Omni-Channel Loyalty Programs: A Strategic Imperative for Seamless CX

Omni-channel loyalty combines technology and innovative customer experiences to deliver relevant offers at the right time, bringing customers back to the brand regardless of where, when, or how they shop.

The image of Zayd HussainZayd Hussain
Oct 6, 2021
3 min read

The Traditional Approach

Traditional loyalty programs prefer to reward spending rather than for engagement. They are uni-channel and card-based in which customers receive tangible benefits, such as a discount or a free product. With this approach, traditional loyalty programs appear as cheap currency to the customer. These benefits are only available to return customers who entered the store and made a purchase. They rarely reward behaviours that lead them to the store. Once customers have their wallets full of different loyalty cards, the loyalty effect nullifies.

The Omni-Channel Approach

Omni-channel loyalty combines technology and innovative customer experiences to deliver relevant offers at the right time, bringing customers back to the brand regardless of where, when, or how they shop.

“A good customer experience can be defined as seamless and a rewarding interaction with a brand at every touchpoint. It goes beyond one-dimensional discounts and instead offers deeply personal and authentic customer experiences that yield stronger engagement and higher spend among customers,” says the technology mega-corp Oracle in their research focussing on Omni-channel Loyalty

Omni-channel loyalty maximizes cross-channel loyalty through real-time campaigns. It integrates all customer transactions and engagements into a singular, unified brand experience. Redesigning the entirety of an experience rather than only maximizing their point value is the key to create a truly seamless customer experience with brand loyalty at the core.

According to McKinsey, 75% of shoppers tried a new retailer, brand, or behavior during the pandemic with up to 83% expecting to continue those new traits post-pandemic. This means loyalty is up for grabs and retention now becomes mission critical.

How to design an Omni-channel Loyalty strategy?

Be Where Your Customers Are

When your loyal customers are looking for your product or service, you should know where they are most likely to begin their search. Customers expect to be addressed on their platform of choice. Remember they may not have the other channels set up or know how to use them, so it is always a good idea to engage them where they are. Digitize your loyalty program so you can extend promotions across websites, mobile, and social media, allowing customers to transact and interact with your brand. Customers expect to contact your company in whatever way is most convenient to them.

Personalize interactions using Data

Insights from a Gartner survey show that brands risk losing 38% of customers because of poor marketing personalization efforts. Use the customer data collected across all channels to identify trends, behaviours, preferences, and segments to personalize communications, experiences, and promotions for your loyal customers. Rewarding prospects with incentives for their information, such as first name, birthday, preferred communication channel, phone number, and list of products they’re interested in is a good approach to collect relevant data on new prospects.

Reward Social Engagement

With a large number of social media users, earning reward points for social engagement will give customers the impression that reaching a certain number of rewards points is achievable. These attainable milestones will increase their likelihood of participating in your program.

Connect with and reward customers for social interactions. Expand loyalty beyond transactions and focus on an expansive emotional engagement. Engage social influencers as your brand ambassadors to further your reach and engagement.

A Strategic Imperative

Developing an omni-channel loyalty program is not an option, but a strategic imperative. As many brands adapt to the omni-channel way, traditional loyalty programs need to evolve to meet ever-rising customer expectations. Successful omni-channel loyalty programs find opportunities to reward customers at multiple touchpoints across every channel through seamless integration. They deliver convenience, relevance, and value for customers across all channels. An omni-channel strategy helps retailers collate data and form a holistic view of their loyal customers, enabling them to build meaningful relationships, improve engagement, and enhance satisfaction.

If you have any questions after reading this article or you are curious to understand how to build these digital loyalty experiences that deliver results for your brand or loyalty program, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

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