The new financial year is the perfect time to take stock of what worked and what didn’t in the prior 12 months, identify new areas for investment and improvement, and re-strategise. For many businesses, it’s an essential time to look at the marketing activities that delivered successful results and find new opportunities to engage with audiences, drive sales, and achieve the best possible return on investment (ROI).
Mainstream marketing activities, including paid advertisements, activations, social media, and digital marketing, often take the lion’s share of the marketing budget and for good reason: they are seen by a lot of people all at once. However, there’s one activity that continues to be overlooked by many businesses. Digital loyalty and rewards programs present significant opportunities for businesses to capture sales while also fostering greater customer loyalty.
Technology advancements have given businesses access to a wealth of valuable information, including data about consumer trends and shopping behaviours. Digital loyalty and rewards programs empower businesses to harness this information and deliver hyper-personalised shopping experiences to consumers, including targeted promotions and offers that appeal to each buyer.
The rising cost of living, coupled with increasing interest and inflation rates, are strengthening the hold that shoppers have on their wallets. As the new financial year approaches, businesses must get creative and find new and more meaningful ways to engage with consumers. Ensuring digital loyalty and rewards programs are included in the overarching marketing strategy is a critical first step.
As shoppers look for opportunities to save dollars on their weekly shops and ad-hoc purchases, digital loyalty programs let merchants and program operators tailor sales and offers to consumers based on purchasing history. This lets brands deliver greater cost savings to customers when they need it most, while simultaneously helping to grow customer loyalty in the process.
When the pressure is on, customers look for any opportunity to increase their savings. If they can achieve this without sacrificing on quality or foregoing essential items, it’s a win-win. Digital loyalty and rewards programs give brands access to valuable information on their shoppers’ buying behaviours that let them market the products that people need, when they need them, creating a real-time relationship with their customers that they can’t achieve through other channels.
Digital, card-linked loyalty and rewards programs also eliminate the need for customers to carry around cumbersome plastic cards in their wallets that they often forget to scan at the point of sale (POS). This reduces the barriers that customers face when purchasing products, contributing to a more streamline buying process. Beyond this, digital programs let merchants and program operators create increasingly personalised offers and experiences to consumers that best meet their needs, based on real-time data and insights about customer behaviours.
From a marketing perspective, businesses can not only deliver valuable offers to customers that help engage customers, secure sales, and drive customer loyalty, but they can also be delivered based on location, offering a greater level of personalisation and convenience than ever before. This granular level of targeted marketing that is tailored specific to consumers delivers endless opportunities to businesses looking to broaden their audience base.
Digital loyalty and rewards programs let businesses of any size engage more with their customers where it matters most: the customer’s pocket and the point of sale. It would be remiss of today’s marketers to ignore the power of digital loyalty programs. They eliminate the barriers of traditional loyalty program and streamline the shopping experience for consumers.
The new financial year is the ideal time for marketers to ensure they have digital loyalty and rewards programs front and centre in their marketing strategies. Investing in a smart solution now will let brands make the most of their investment and secure the best chance possible to drive sales and grow customer loyalty in the new financial year, and years, ahead.
Anurag Vasisth is co-chair and group CEO at Loyalty Now.