Are you looking to improve customer loyalty? You’re not alone. Just about every industry and company is out to accomplish the same goal. According to Statista, U.S. consumers belonged to 16.6 million loyalty programs.
But here’s the fascinating part. On average, those same consumers actively used less than half of them.
The takeaway is clear. You need to improve customer loyalty — and you need to create an incentive program that fosters ongoing participation.
How? One strategy that’s proven to be effective is the addition of business gifting.
Why you want to improve your customer loyalty program
It’s easier to keep a customer than win a customer. That’s it. That’s the big why driving the use of customer loyalty programs. If we want to be more academic, we can cite Frederick F. Reichheld and W. Earl Sasser, Jr., who wrote, “A company’s most loyal customers are also its most profitable. With each additional year of a relationship, customers become less costly to serve. Over time, as the loyalty life cycle plays out, loyal customers even become business builders: buying more, paying premium prices, and bringing in new customers through referrals.”
There are even deeper reasons driving the necessity and value of a customer loyalty program. While some benefits are obvious, others may be untapped opportunities your company has yet to capitalize upon. Have you capitalized on each of these?
Gifting is the star attraction of customer loyalty programs
Free, free, free, everyone wants something for free.
So, give it to them.
Merkle discovered that 65% of consumers want free products. That’s not shocking, but the data confirms our gut instincts.
Now pair that with a study the team at Capgemini conducted. Their work revealed that 63% of customers prefer loyalty programs that offer exclusive access to products and services.
So, not only do people want free items, they want exclusive items for free.
Now, we’re building upon our formula for a successful customer loyalty program. We know it needs to foster ongoing participation. Now we also see we can achieve that with exclusive gifts.
A business gifting partner for customer loyalty programs
Maintaining a great customer loyalty program often demands finding an exceptional partner. You’ll want one that can help you meet the foundational needs of the program, plus the fringe elements you may not even think about.
Here’s a checklist for selecting a partner:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration
- Accurate reporting
- Proven online platform
- Multiple redemptions strategies
- Wide selection of gift items
- Premium brand
- Gift personalization
- Rapid production
- Affordable fulfillment
- Easy returns and order correction
- Omnichannel communications
- High touch service
What kind of company can deliver all of this? Not many. One example (perhaps the only one) is Shutterfly Business Solutions. They give you access to the global Shutterfly platform of technology, experts, gifts, and more.
Creating your employee incentive program
It’s okay if your employee incentive program is starting from scratch. Including business gifting from the start creates a solid foundation for success. We applaud any company for building one.
Of course, your company is in an even better place if it already has a mature employee incentive program. In that scenario, business gifting is a great addition to improve performance.
Many different incentives can be woven into an employee incentive program:
- Free vacations
- Casual dress days
- Gift cards
- Company picnics
- Public recognition
- Charitable donation
- Handwritten note
- Entertainment tickets
- Free meals
- End-of-the-year party
While that list is good, it’s missing one of the most impactful employee incentives — gifts.
Whether it’s company-branded gifts or things people love, use, and enjoy daily, gifting makes a powerful statement. It’s a tangible item they can use. Unlike a plaque on the wall or a trophy on their desk, gifts aren’t a piece some employees feel uncomfortable displaying. Instead, it’s a valued item employees are thankful to receive.
Consider a cobranding opportunity
Your company should be the star of its customer loyalty program. But there may be room to share the spotlight at times.
So many brands do this today it almost feels expected. Think of all the wireless providers giving subscribers free or discounted streaming services to Netflix, Max, and Hulu as examples. Or credit cards that are aligned with airlines or restaurants.
Cobranding happens all of the time and is almost always part of the customer loyalty program strategy.
For your program, you could add Shutterfly as a cobranded partner. It’s a brand millions of people know, love, purchase from, covet, and respect. Shutterfly also has the ability to provide the exclusive products that customers want in a loyalty program experience.
Improve your customer loyalty program with gifting from Shutterfly Business Solutions
Adding business gifting to your customer loyalty program is an effective strategy for achieving new and future sales targets, plus a host of other benefits. When done with a professional partner, a gifting program can be easily added to an existing customer loyalty program or become the launchpad for one.
As powerful as it is, business gifting for customer loyalty programs is just one solution. Shutterfly Business Solutions has thousands more that are ready to deploy. Using our expertise, scalability, nationwide presence, and massive Shutterfly platform will maximize your communications.
Capitalize on Shutterfly Business Solution resources and workflows to solve your communication challenges.