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38523662_sCustomer Loyalty is the most important ingredient when it comes to successful branding. Converting a customer into a regular buyer is not easy, but once you’ve established that base of true fans, the next step is to reward them for their loyalty.

Here are 5 ways to start implementing your rewards system.

1. Use a Simple Points System

The Starbucks Rewards system is a great example. This is probably the most common customer loyalty method. Regular patrons earn points that convert to some sort of reward. Whether that reward is a freebie, discount or special treatment, customers build their way up to a number of points before they can redeem the reward.

2. Use Tier Systems to Reward Customer Loyalty and Encourage Purchases

It’s challenging trying to find a balance between desirable and attainable rewards. One way to do this is to have a tiered system that rewards initial loyalty and then continues to encourage more purchases. Have a look at Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club to see how this works.

3. Charge an Upfront Fee for Special Benefits

Customer loyalty programs should break down the barriers between your customers and business. Sometimes a once-off fee will allow them to bypass common barriers and enjoy VIP benefits. This system tends to work really well for businesses that thrive on repeat purchases. The upfront fee can relieve customers of any inconveniences that may impede future purchases. Amazon Prime, for example, has mastered this method.

4. Design Non-Monetary Programs around Customer Values

What are your customer’s values? What is their sense of worth? Depending on your market, customers may find more value in discounted or non-monetary rewards. While you could offer discount codes and coupons, you can also provide values in ways other than dollars. A good example is Patagonia’s Common Threads Initiative.

5. Partner Up to Offer All-Inclusive Offers

Strategic partnerships are great for customer loyalty. For example, if you sell dog food, you could partner with a veterinary office or grooming salon to offer co-branded deals.

To learn more about how to leverage the right technology to build customer loyalty, download the SAP Business One for Retail brochure. 

Download the Retail Technology Brochure