Customer loyalty is a big business: gaining it, retaining it, and using it to grow income are the three keys to finding success with loyalty programs. Today, many point of sale (POS) systems providers also supply loyalty/reward systems that easily integrate with retail management systems.
POSitive Technology, a provider of retail technology solutions, recently partnered with Retail Hero, a developer and integrator of POS solutions and loyalty programs to create a fully integrated loyalty program for Pictures Plus in Hawaii.
Pictures Plus, a custom framing company that also sells local artwork and home décor, was able to tailor Retail Hero’s loyalty program to meet their business needs while gaining, retaining and using loyalty to build revenue.
“With advancements in technology, we have seen the desire by our customers to include every possible sales channel in the loyalty program. Just a few years ago, retailers might have had programs that worked in store, but did not include purchases made on their website or through catalog sales,” says Kristen McRae, Marketing Director for POSitive Technology. “Today our retailers want an integrated loyalty solution that covers every possible sales channel.”
At Pictures Plus, anyone who buys a frame automatically receives a free Fanatic Card– giving Pictures Plus an opportunity to build loyalty by offering added savings on specialty products throughout the year. When customers continue to use their Fanatic Card, they receive a penny credit toward future purchases for each dollar spent.
Loyalty programs, if used correctly, can do more than keep customers coming back; they can give businesses valuable information about customer preferences and purchase drivers. “A well-designed loyalty program can provide not only demographic information on your customer, but quickly point out trends in new product roll-outs, associated purchases, and test which incentives will keep customers returning or purchasing more often,” McRae points out.
Yumilicious, a frozen yogurt company based in Dallas, Texas, is creatively building customer loyalty and using that information to build business as a whole. Yumilicious is using Mocopay, a mobile consumer engagement platform to enable customers to participate in tailored promotions from their mobile phones. Yumilicious patrons personalize their yogurt (flavors, toppings, etc.) at each visit, and information from the loyalty offers and redemptions will give the yogurt chain valuable data on consumer behavior.
Of course, there are cases in which loyalty programs don’t provide the ROI necessary to implement. POSitive Technology guides their clients through the decision process based on the business model at hand. “A purchase cycle of one year would make it hard to build a loyalty program around,” says McRae. For example, retailers in destination spots such as the beach are less likely to see results from loyalty programs.
As loyalty programs grow in importance to both consumers and businesses, retail management systems will need the capacity to integrate loyalty systems. Last month, Mercury Payment Systems, a payment processing services company, acquired Sundrop Mobile, a mobile and social loyalty marketing company. This acquisition marks the first card-less mobile loyalty program to be integrated with payment processing.