The customer is always the king. The heights your eCommerce business will climb depends on how your customers experience your business. A study conducted by McKinsey revealed that 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers experience your services. Brands that put up strategies that impress customers and keep them glued to their services always triumph their competitors.
One of the strategies that improve customer experience and foster customer retention are loyalty programs. Loyalty programs are designed to reward clients who make regular purchases from a business. That means a well-crafted marketing effort would take customer engagement to another level. Besides, it translates to enhanced customer satisfaction, improved conversion rates, and increased overall profitability of your brand.
What are some of the most successful technologies that will be shaping the eCommerce loyalty programs in 2018 and beyond?
Internet of Things (IoT)
The IoT of yesteryears was simply a trend that would herald the tech world to another level of connectivity. It makes use of techs like the wearables, wireless sensors, and beacons that transmit data to a central location where it can be processed. Today, it is evolving into a must-have tech’ that every serious eCommerce store can’t do without.
Thanks to IoT’s numerous touch-points; it offers eCommerce a fresh opportunity to engage their customers. Businesses can benefit from analysis of real-time, big data that come from different connected devices. As a result, it would help build loyal relationships with the brand. Besides, businesses would reach a new level of targeting.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It is not easy to stand out in the crowded modern business environment. For you to stand out, you need to invest in a technology that gives you a competitive edge over your customers. For instance, you can look out for eCommerce software that makes it easy for you to personalize your interactions with your customers to cultivate brand loyalty. in that case, the use of artificial intelligence(AI) comes in handy.
For example, running AI-powered chatbots in your eCommerce help you streamline the interaction between you and your customers. More advanced customer loyalty programs can also offer better customer support and better interactions – actually, on a more personal level – with new visitors.
The proliferation of smartphones is changing how consumers make payments on eCommerce stores. Today, customers are turning to their mobile devices to make monetary transactions. The convenience which mobile devices offer consumers makes this offer a very attractive option. That is why the use of digital wallets as customer loyalty programs is attracting businesses in a horde.
But, that is not the only benefit of having a smartphone-based digital wallet at every point of sale. The wallet can also get all the customers information in real-time. As a result, it becomes easier to see who, where and what’s of all transactions made. This information can be used by the sales team to send personalized messages to the customers. That way, it will make them feel engaged and valued.
In short, here are some the benefits eCommerce would get from implementing digital wallets in your customer loyalty programs:
- Reduced advertising costs – Getting your message across to the customers can be costly. Digital wallets provide personal information that can be used for targeted messaging. That way, you end up reducing both promotional and advertising costs.
- Improved customer experience – Customers are always for brands that offer them better shopping experiences. Mobile wallets support multiple accounts; have better payment management, and offer alerts and personalized offers from merchants. Besides, digital wallets are stored on a mobile phone. That makes it compatible with eCommerce websites. Besides, it makes it easy to maintain.
- Better payment security – what makes the digital wallets more secure is the several layers of encryption that protect the electronic transactions. Since each transaction is encrypted, all it means is that the transmitted data is devoid of account holder’s information. Besides, for you to make a successful transaction, you need a fingerprint or PIN authorization.
Blockchain-based loyalty programs
Most people think that Blockchain technology is all about Bitcoins and other cryptos. But, the technology that was once a preserve for cryptocurrencies, is getting new applications in various industries. Today, blockchain is finding its way into customer loyalty programs.
What are the benefits of using this technology in loyalty programs? According to a study published by Deloitte (2016), implementing blockchain technology in customer loyalty programs will help your brand:
- Increase in revenues and profitability – Custom developments in your eCommerce customer loyalty software can be costly. Blockchain technology helps reduce development costs and as a result, lead to increased profitability. Blockchain might incur upfront costs – you need to find a way of storing the large volumes of data that is generated. But, thanks to smart contracts, you will be able to cut spending on system management. Smart contracts report transactions securely and transparently. That way, you end up cutting down on costs that are associated with fraud.
- Offers your eCommerce ability to use cryptocurrency – Due to increased incidences of fraud, most customers are turning to cryptos as a safe of the way of making online transactions. Besides, your customers will increase their chances of earning digital dollars as opposed to the traditional loyalty points. For example, your customers can receive a digital stamp for each purchase they make. These stamps can later be transferred into Bitcoin wallets. That way, it would encourage your customers to make more purchase from your store to earn more Bitcoins.
- Reduces transactional errors and incidences of fraud – The technology offers secured, a time-bound database that tracks and stores all transactions completed. As a result, it helps prevent fraud, waste, and manipulation. Besides, all the data sent across the blockchain network is open for all to view. But the personal information of the sender is not revealed – its encrypted. Why is it important? Once your customers are exposed to fraud while shopping on your store, there are good chances that they won’t order from your store again.
The biggest challenge with most loyalty programs is that they lack the ability to provide tempting offers that are related to storing experiences or individual customers. That is where web beacons come in handy to provide a dynamic loyalty program that responds to the feel of the customer. That way, you will be sending your customer’s highly targeted and tempting offers that feel fresh, exciting, and relevant.
For example, restaurants can use beacons to establish good relationships with the frequent customers. For example, using mobile beacons, cashiers can easily get the name, ordering habits and the preferences of a particular customer.
That way, the cashier can even greet the customer by name and point out specific promotional offers that could appeal to the particular customer.
Summing It Up
Customer-brand relationship determines how far your business would go. One of the ways of making your customer the king is through improving their shopping experiences. Reward and loyalty program is one of the surest ways your business can use to impress and retain customers. Using the latest technology in your customer loyalty program helps you fine-tune your offerings. As a result, you end up increasing the profitability of your eCommerce store.customer relationships