Which Channel is better for your Loyalty Program?
Most modern Loyalty Systems now reach out to your customers digitally. Some may use Mobile Apps other use Email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, etc. Not all Loyalty Systems are built the same, so you will need to pick one that suits your business best.
Although offline channels are still applicable depending on your customers, but we will be focusing on digital channels.
So does the Channel matter?
Yes! Picking the right channel is crucial to the success of your program. Imagine communicating with customers through a channel that is not convenient for your customers?
So which channel is best for your Loyalty Program?
There’s no right or wrong answer for this, but which is better really depends on your business processes, customer profile & preference. Ecommerce and Brick & Mortar Businesses are very different in nature, so they both need different approaches to connect with their customers.
For ecommerce businesses that sell products to customers all around the world, an email based or Facebook Messenger based Loyalty System might be better for you.
Why? Because your customers usually shop at their own comfort either on Facebook, your Website on Platform websites like Lazada, Qoo10 etc. They come in the hundreds or thousands everyday depending on the scale of your business. Customers are also not as loyal because similar products can almost always be bought from other online merchants too. So based on the numbers and how loyal your customers are, paid communication channels might not be feasible for ecommerce businesses.
Also for almost all ecommerce businesses, email is the default communication channel for all transaction related matters e.g. receipts, delivery status, etc. Customers are already used to email, so there’s no point redesigning the wheel. Try focusing on improving your content, promotions and website user experience to rise above your competitors.
Brick & Mortar (Offline) Business
If you’re a Brick & Mortar Business, then a Mobile App or SMS based Loyalty System might be better for your business.
Why? Because customers need to be able to immediately access their accounts to redeem their promotions & rewards.
Imagine if you’re a customer trying to find an email, or trying to remember your password to login to your Web App at the cashier when there’s a long queue behind you.
A fast and easy channel for customers is crucial for the success of your Loyalty Program. That’s why Mobile Apps are mainly used by larger companies like Starbucks, Capitaland, etc.
But as mentioned in my other article, if you can’t compete for App Space in your customer’s phones, the next best alternative is SMS. Why?
- SMS is the default secure communication channel that comes with all mobile phones.
- Customers do not need to download or install anything
- Your customer’s experience can be further enhance through Web Apps via unique links
- SMS are less spammed compared to emails because it’s a paid channel
- Customers usually only have 1 or 2 mobile numbers but can have up to 5 to 10 emails
It all depends on your business processes, customer profile & preference. Take some time to evaluate your business processes and your customers. See how tech savvy they are and see what platforms are they using or comfortable with. Sometimes even the most basic cards and stamps will work if your customers are comfortable with it.
Although platform based channels like WhatsApp, WeChat, etc are good too, they are not universal in nature. Different countries have different adoption rates for such platforms. So it really depends on your customers if you would like to explore these channels.
Do read this article What makes a Good Loyalty Program? to find out what makes a good Loyalty Program.
Our Loyalty System’s is specially designed for Small Brick & Mortar (Offline) Retail Businesses. We have stripped off the complex features to ensure that you and your customers have pleasant experience with our Loyalty Program.
Everything expressed in this article is my personal opinion and might not be applicable for all businesses. Please share with us your ideas and thoughts too so we can grow & learn together!
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