June 22, 2022
Ad Tech

The Key to a Great Retail Loyalty Program? Make it Personal.

Henry Kim

We are living through uncertain times for both consumers and brands. Today’s retail media landscape is vast, and retailers must compete to capture a loyal consumer base. But what exactly makes a shopper loyal? 

The short answer: a retail loyalty program driven by exceptional personalization.  

Personalization is the process of tailoring specific services for consumers in order to provide them with the best and most relevant shopping experience possible. Imagine that a consumer browses and adds clothing items to their shopping cart. Already familiar with their unique shopping habits and preferences, the store app then recommends other clothes and accessories to compliment their tastes. Enhancing their shopping journey not only improves digital relationships, but also establishes a strong foundation for loyalty to grow—and last

Now more than ever, it’s important for retail personalization to provide consumers with what they want—and with what they have come to expect from their shopping experience. A loyalty program’s success is largely dependent on its level of personalization. Let’s dive into the details.

Personalization Is the Foundation of Success 

Popular retail giants like Amazon and Sephora have long been recognized for their successful loyalty programs. Instead of just offering regular discounts and promotions, the two companies rely on other strategies to maintain customer satisfaction and provide shoppers with the personal attention they crave. By keeping track of a user’s browsing and order history, each company is able to recommend products that meet the unique needs of their individual customers. Additionally, Amazon offers Prime membership, which gives exclusive benefits to members—like fast shipping—while Sephora offers a tiered rewards program. The payoff for their loyalty programs is in their profit: 

It’s clear that retail loyalty programs that focus on personalization appeal to consumers. In fact, 90% of consumers say that the amount of money they spend is determined by how well the retailer provides personalization. Consumers want to feel seen and understood, especially when searching for products. A SendGrid study reveals that 44% of consumers stated that they’d become repeat shoppers after a personalized shopping experience. In 2021, that percentage jumped to 60%. 

How Retailers and Brands Can Integrate Personalization Into Their Strategy

  • Create multiple touchpoints. After your customer enrolls in your loyalty program, you want to ensure that you engage with them using multiple channels. From tailored advertisements to push notifications on an app, every interaction will help foster a more streamlined and humanized digital relationship.
  • Provide recommendations that meet their specific needs. By collecting first-party data, which is more accurate than 3rd party cookies, you can create a detailed profile of each user and recommend products that match their unique preferences.  
  • Connect the online and in-store shopping experience. As customers increasingly rely on technology for their shopping, they’ll appreciate a more seamless connection between the digital and physical marketplace. As they navigate a brick-and-mortar location, they may turn to their mobile devices to check for personalized offers and deals, as well as other relevant options—such as delivery methods—that best suit their needs. 

The Role of Personalization in a Loyalty Program

Personalization drives a loyalty program forward, creating more opportunities for retailers and brands to establish positive relationships, while further elevating the overall shopping journey. It is a multifaceted solution that gets to the heart of what a customer wants, leading to long-term loyalty and growth. True relevance is fueled by complete and accurate data—the kind that goes beyond surface-level demographics to deliver deeper insights into a consumer’s unique needs and wishes. 

Every customer has their own set preferences, shopping behaviors, and purchase histories. If they were all offered a one-dimensional loyalty program that didn’t seem to match their interests, they would be less inclined to join—and more likely to search for alternatives that better suit their needs. Personalization is the key solution to ensuring that shoppers feel understood. It helps retailers and brands establish relationships at a deeper, more meaningful level, leading to several positive outcomes: 

Increased trust

Shoppers don’t want to be treated as mere numbers or sales. Personalization sends out a message that a retailer genuinely cares about their needs, and will use available resources—like first party data— to create a shopping experience that’s both meaningful and personal. Customer trust is built by multiple factors: from customized discounts, offers, and rewards, to a retailer’s consistency, transparency, and reliability. When retailers and brands work to implement these features into their personalization strategy, trust becomes a natural byproduct.

Greater commitment

Customer commitment is demonstrated by their repeat purchases with one retailer or brand. However, the market is vast—and shoppers will always search for other alternatives if it means they have access to more personalized experiences. In order for retailers and brands to set themselves apart and solidify customer commitment, they must go above and beyond to understand their shoppers’ needs—and present solutions that meet them. That way, even when other competitors offer more affordable options, they’ll feel more compelled to stay with their current retailer, displaying deeper, long-lasting loyalty.

Meaningful reciprocity

An impactful digital relationship shouldn’t be one-sided. When retailers and brands consistently provide a positive shopping experience with personalized offers and exclusive loyalty benefits—that are not available to the public— they subtly encourage customers to return the favor. This is not only demonstrated in their trust and commitment, but also in their willingness to spread the word to their loved ones. For instance, if a retailer offers multiple rewards in exchange for a customer’s loyalty, it can lead to the customer making more purchases—and urging others to sign up and enjoy the same experience.

Make Loyalty Personal With Swiftly 

Ready for an innovative personalization strategy that builds lasting customer relationships? If brands want to deliver true personalization to consumers —and reap the rewards of increased customer loyalty— actionable, insightful data is the best place to start. From closed loop reporting to AI targeting, to first party data utilization, Swiftly helps boost engagement, deliver targeted content, and further customize the shopping experience for your shoppers. 

By using our multifaceted solution, you can provide the personalized shopping experience they seek—and sustain long-term loyalty for your business. With our robust customer data platform, you can create customer loyalty that lasts. 

Contact Swiftly today to get started.