Only 27% of retailers offer a loyalty scheme (Cybertill, 2019). I was surprised at this stat. It feels like every time I buy something from a shop I’m asked if I have a loyalty card – and I buy from lots of shops. Still, what are the other 73% doing and how are they keeping customers loyal? Or is it too much hassle?

Consumers can be loyal to certain retailers depending on the name, Topshop, John Lewis and M&S Food spring to mind. People know what to expect from them, they have built up their customer base on trends, heritage and quality respectively. Interestingly, Topshop is the only retailer out of the three that doesn’t offer a loyalty scheme.

What keeps consumers loyal?


If we look at this hypothetically, ‘Retailer A’ may expect that because they’ve been trading for over 200 years and are classed as a British institution, they don’t need a loyalty scheme, “shoppers love our brand, we don’t need to enrol them into a loyalty program, it’ll cost us too much time and money” barks the CEO (in my imagination).


Realistically, it’s a whole different story, ‘Consumer A’ may not describe themselves as loyal to ‘Retailer A’ they just go there when they need to or when it’s convenient. Again, I imagine this consumer saying, “well, retailer A doesn’t reward me for shopping with them, so I prefer to buy from Retailer B, they cater more for my needs and reward me for my custom.”


Retail news has been full of stories about Boohoo recently experiencing strong growth over the Christmas period, although they don’t have a loyalty programme per se, like their fellow e-tailers, ASOS and Missguided, it offers affordable fashion with next day delivery and free delivery for a one off, flat fee for the year. Boohoo knows its customers. The brand is more about the ‘here and now’, not the ‘here for 200 years and still going’. Sometimes loyalty goes beyond points and discounts, it all depends on your customer.

Integrating loyalty and retail

Creating an effective, yet simple loyalty programme that meets the needs of your target market can really help you thrive in these times of retail uncertainty.

Crafting a clever loyalty scheme within your retail management and CRM system can help you really make sense of your customer data and optimise your programme to deliver real value that keeps your expectations tied into consumer reality.

7 steps to loyalty success

  1. Omnichannel loyalty. By offering a loyalty programme that works across all your sales channels can really incentivise your customers to keep coming back to you with open arms (and wallets).
  2. One CRM. Keep all your customer data securely in one place, within your retail management software. By being fully GDPR compliant retailers can avoid the misuse of data and angering customers on their opt-out lists.
  3. Customer cards. Offer customers a membership or loyalty card that they can keep on them for shopping in store, or make it easy for tech-wise shoppers by keeping a digital version of their loyalty cards within a mobile app.
  4. Promotions. People love promotions and money off, in fact, Cybertill research found that consumers are incentivised to sign up to a loyalty programmes by discounts (69%) and points that equal money to spend in store (67%).
  5. Personalisation. With customer-specific loyalty data available within your retail management software, you can make sure you tailor promotions to your valued customers. Offer birthday vouchers or money off once they hit a certain price point that keeps them shopping with you.
  6. No restrictions. Don’t alienate customers, offer discounts and point accumulation on loyalty cards, accepting loyalty credit as full or part payment across all sales channels, whether in store or online.
  7. Alerts. Set up alerts on your till that lets shop attendants know when customers have credit available to spend. By asking “would you like use your points?” takes away the hassle from customers not knowing how much credit they have available and can sometimes act a nice surprise – who doesn’t love extra money off at the till?

Creating the best loyalty scheme

In essence, retailers need to keep their loyalty schemes simple and clear. Loyalty is more than points, it’s about retailers knowing their customers, what makes them tick, what makes them want to spend money and why. It’s clear to see why online fashion e-tailers like Boohoo are doing so well, its value proposition isn’t all bells and whistles, its simple, offering an affordable, speedy delivery option that their customers love – it’s a no brainer.

Find out more about integrating your retail and loyalty operations by downloading the RetailStore platform brochure.



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