Every e-commerce brand emphasizes the importance of the buying journey. What most fail to realize is that the buying journey includes what a customer experiences post-checkout. What messages do they receive? Are there opportunities for a second purchase? Overall how are you engaging a customer for the long term?
Building loyalty is a vital step for long-term growth in e-commerce. Without a loyal community, a business can’t grow. Loyalty in the form of a loyalty program brings engagement to a business, providing a strategy for repeat purchases, building a community, and offering an opportunity to level up your brand.
It’s estimated that the top 10% of your loyal customers spend 3 times more per order (on average) than the lower 90%. A loyalty program aims to turn customers into repeat customers and build a loyal following. Through this strategy, loyalty involves retaining customers through incentives that keep them engaged like rewards, points, or earning referrals.
The first step in building a brand community is engaging your customers by offering them the opportunity to sign up for points or get rewards after they have checked out. A strong and loyal community will keep members in the loop on what is going on with your brand, which builds your community so you can introduce new products, sales, and meaningful rewards. Loyalty incentivizes customers to come back for a second purchase to redeem any points they have earned.
A loyalty program can make your customers feel valued and more than just a customer. Beauty brand Maniology has built its brand community by offering meaningful rewards that customers can redeem using loyalty points earned through social media engagements and purchases. A few of their rewards include free shipping offers and actual product items that customers can earn. With over 205,000 followers on Instagram, Maniology is creating opportunities for customers to come back again and again.
A loyalty program is essential for a post-checkout experience that customers can connect with both offline and online, whether it’s your e-commerce store or a physical retail location. Loyalty and community are synonymous with each other. A community is built by having members that see value in your community and turning them into brand advocates.
According to a report from Shopify, most consumers already have pledged loyalty to a brand when searching for a product. “Most consumers already have a brand in mind by the time they’re ready to buy,” states the report. “In fact, Google reports that more than 80% of customers conduct their research online before making a purchase decision. A business needs a strong brand to earn its place in the minds of consumers.”
Kydra Activewear is an athletic brand with a large following on social media. Now with a physical retail location, Kydra is able to activate its community to support them in their new shop. With over 30,000 followers on Instagram, Kydra encourages customers to share their shopping experiences through reviews. Customers are encouraged to earn rewards based on taking social actions like following them on social media and writing reviews.
A loyalty program allows you to expand your Shopify store beyond a purchase and level up. The entry-level to create an e-commerce store is accessible to anyone and growth is essential to growing long-term. You can create a mobile app with Vajro, or ensure your e-commerce store is optimized for mobile. Or create opportunities for customers to reach you through offline channels like a physical location or popup.
Coal and Canary is a candle brand that rewards its customers with 5 points for every dollar spent and up to a $30 discount. As their business grew, they were able to grow their brand, community, and loyalty program. The more the business grows, the more incentives Coal and Canary can give along with more points customers can earn. Visit this blog if you are looking for ideas on how to incorporate some of the hottest mobile app trends into your store.
The benefits of implementing a loyalty program are worth it because it extends to every area of your business and offers a post-checkout experience that presents an opportunity to level up your Shopify brand. If you’re ready to start a loyalty program or learn more about Smile Rewards, then feel free to reach out to us or connect with us. Turn your mobile app visitors into repeat customers using Vajro and Smile’s integration!
Jonathan Roque is the Content Marketing Manager at Smile.io. Jonathan is passionate about e-commerce and helping small and medium-sized businesses grow and maximize their potential.