Your current customers are your best asset for the future of your business. Do you know why?
Because the way consumers gather information has evolved dramatically in recent years.
In response, companies are creating customer loyalty programs and using software to make them effective and sustainable.
The Benefits of Creating a Customer Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty programs are a great initiative that collects customer data in order to personalize perks, benefits, and incentives as a reward for a customer’s purchases.
The program itself is pretty low effort with high reward. When you acknowledge customers who return to business regularly, you’re seeding a fertile field that will yield a pretty nice crop.
Here’s just a few of the top benefits from implementing a customer loyalty program.
It Fuels Your Flywheel.
That old funnel model that salespeople were sold on is dead now.
The flywheel model emphasizes the importance of customers being at the center of marketing, sales, and service.
When you focus on fostering loyalty, your happy customers will continue making purchases from you, which drives revenue in a sustainable manner.
Plus, if they're vocal advocates for your brand, they'll happily sing your praises to others via reviews, testimonials, and referrals. That's a lot of free marketing!
It Increases Customer Retention.
Customer loyalty programs act as another way to promote customer engagement with your brand. As they become more intimately acquainted with your business and all of the value you are actually able to offer, they’ll stick with you for longer periods of time.
Loyalty programs keep customers engaged beyond just the sale. The promise of rewards for picking your company to do business with leaves customers happy and excited about interacting with the brand even more.
It Pushes Sales Numbers.
An increase in retention naturally means an increase in revenue, assuming that you’re still bringing in new leads as well. Customers who have an established trust with a brand are known to spend more in one transaction at a more frequent rate than new customers.
Sales from new customers added on top of consistent, predictable sales from existing customers can really drive a business forward.
It Elevates the Customer Experience.
By analyzing a customer’s buying behaviors, interests, and expenditures through a customer loyalty program, you’re able to pull valuable insights on how you can better target your ideal customer.
The data that they enter upon signing up for your program allows you to customize and enhance their buying experience, which will lead to more satisfied customers.
It Attracts New Customers.
A well built loyalty program can draw in new customers just by the appeal of rewards alone. Consumers get excited over the idea of earning discounts and having control over their purchases, especially if you offer them upfront as a reward for signing up.
By leveraging the advantage they get by joining your program, you then get a long list of new customers to add to your mailing lists.
It Rewards Existing Ones.
Your existing customers deserve just as much tending to as your new ones. There’s plenty of ways to acknowledge them: frequent buyer bonus points, reward tiers, exclusive membership deals, first dibs on new merchandise, etc.
When you reward loyal customers, they are provided even more reason to return to your business. You’ll build a connection of reciprocity, where they cater to you because you cater to them.
What Is Customer Loyalty Program Software? 4 Common Features You Will Find
Basically, they're platforms that encourage customers to continually purchase from the same company. The best software out there will consist of digital and automation solutions that drive engagement.
Here are four common features you will find in these kinds of software solutions:
Not every reward has to be based on purchase behavior. The priority should always be to generate customer loyalty, which will eventually lead to an increase in sales.
Customizing rewards helps in encouraging non-purchase behaviors, like customer referrals or other forms of brand engagement. Gamification is a popular method of making a loyalty program more enticing. Earning badges or breaking through reward tiers allows customers to track their progress and feel more motivated to participate.
Utilizing a quality customer loyalty program software will allow you to create and implement a rewards system that will actually excite your customers, thus encouraging them to keep interacting with your brand.
A great loyalty program is going to have a variety of ways for customers to sign up for it. So, it’s only fair to say that great loyalty program software will make integrating all of that data into one system easy too.
When picking a platform, look for one that will be able to handle receiving your customers’ information without any loss of data. That integrity is important for your business since it’s how you’ll be able to track the success of your program, as well as providing customers access to their rewards.
If a customer logs into their loyalty account and finds that all of their points, discounts, or rewards are gone, there’s a pretty high chance your service team will get an incensed call shortly after.
Make sure that you’re able to enable social integration as well. A lot of customers appreciate the ease of signing up to a program from a pre-existing social media account. A lot of business allow for a quick sign up via Google account.
The right software will be able to accommodate all of that.
3. Omnichannel Capabilities
Providing your loyalty members complete transparency when it comes to their rewards is imperative to running a successful program. Whether they want to access their account through mobile, desktop, or in-store, your software should be able to provide their information through their channel of preference.
Of course, online engagement has risen over the years and is often the primary point of access, but that doesn’t mean your loyal customers want it to be their only option.
Convenience and consistency is key. They should be able to access their rewards whenever they want, however they want, and it should be accurate every time.
In order for a business to truly benefit from a customer loyalty program, it needs access to all of the insight on their customers’ buying behavior. How else will they be able to improve the program, marketing techniques, and the customer experience?
The right software will provide all of the necessary analytics for you to observe the data gathered by the program. You’ll be able to build accurate, detailed buyer personas that will help you target your ideal customer more acutely.
10 of the Best Customer Loyalty Program Software Options
There’s a lot to consider when planning how you want to build out your rewards program, but picking the right customer loyalty program software should be at the top of the list to get done first. If you wait until the end, then you’ll have a harder time finding software that complements the plan you’ve built out.
We’ve taken the time to investigate the best loyalty program software options on the market today for you. Take a look.
1. Open Loyalty
Open Loyalty’s software is a great option for any business looking to build a truly custom loyalty program. Their open source platform gives full access to a complete customization deck and source code for the application.
Users have a “360 customer view,” where they can analyze customer details in a single profile format with segmentation capabilities and omnichannel tracking. You can track activity, manage gift cards, provide a member portal, and track referrals.
The loyalty program can even be gamified, with users building earning rules, loyalty levels, special gifts, and a comprehensive rewards management system.
