Retail Loyalty Marketing: How to Use Collectibles to Nurture Loyalty

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03.08.2022 research

Supermarkets are always on the run for new, innovative loyalty solutions to win over new waves of consumers as well as establish long-term loyalty with their existing ones. That’s exactly the focus of Retail Loyalty Marketing. However, most programs on the market just bombard their shoppers with simple, non-stop discount promotions or point-based systems that yield insignificant returns on sales and investments. Besides, retailers don’t want to spend too much time making complex loyalty programs that shoppers are unfamiliar with.

What if we say that there’s a simple, yet effective solution that can turn a shopper’s daily shopping chores into a playful, engaging experience without sacrificing simplicity and familiarity? If you’re thinking about collectibles, you’re on the right track. So how is it that collecting can help you to build long-lasting relationships with your customers? 

The dynamic duo: mystery & surprise

One of the defining features of collectibles is the package that wraps around them. Not just any ordinary packaging, but it’s a mystery one! The collectible is given away in a small opaque flow pack, so shoppers will never know what’s inside until they’ve opened them. Remember the uncontainable/unhinged excitement you have before you tear the wrappers open on Christmas Eve? That’s it! That’s exactly how the hidden packaging makes your shopper feel.

Once the package is opened, an immediate dopamine rush floods your shoppers’ minds. Customers are filled with surprises and excitement when they receive a new item in their collection. These emotional reactions encourage them to make more purchases and repeat this euphoric “jackpot” feeling. But what if they get the same item again? That’s when the real magic happens. Customers will be left with an unstoppable urge to keep shopping at your store to earn mystery packages and acquire the missing item!

It’s a win-win situation. Regardless of the outcome, the excitement and surprise that comes with opening these packaging enable shoppers to become more emotionally involved with your brand. What does that mean? Well, it’s safe to say that you’ve just earned yourself a loyal customer.

Collect to connect

In case you missed it, the miniature craze it’s all about collecting. According to Lambert & Goh (2020), after obtaining collectibles, shoppers accumulate a sense of self-achievement which motivates them even further to keep earning the rewards. This happens when the items they received are communicated/labeled as “collectible”, making them perceive them as more special and valuable. As their collection grows, so as their commitment and determination to complete the set: there’s nothing standing between them and their grocery trip to the store to earn more collectibles. Our science buds don’t call this phenomenon a “collectible craze” for nothing!

Collectibles don’t just hype shoppers up, collectibles connect shoppers together! The act of collecting items generates a sense of community and social connectedness as collectors swap and trade unwanted items. Hence, the competitiveness of the hunt, as each shopper, families racing to be the first to complete the entire set translates to an engaging experience with your brand every time they visit your stores!

Choose wisely and create the craze

Now that you’ve heard about the why’s, let’s talk a bit about the how’s. How do you create the craze? Retailers have been shifting their focus from adults to little ones – and their entire families –, especially with collectibles promotions that resemble toys. But if the adults are spending the money, why are they doing this?

The answer lies behind the influential power of our younglings. Did you know that children alone generate over 17 billion dollars in supermarket revenue? (Lambert & Goh, 2020). In fact, collectible promotions effortlessly capitalize on a child’s desire to play and collect, to the extent that they can influence their parent’s choice of retailers just to get the items (Minnema et. al, 2017). That said, during a live collectible promotion, it’s common for grandparents, parents, and other adults to go out of their way just to hunt and secure the missing item to complete the collectible set for their child. In fact, there are many kidults out there also looking forward to completing their lineups. 

With an engaging “shop hunting” experience, families realize that they’d no longer see their weekly grocery trip as a chore, but rather a fun and rewarding experience that helps them and their child to actively engage with the retailer, seeing themselves as a part of an immersive brand experience. If families are happy at your stores, then it’s only a matter of days before they become your most loyal shoppers!

Are you ready to bring the collectible craze to your store?

The rise of collectibles promotion opens up a new era of retail loyalty marketing. No matter how old shoppers are, everybody loves to collect and play! Thus, collectible promotion equips you with a powerful tool to combat shoppers’ price-based promotional fatigue, hyping them up with a fresh, exciting shopping experience every time they visit your stores.

Do you have what it takes to create the next collectible craze?  

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