Building a continuous revenue stream is a major goal for growing BigCommerce stores. We all already know how much more cost-effective it is to sell to existing customers. BigCommerce store owners have quickly realized the potential of loyalty programs in increasing their overall customer lifetime value leading to a surge in loyalty program popularity.
A successful loyalty program encourages repeat customers to keep spending and helps attract prospects too. But does your BigCommerce store need a loyalty program? Let's find out.
What is a customer loyalty program?
A customer loyalty program employs a point system to reward customers. These perks aim to increase customer engagement and enhance customer experiences, while boosting conversion rates.
In loyalty programs, customers are awarded discount codes, store credit, and free products, typically in exchange for their points. Discounts might come in the form of percentage discounts, or otherwise flat-rate discounts (like $20 off). Other perks offered by ecommerce loyalty programs may include coupons, giveaway entries, and early access to unreleased products.
It's worth noting that you don't always need to require a customer to trade in their points to receive a benefit. If you operate a tiered loyalty program on BigCommerce, you can simply provide different perks for your most loyal customers.
Why do BigCommerce stores implement loyalty programs?
Loyalty programs foster customer engagement and improve customer experiences, but what else do they bring to the table?
- Help merchants steer their efforts towards the most profitable segment of your target audience
- Reveals which customers are the most loyal to your store
- Boosts profitability by shifting the focus from customer acquisition costs (CAC) to customer lifetime value (CLTV) or customer retention costs
- Helps retain high-value customers for the long-term
- Generally results in a boost in word-of-mouth marketing
Providing shoppers with incentives like discounts, store credit, and free merchandise can increase just about any customer's interest in your store. Your loyalty program can inspire their loyalty to your site - paying dividends for you both.
Why you need personalization in your BigCommerce loyalty program
Before you jump into setting a loyalty program, keep in mind that adding a personal touch to your loyalty program shows customers you value them, and gives you an edge over the competition who offer a more generic experience.
There are several strategies to add personalization to your ecommerce loyalty program. Let's dive in and find out what they are.
Find the "aha" moment that gets users to sign up and scale it
There’s no guarantee that customers will be interested in your loyalty program to begin with. That’s why it’s so important to find the “aha” moment – the final touch that gets your customers engaged.
Examples of the aha moment include:
- Your loyalty program offers free or discounted shipping
- Customers can save money by subscribing to a pre-determined number of monthly orders
- Customers can get their friends involved to save even more money
Until you figure out what your “aha” moment actually is, consider using a pilot program to test your loyalty program out. Once you’ve settled on a program with reasonable potential, roll it out full scale.
You can use channels like Facebook and Instagram to target ads and increase brand awareness. You can also get customers to sign up for it through WhatsApp, SMS, and email marketing. Or you can get them to scale the brand awareness through referral programs where successful referrals translate to even more rewards.
When it comes to adding personalization through your aha moment, recognize that not every offer may work for every customer. You can also try A/B testing what your loyalty program offers, or A/B test promoting different features of your program to different customers until they sign up.
Offer rewards based on user activity
Earlier, we mentioned that point-based loyalty programs award points to customers based on their activity. The more active a user is, the higher points they have. Giving various milestone rewards to loyal customers helps keep your customers interested.
Want to make your program even more effective? Make the rewards redeemable and personalized. For example, a customer that shops a beauty store could be served up personalized rewards like discounts off or free samples from their favorite brands.
Provide personalized experiences for customers based on loyalty status
There are many types of customer loyalty programs – one of them is tier-based. It lets you segment your customers based on their loyalty level. The higher the level, the better rewards they get. These customers are worth a little extra attention and TLC.
You can use a monthly report of your top customers or a quarterly list of your best customers to find the most loyal customers. Then you can easily focus on them and give them personalized rewards experiences.
For example, you could treat your highest-tier customers to a higher discount percentage during promotional events, or you
Promote bonus point offers on recommended products
If you have an AI-based recommendations engine in place, it should already be serving up cross-sells and upsells for customers based on what they've bought or what sections of a site they've browsed. Another tactic to promoting your loyalty program is to highlight when you have bonus loyalty point offers on specific products. Your customers will only see these offers if the products are relevant to their shopping experience, but may be extra motivated to check them out once they see additional points are on the line.
The best BigCommerce loyalty apps
Loyalty platforms are an excellent way to increase your customers’ repeat spend. The business world realizes this too, and there are many applications available now to host loyalty programs.
Here's a list of the best BigCommerce loyalty program apps available right now.
Smile.io is a free app available in the BigCommerce app store. With Smile.io, you can launch your store's powerful loyalty program in just a few minutes. The app lets you integrate marketing tools with just a click. Plus, you can view the real-time rewards panel right from your store’s dashboard. Smile.io is available in English, French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese.
LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. Unlock real insights to build a better understanding of what drives longer-lasting customer relationships, and use those insights to connect and accelerate your existing marketing efforts.'
Gratisfaction is a one-stop-shop for loyalty programs, referral programs, giveaways, sweepstakes, and reward platforms. You can use the app to set customized loyalty programs up and activate multiple types of referral programs. These features allow you to rewards customers and boost sales and engagement. Did we mention it's free?'
Lootly is a customer loyalty software and referral app available on the BigCommerce app store. This app has 12+ ways to earn points, so you can choose the best strategy for your store. In addition, users can customize the VIP tiers and employ different referral programs to turn existing customers into brand ambassadors. It comes with a free 7-day trial period.
5. S Loyalty
S Loyalty is a small-store-friendly loyalty app on the BigCommerce app store, with monthly rates as low as $19.99. With this app, merchants can create branded loyalty programs, including event-based campaigns, personalized offers, and unique customizations like naming your points. The app also touts its ability to elegantly handle returning customers and new visitors differently to entice them to not only join your program, but convert.
How to offer personalized loyalty experiences with LimeSpot for your BigCommerce store
LimeSpot is an ecommerce personalization app on a mission to "transform the customer buying experience." As a leading AI-merchandising platform, LimeSpot helps BigCommerce merchants drive sales and build personalized experiences for every shopper.
Personalized shopping experiences
LimeSpot lets you personalize each customer's shopping experience right from the start. The platform’s AI technology tracks and learns your customer’s intent and purchasing behavior across various digital touchpoints. With LimeSpot, merchants can personalize their performance marketing, homepage, emails, ads, CTAs, images, text, and videos.
Real-time audience segmentation
LimeSpot lets you segment your audience according to predefined or custom templates. If you’re looking to create custom targeted segments, the platform allows merchants to use their own data too, including loyalty program status. With real-time audience segmentation, store owners can personalize content and collections – yielding the best customer engagement opportunities.
This means you can create custom segments using your loyalty program data to create unique experiences for different tiers of your loyalty program. For example, people in the top tier of your loyalty program might see a different hello bar promoting a secret discount code, or they might get early access to a sale.
Integrations with loyalty apps
LimeSpot facilitates seamless integrations of your store with loyalty apps like Smile.io and LoyaltyLion. It also lets merchants automatically add LimeSpot-driven product recommendations on mobile apps and desktop storefronts. You can then view all the potential bonus and reward points on the upselling and cross-selling recommendations by LimeSpot.
Upgrade your loyalty program today
While there are many benefits of a customer loyalty program, you need to establish a successful one to reap all the rewards.
Improving customer experiences and learning about your target audience helps merchants optimize their loyalty programs.
Take your loyalty program to new heights with LimeSpot, an AI-driven product recommendation platform that drives sales. Outdo your competitors with data-driven insights into enhancing your customer experiences.