One of Open Loyalty’s customers, Nathan Anderson, CEO of Scan Trust, shared, "At ScanTrust, we decided to use Open Loyalty because of an Open Source architecture, a rich set of loyalty features available out of the box, great technical, and development support in our projects."
Price: Open Loyalty provides a free demo, and you can receive an estimate based on the scope and scale of your project.
With complete control over how many points can be given to customers for specific behaviors, you're well equipped to increase customer retention and spending. You can create and edit rewards within the cloud-based software, making tracking and reconciling reward points easier, providing a more seamless customer experience.
Existing customers have described the software as not “user-friendly,” but the loyalty programs built on it have been successful.
Price: After using a free demo, pricing plans begin at $79/mo and can increase depending on desired features.
3. Apex Loyalty
Apex Loyalty has a unique drag-and-drop design deck meant to simplify the process of building your platform. The personalized platform makes design and software management easy for new users. Campaign management is also simplified through segmentation and tracking.
The platform provides a “Rewards-Ready Loyalty program” where customers can redeem their points for branded gift cards, like Amazon or eBay, reducing the time it takes for management to select and build rewards on their own. It’s all cloud-based with Salesforce ready integration.
Price: Apex Loyalty provides a free demo, and you can receive an estimate based on the scope and scale of your project.
Yotpo allows users to choose from a variety of pre-built campaigns that are customizable to your brand and ready to integrate across channels. With a tiered based rewards structure, you can control how points are earned through spending, purchase types, and even referrals. For customers who refer friends more than once, you can build in special rewards too.
When analyzing your campaign, Yotpo provides complete transparency on the ROI of your loyalty program efforts. A detailed dashboard gives insight into each customer profile, offering intel on actions and behaviors that can be used to personalize future campaigns.
Most reviewers have shared that Yotpo’s brand credibility and review systems have improved their business dramatically.
Price: There’s a free plan that permits 50 monthly orders. For a more flexible, premium option, you can request a demo and receive an estimate based on your project.
5. Preferred Patron
Offering users a choice of rewards levels or rewards tiers, Preferred Patron is keen on gamifying your loyalty program with their software. Customers can earn rewards based on direct discounts with your brand, third-party rewards from Amazon and similar brands, or access to exclusive products from your inventory.
It’s an omnichannel software that has autopilot operations, meaning you can walk away from it for a time and let it run itself. One reviewer shared, “This program is intuitive and easy to use solution and most importantly very pliable and customizable.”
Price: For an annual subscription, small business plans start at $99/mo. For the option to cancel at any time, though, pricing sits at $129/mo.
Fivestars is a customer loyalty program software that prioritizes customer retention over everything else. With a comprehensive, integrative CRM, an easy redemption system, and customizable rewards, users are able to bring customers back via text, email, and mobile app marketing tools.
Sign up is as easy as entering a customer’s phone number, and then marketers can create unique rewards based on hyper-specific behaviors. Fivestars is a TCPA compliant program also, meaning all customer activity is logged for fraud prevention.
The results dashboard provides in-depth analysis of how your program is performing. You can track how many new customers you’ve signed up, return visits you’ve earned, which rewards are being redeemed, and more.
Price: Fivestars provides a free demo, and you can receive an estimate based on the scope and scale of your project.
TapMango’s loyalty program provides retailers with several different tools to help run a successful campaign. Users can manage customers, campaign details, and more on the marketing portal, while customers operate on an easy-to-use tablet. Access to profiles can also be granted on the mobile app, branded to your business, and branded keytags that act as gift cards.
With full branding customizability, you control rewards, campaigns, and special promotions all from the marketing portal. You can also track customer profiles, the program’s ROI, and other metrics.
A marketing director and current TapMango customer reviewed, “It gives you so many options and features that we have had a huge uplift in monthly returns so far, and the system pays for itself.”
Price: TapMango boasts being contract free and offers a free demo before receiving a price estimate.
8. Annex Cloud
Annex Cloud offers integrated customer loyalty software, referral marketing, and user-generated content solutions that can work together to deliver a unified customer experience. Referrals and content are estimated to grow in quality and quantity, establishing stronger customer relationships.
It’s omnichannel, online, and allows for social and behavior tracking. Users can even build paid membership loyalty programs in addition to their rewards programs for a more unique customer experience.
Software reviewers have shared that the CRM and UGC integration can be tricky, but after figuring it out, the software has yielded only positive results for them.
Price: Annex Cloud provides a free demo, and you can receive an estimate based on the scope and scale of your project.
For an engagement-centric customer loyalty program software, look no further than Kangaroo. The mobile-friendly software focuses on making the customer experience as positive and seamless as possible.
The platform includes full management of customer data and behavioral information, detailed transaction history, social media data, multiple account hierarchy, merging accounts, multiple ID support, member preferences, and several other benefits.
One past customer shared, “Kangaroo Rewards helps you better retain your customer base, it tracks rewards and helps you engage with customers that haven't shopped in a while.” Re-engaging customers is as important as drawing in new ones.
Price: Kangaroo offers a free demo, and then a Go Ultimate plan priced at $149/mo.
CandyBar’s software is cloud-based and built to track customer activity through visits, spending, and more. It’s primary features include a detailed dashboard, real-time activity tracking, and program performance analytics.
Users can look up customers based on name or phone number, allowing them to earn rewards in the form of digital "stamps" sent via mobile text.
CandyBar’s dashboard helps marketers analyze performance based on customer feedback. Invite customers to provide feedback for the reward program specifically and for general service after a purchase.
Price: CandyBar’s plans start at $45/mo.
Choosing the best software for your business can make or break your customer loyalty program.
If you don’t find the right one, your campaign won’t be nearly as effective as it could be. But with the perfect fit, your business will blossom from all of the returning benefits that come with maintaining a successful program.