Open your purse or wallet and chances are you’ve got more cards in there than a magician. Most of them loyalty cards for almost every high street retailer. From the old faithful Boots Advantage card, to the newer, My John Lewis card, and not forgetting the Nectar (keep saving points on so you can buy your Christmas shopping) card. The list is endless.
Thinking up great loyalty program initiatives and standing out from the crowd is something that retailers should be putting a lot of effort in to when trying to increase retention. Not only do loyalty schemes encourage repeat custom, they can improve customer engagement and interaction with a brand. High street health and beauty retailer, Superdrug, took on board what customers expected from a loyalty program, offering a points-based system along with exclusive customer promotions and chances to win instant prizes. Proven to be a popular choice with their loyal customers.
Recently, Simon Comins, Commercial Director at Superdrug, wrote in Retail Week that ‘for retailers, the purpose of loyalty schemes remains the same – data is precious.’ Gathering enriched data about your customers provides retailers with a more detailed insight into their behaviour and buying process. Access to customer data is an imperative part of creating targeted, personalised promotions, that ensure shoppers view their loyalty programs as a valuable asset to them that keeps them engaged with a brand or shop.
In-store and mobile
Retailers are now encouraging customers to utilise mobile apps in store, either to access special one-time deals, or swipe their digital cards at the till. Gone are the days when a customer would be stood at the counter, searching through thousands of loyalty cards, while the queue behind them continued to grow. Opening an app while the sales assistant processes items makes it easier to find and means customers have fewer cards to carry around.
Superdrug’s success with their loyalty program isn’t something retailers should ignore. Retailers should make the most of mobile apps in store, by offering one-off promotions available to customers who walk through the door. Or, imagine how pleased a customer would be if they opened their app at the till and saw they were eligible for a 10% discount…?
How can retail management systems help?
Successful promotions and customer loyalty strategies are crucial elements of your retail management system; or if they aren’t, then they should be! Having access to a central platform to leverage these promotion and loyalty programs is a must in todays’ competitive world of retail.
EPoS retail management systems can offer many opportunities for varied and customised loyalty programs that allow retailers to drive more advanced promotional activities.
As omnichannel becomes the norm, retailers may want to consider running multiple promotions across all channels, enabling them to maximise engagement with customers. Segmenting and targeting your customers with personalised promotions tied into your loyalty programs, or being able to schedule in promotions are effective ways to increase retention.
Many retailers now offer special birthday promotions, personalised to each individual customer. Intelligent EPoS systems allow retailers to see what each customer purchases, providing valuable insight into their favourite products and brands. Gaining this understanding has the potential to unlock improved relationships, create higher levels of retention and importantly, increased advocacy amongst customers and retailers.
Things to consider
If you are thinking about reviewing your current retail system, you may want to ensure the software offers more than just till functionality:
- Does it have the ability to manage diverse types of promotions at once? Offering points-based, discounts and reward-based loyalty programs at the same time is crucial to gaining retention.
- Can your system offer you the flexibility to tailor promotional and loyalty ideas to different customer segments?
- If your current system doesn’t have the capability to mirror in-store and online promotions, whilst centrally managing the program, then you may be missing out.
- Gathering secure, rich data is a must if you want to target your promotions towards your loyal customers. If you can’t do this, then chances are you won’t keep your customers coming back to you.
Our RetailStore EPoS system is more than a till. If you’re thinking about investing in a new or updated EPoS retail system, you should consider the option of integrating a loyalty program function that integrates into the back-end system, giving you the opportunity to be innovative with your promotional strategy, keeping your customers engaged and interested.
Investing in the right EPoS retail system will help you sell more and serve your customers more effectively.
Are you reviewing your current retail systems? Why not download the free guide ‘Which EPoS System is Right for You?’ guide here:
Rachel is passionate about retail and the ever-changing retail technology environment, with a keen eye for upcoming retail trends that are set to shake up the sector. She started her career as an intern at a national charity and has progressed rapidly into her current role with Cybertill.
Rachel has a Masters Degree in Digital Marketing from Liverpool John Moores University. I think it’s fair to say she knows her stuff!