The practice of rewarding customers for being good customers has helped many a business strengthen their share of a very prized pie: customer loyalty. The idea of securing return business is the result of a working strategy, and a strong identification by a customer in the face of similar competition. In the ever-evolving mobile and technological world, this is doubly-important, as there are literally hundreds of other elements constantly pulling at the customer’s attention. Here are five businesses that got loyalty applications right.
It may be unfair to start with such a juggernaut, but there’s no denying the sheer dominance of Starbucks in the world of loyalty apps. The company makes it a point to stay in touch with customers at every point of their Starbucks experience. There are no cards to pull out of wallets, and the process of scanning a code on a smartphone screen takes seconds. The numbers say everything: 26 million app transactions in a single year, over $110 million in app sales.
Speedway may not have the same kind of recognition that Starbucks does, but there’s no denying the innovativeness of the company’s approach to mobile apps. The gas station/convenience store chain’s mobile loyalty application has over 3.5 million users. It gives customers gas prices, store locations as basics, but it also lets return customers check on the status of their rewards points. Furthermore, using the rewards app makes customers eligible for redemption and sweepstakes offers. Probably the best use of the loyalty app letting customers use their rewards account as a debit card, letting them pay for gas without having to go into their own finances.
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In their words, AHAlife, the exclusive luxury retail line wants to provide “a curated experience of the best lifestyle products from around the world”. It’s a lofty goal, but the company’s approach to customer loyalty in the virtual world shows their intent. The AHA Influencer Network encourages users to spread the word of AHAlife throughout their own personal networks, in order to gain rewards. Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful medium in the 21st century, and with offers like free shipping, concierge services, personalized shopping, etc., simply by a loyal customer spreading the word just by sharing the company’s loyalty application with their friends.
Calling themselves the world’s first instant loyalty platform, PunchTab reaches 20 million users on a monthly basis. Their application is integrated with Facebook, tapping into one of the largest customer bases in the world today. Users making Facebook comments and ‘Likes’ will also garner more rewards, essentially patting customers on the back for simply using Facebook with the PunchTab application.
Digital loyalty startup Chatterfly (similar to ReZoop) goes even further than PunchTab by synchronizing customer loyalty with the some of the biggest names in social networking. Purchases with registered vendors are rewarded, but sharing news about those purchases on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus nets the user points, which he or she can then trade in for more goodies.