Written by: Mrudul

Are Omnichannel Loyalty Programs the Future of Retail?

Increase your level of loyalty! For smooth, customized experiences, abandon cumbersome programs and embrace omnichannel rewards. Gamified, engaging interaction at every touchpoint can help you future-proof your brand.

The number of touchpoints where a brand interacts with you makes the overall experience rewarding, sophisticated, and exciting. The future of retail loyalty programs lies in omnichannel loyalty solutions. Having multiple marketing channels is not just an advantage to have, it can be a game-changer for your brand. The right program will result in a better user experience, personalized rewards, cross-channel gamification, and more. You don’t want to miss out on it, especially since there are omnichannel loyalty program software to make it easier for you.

What are Omnichannel Loyalty Programs?

An omnichannel loyalty program engages customers across several marketing channels, including offline, online, and mobile, with the help of technology. Omnichannel increases customer loyalty by providing customers with a high-quality shopping experience. McKinsey opines that consumers are looking to buy from retailers who offer rich end-to-end experiences. Predictive analytics in loyalty programs will show you the kind of results that it can offer.

Traditional vs. Omnichannel Loyalty Strategies:

Loyalty program customer insights will tell you the right difference between the effectiveness of a traditional loyalty program and an omnichannel one.

Traditional Loyalty Programs Omnichannel Loyalty Program
The main focus is on a single channel, usually a brick-and-mortar setup. The focus here is more on customer engagement and to encourage them to buy more.
They reward users with a points system using which customers can get their rewards. Gamification in loyalty programs and other strategies are used to persuade customers to interact with the brand..
It is a one-size-fits-all approach and doesn’t offer room for personalization. By collecting customer data across multiple channels, retail stores offer a more personalized experience.
It might be difficult to track reward status. Their reward status can be tracked on multiple channels at any given point.
Customers must purchase products to get reward points By completing certain tasks like following social media handles, taking surveys, or creating reviews, customers can accumulate points.

Why are Omnichannel Loyalty Programs the Future of Retail:

All the loyalty program technology trends indicate that customers want seamless experiences across all channels. They want to continue the same conversation across channels, whether it is on email or social media handles. With omnichannel, you can indulge in sustainable loyalty strategies that will give great results for businesses.

  • Helps Capture Relevant Customer Data:

Data-driven loyalty programs consider customers’ preferred shopping channels, website behavior, purchasing frequency and history, demographics, firmographic factors, etc., to provide an enriching experience across all platforms. These programs encourage customers to share their data to receive loyalty points. When they use their card, a customer profile is created. Using this data, each customer can be provided personalized content based on what they want.

  • Focuses on Improving Shopping Experience:

The main objective of an omnichannel program is to provide an excellent experience at every touchpoint. No matter where a customer engages with your brand, let it be mobile loyalty experiences in the app or a physical store, they expect a seamless interaction.

  • Increases Brand Awareness:

You can use gamification elements to capture the attention of customers. Using branded hashtags, contests, and so on, you can offer customers a chance to accumulate points to get great rewards.

  • Offers Seamless Customer Engagement:

Customer engagement in omnichannel is seamless across all touchpoints. Customers can easily swipe their loyalty card at the store or log in to the mobile app to gain access to their rewards. Retail loyalty program innovations in terms of technology like wireless e-tags, RFID, voice biometrics, shopping assistants, smart cards, etc., have changed the way loyalty programs work.

  • Offers Exclusive Experiences for Customers:

Customers who participate in a brand’s omnichannel loyalty programs are more likely to get personalized and interesting rewards. It provides seamless loyalty experiences with its data-driven methodology. For example, Baby Boomers(those born between 1946 and 1964) are the most financially stable customer demographic. You cannot depend on discounts alone to persuade them.

What are the Top Omnichannel Loyalty Strategy Channels?

Building an effective omnichannel loyalty program is no easy task. For it to give the results that you expect, you must use the right channels.

  • Social Media:

You must find where your customers lurk on social media. No matter which type of audience you target, you will certainly have them active on at least one social media site. Facebook Group is a great place to keep a community of your users engaged. Twitter can be a great platform for customers to complain about issues. To create an effective omnichannel loyalty program, you must know how customers engage with each platform. Social listening tools like SproutSocial, BuzzSumo, and Hootsuite, can help you gauge customer sentiment. Your customers want you to be available across platforms, especially social media sites.

  • Online Presence:

Your customers’ online presence should have a unified view of their information. It will result in a comprehensive understanding of a loyalty program member’s activity. This should be the ideal situation no matter which channels they engage from– website, landing page, membership page, or community. By offering a seamless online experience, you eliminate any sort of friction in the purchasing process.

  • Mobile App Experience:

One of the best ways to improve the performance of your omnichannel loyalty program is through a mobile app for collecting rewards. Your customers should be able to claim rewards, check membership card status, access content, redeem points, and more using the app. Even though creating a separate mobile app for the loyalty program can be a huge ask, it is certainly rewarding. With the help of 99minds’ omnichannel loyalty software, you can make the experience even more smoother. You can even send push notifications through the app to create more engagement.

  • Lifestyle and Core Values Alignment:

Even when your customers aren’t ready to make purchases, they should still be thinking about your brand. You must align your brand with the core values that your customers espouse. Brands can stay relevant by creating contests, encouraging customers to make User-Generated Content (UGC), issuing bonus points, offering surprise rewards, and so on. Lifestyle and core values alignment is significant for brands because it creates goodwill. You could assign points for each activity that they indulge in. Customers who get rewards without having to purchase products will feel engaged with your brand.

Challenges of Creating an Omnichannel Loyalty Program:

Even though there are multiple benefits to creating an omnichannel loyalty program, it does come with its own challenges. Loyalty program retention tactics will bear fruit only when you can create an effective program. Let’s look at some of the challenges that it poses when creating a program.

  • Providing a consistent experience across several channels is no easy task. There are several processes that must be aligned and considered. Customers should be able to redeem their rewards without issues across all the channels
  • Integration of data from multiple channels and touchpoints, including online and offline ones is challenging. You must also make sure that customers’ data is not compromised. Loyalty program integration challenges can make or break the program if not handled properly
  • A successful omnichannel loyalty program necessitates that you integrate multiple technologies. From your in-store POS systems to your CRM systems, all of them should work in tandem
  • Loyalty program customer journeys must be mapped clearly. Otherwise, cross-channel loyalty rewards might be difficult to offer
  • Determining the right KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your omnichannel loyalty program is easier said than done. You cannot use traditional metrics to evaluate the effect of your program

Wrapping Up:

There has been a tectonic shift in customer loyalty in the omnichannel era. The objective is not just to make sales but to engage with customers at multiple touchpoints. Doing so will result in top-of-the-mind recall where customers will think about your brand at the first related instance. Omnichannel loyalty programs work towards deepening the customer-brand relationship. Personalized rewards and an engaged brand across multiple channels is a potent combination that builds great brands.

If you are looking for retail loyalty app recommendations to create an omnichannel loyalty program with the help of full-suite software, 99minds is the way to go. Get in touch with us to understand how the 99minds platform can change the way your loyalty program currently works. Let us help you create successful omnichannel loyalty case studies for your brand.