Customer Loyalty: What Is It & How Do You Improve It?

Gone are the days when a customer used to be loyal to a brand by default. The abundance of choice in today’s world, the increased competition from digital disruptors like Amazon and eBay, and the accessibility of reviews and third party recommendations all make building a customer loyalty strategy more difficult than ever.

It’s been stated that loyal customers spend 67% more than their occasional counterparts. Therefore the need to focus on differentiators, new channels and a better customer experience are paramount to generate loyalty – and repeat purchases as a result.

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What does customer loyalty mean to marketers?

Customer loyalty can be defined as the extent to which a customer is devoted to your brand enough to keep returning and purchasing your products or services over an extended period of time. There is so much choice and variety these days and customers can almost certainly purchase a similar product for less elsewhere. So modern marketers have to pull out all the stops, and do a lot more than offer a free in-store coffee when a customer hit 200 points, to stand out from competitors.

Whilst building customer loyalty isn’t easy, once you have it, it’s invaluable. It can lead not just to repeat purchases and higher retention rates, but also customers that will recommend your products or services to their friends, family and colleagues.

A loyal customer is therefore also one of the most effective and powerful adverts a marketer can have.

How Space NK plans a significant revenue uplift with their loyalty strategy

Space NK uses the BlueVenn Customer Data Platform (CDP) to unify their online and offline data,  integrate a range of marketing systems and use BlueVenn's real-time engine to power their loyalty program. This scheme encourages customers to leave positive reviews of their products via social media. In return, the loyalty campaign built in BlueVenn would receive the positive review and apply points to the loyalty platform. The points are then instantly applied to the customer's n.dulge loyalty card and can be used for discounts on subsequent purchases. BlueVenn’s real-time capabilities were integral to this campaign because the customer can leave a product review online and then instantly redeem them in the store or online.

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There’s no doubt that Space NK is truly making the most of their online and offline data to drive customer loyalty. Encouraging customers to leave great product reviews online also produces a strong impression that customers are happy with the brand, which in turn helps to promote and sell products to future customers. As a result, this campaign was a highly effective combination of customer loyalty and using positive reviews to acquire new customers.

Is gamification the future of customer loyalty?

Another way that marketers can transform their customer loyalty strategy is through gamification, which incorporates fun and competition into the customer experience. BlueVenn technology partner 3Radical applies gamification to campaigns and makes customer engagements exciting and rewarding through the use of online games, scratchcards and surveys.

Gamification brings customers back to your brand time and again. It particularly connects with millennials and generation Zers who have grown up with mobile gaming. Gamification provides your customers with instant rewards such as discount codes and competition wins in exchange for answering a few questions about them and their purchasing habits.

Using gamification for a data exchange is incredibly valuable to marketers as well as a great tool to provide differentiation and exceptional customer loyalty.

Improve customer loyalty with a Customer Data Platform

To truly turn your occasional customers into loyal customers, you need to be able to understand them better, and in order to do this you need to segment them effectively based on their loyalty to the brand.

The first step towards identifying customer loyalty segments is to ensure you have a unified customer view that incorporates data from all your online and offline channels. This enables you to create a true picture of brand loyalty. The BlueVenn Customer Data Platform blends all these data points together and then provides tools to analyze the data to create loyalty segments. These can then be fed into customer journeys that help to pull disloyal or lapsing customers back from the brink, and keep your loyal customers coming back for more, time and again.

To learn more about how BlueVenn improves customer loyalty, contact us today or request a demonstration.

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Topics: Customer Data Platform customer retention customer loyalty