potential jewelry customers to hit the “purchase” button. By adding more social proof to the value of your products, cart abandonment rates are sure to go down as your loyal customers help build trust between your brand and first time shoppers.
Kristalize Jewelry gives 150 “Jewels” to anyone who is part of the their “Jewel Squad” loyalty program and follows them on Instagram. Their Instagram feed is also highlighted on their homepage, making it easy to find and explore. By doing this, people who are new to Kristalize are able to see a variety of real-world shots of their jewelry, helping them visualize it as part of their own wardrobe.
Convince potential customers that your jewelry is the best in the industry by letting it shine on your Instagram page and in product reviews.
Subscriptions Pro Tip: Encourage Customer Referrals
Since referral marketing is one of the most trustworthy forms of advertising on the planet, focus on using it to get your new customers. With so much competition in virtually every subscription industry, it can be overwhelming for new customers to choose a brand to shop with. This makes referrals especially successful in the subscriptions industry. Convincing a new shopper to explore your brand with an ad is difficult, but getting their best friend to convince them for you makes everything easier.
Vegetable and Butcher makes it easy for customers to tell their friends about their meal subscription service by offering both the referrer and referee $15 off their next order. This value proposition gives the new and returning shopper a deal they can’t resist. Without a referral program, V + B would likely be relying on expensive Google Ad placements to gain new customers. Instead, they are leveraging the most authentic form of advertising and getting new customers in a way that feels more authentic and personal.
Get your best customers sharing the love for your store with a loyalty program that rewards for referrals with discounts or points towards rewards. Sometimes all your loyal customers need is a nudge in the right direction – after that, they’ll be sharing the love all on their own.
Conquer Your Industry With a Loyalty Program
Whether you’re a small company competing against Sephora in cosmetics or a massive company dominating the jewelry market, a rewards program can help you build customer loyalty. You can maximize the effectiveness of your loyalty program by tailoring it specifically for your industry with our expert tips to get ahead of the competition.
Check out the Smile.io resource center for more in-depth customer retention guides that will help you craft the perfect program for your industry!