In the past, customer loyalty was earned with a friendly smile at the corner store. Today, it’s all about the ease of clicking “add to cart” from the comfort of your living room. Recently, “omnichannel” has emerged as a buzzword in the industry. Now, leveraging an omnichannel loyalty program is not just an advantage but a necessity.
The transformation of customer loyalty in the age of omnichannel commerce can help your brand thrive by embracing this evolution.
Diving deeper into omnichannel loyalty
An omnichannel loyalty strategy integrates online and offline activities to reach customers through emails, social media, mobile apps and more. This approach ensures that your brand remains consistently on the customer’s radar, fostering increased engagement. Diversifying channels allows your brand to integrate into the customer’s lifestyle seamlessly.
Key considerations for omnichannel loyalty include:
- Customer-centric engagement: Maintaining continuous contact with customers should be driven by their needs and preferences, offering them relevant offers and information.
- Non-intrusiveness: Omnichannel does not equate to intrusive or spammy messages. It’s about providing value and forging genuine connections.
- Becoming part of the routine: The ultimate goal is to become integral to the customer’s daily life, strengthening the relationship with your brand.
Traditional vs. omnichannel loyalty programs
Conventional loyalty programs typically rely on points accumulation for discounts or gifts. In contrast, omnichannel programs aim to engage customers through various means, not solely through spending.
A robust omnichannel loyalty program is characterized by:
- Non-demanding approach: Beyond just purchasing, omnichannel loyalty programs focus on building brand loyalty by providing information, sharing brand narratives and offering incentives.
- Immersive experiences: Gamification and tiered structures make loyalty programs interactive, allowing brands to engage with customers between transactions.
- Information gathering: Omnichannel programs collect valuable customer data through surveys, ratings, and purchase history, aiding in crafting targeted marketing strategies.
- Rewarding interactions: Customers can earn points through non-monetary activities like completing surveys or providing product reviews, leading to personalized rewards.
Multichannel vs. omnichannel
While multichannel and omnichannel may seem similar, the key distinction lies in their approach to data integration and communication consistency.
Multichannel relies on multiple sales channels with independent strategies and often isolated data. On the other hand, omnichannel ensures a seamless, interconnected customer experience with consistent messaging and integrated data. No matter which channel the customer is using, they receive the same personalized message. Many experts view the omnichannel approach as an extension of the multichannel option, achieving greater customer engagement and, ultimately, greater loyalty.
The five key benefits of omnichannel loyalty
- Valuable insights: Omnichannel loyalty programs provide a comprehensive view of customer behavior, helping brands understand preferences and purchasing patterns.
- Enhanced customer experience: By tailoring interactions and content, brands can improve the overall shopping experience and encourage repeat visits.
- Increased sales: Staying top-of-mind and building loyalty leads to repeat business and customer referrals, translating to higher profits.
- Stronger brand building: Consistent messaging across channels strengthens brand awareness and provides a competitive edge.
- Emotional loyalty: An emotional bond between customers and brands results in increased customer lifetime value and a greater brand affinity.
Exploring examples of omnichannel functionalities
Among the fundamental features of omnichannel experiences, one standout is the option to buy online for in-store pickup. This convenience is a gift for today’s fast-paced customers who can place orders while stuck in traffic, only to pick up their purchases later without enduring lengthy queues. Another emerging omnichannel functionality gaining traction is the ability to “buy online, return in-store.”
Cross-channel points accumulation and multichannel redemption prove invaluable to customers who engage across various platforms. Whether it’s points earned through online and in-store purchases, mobile app interactions, or social media engagement, consolidating them into a unified system allows for seamless redemption across diverse channels.
Depending on customer spending and engagement, tiered membership levels add an extra layer of depth to omnichannel strategies. Higher tiers unlock superior rewards and privileges while integrating gamification elements such as challenges, competitions and badges further fuel engagement, motivating customers to interact consistently across all channels.
An omnichannel approach in action: Comarch and Doppelgänger
Doppelgänger’s partnership with Comarch, a global loyalty marketing platform provider, is an excellent example of omnichannel loyalty’s power. Doppelgänger, an Italian menswear retailer, aims to cultivate an exclusive community among its members through a seamless omnichannel loyalty program.
Comarch’s platform offers points collection, exclusive in-store events and personalized discounts and gifts. This approach combines online shopping convenience with the sense of belonging to a closed group, resonating deeply with customers.
From corner store to modern omnichannel loyalty
The evolution of customer loyalty in the age of omnichannel commerce represents a significant shift from the days of the corner store to the digital era. Embracing an omnichannel loyalty approach means engaging customers across multiple online and offline touchpoints, ensuring your brand remains an integral part of their daily lives. Unlike traditional loyalty programs, omnichannel loyalty is non-demanding, immersive, informational and rewarding, fostering deeper customer connections.
The success story of Comarch and Doppelgänger exemplifies the potential of omnichannel loyalty programs. Combining the convenience of online shopping with personalized rewards and a sense of community deeply resonates with customers. In today’s marketplace, embracing omnichannel loyalty is not just a trend; it’s a strategic imperative for brands seeking sustainable growth and enduring customer relationships.