What Do Customers Want From Supermarket Loyalty Programs?
What do you know about supermarket loyalty programs? In short, we can tell you that they are a great way to connect with customers and give a little back to your most loyal shoppers. However, loyalty campaigns are often misunderstood and misapplied in practice. Do you know why most loyalty programs fail or don’t live up to their hype? That’s because retailers always assume that by simply rewarding customers with discounts, shoppers will become automatically loyal to their business. If only the world was that simple, then retailers wouldn’t need to spend millions on market research or any other activations.
What if we tell you that consumers are looking for things beyond just stamp cards and discounts in a loyalty program?
Be Care-full: Consumers love it!
If you’re not considering your shoppers as your best buddies, you might start doing it right now: as the relationship between you and them grows stronger, the longer they’ll stay by your side, and they’ll probably invite more friends to come to play with you! Loyalty programs should be built with the intention to create a long-lasting emotional connection between your brand and customers. In fact, nearly 80% of shoppers only consider brands that show they care about them and their values (Fish, 2019).
One critical aspect that comes with caring for your customers is personalization. The best supermarket loyalty programs are the ones that offer personalized rewards, making your customers feel special and valued. Personalization kicks in when retailers are able to recognize customers’ traits or habits and engage them in a way that shows high relevance to them.
So, how can you do it? An amazing way to personalize your campaign and show your customers that you care is by offering rewards that tie into your customers’ values. Did you know that almost 44% of consumers on the market are value-driven? This means that they only seek products and brands that align with their values, typically related to more sustainable values and healthy lifestyles.
- 💡 According to IBM Insights (2022), sustainable living is one of the leading consumer trends in 2022, whereas 1 out of 3 consumers purchase sustainable products on a daily basis.
The Easy E’s: Experience & Engagement
Now that you know you should care about your customers, let’s talk about delivery. No, we didn’t mean logistics. We’re talking about the ways and styles that you can “deliver” the rewards to your customers in a loyalty program: treating your loyal shoppers with an engaging brand experience that they’ll never forget. Shoppers are the success critics for retail businesses, that’s why they always expect a beautiful, polished brand experience whenever they visit your stores.
Research points out that more than 90% of businesses offer loyalty programs, but these are more or less the same, repeating programs that always revolve around monetary rewards, such as discounts (Tierney, 2022). Take a good note that when you’re just rewarding them for transactional behavior, customers are under the impression that you only value their financial contribution. On the other hand, studies point out that nearly half of the shoppers reported that they choose the brand solely because of the experience they had while receiving and earning the loyalty rewards (Saasquatch DLA, 2019).
So what’s the secret sauce? The aspect that most retailers ignore when it comes to making their loyalty program stand out is the so-called experiential benefits.
Experiential benefits are the engaging experiences that come with, or after earning loyalty rewards, which complements the transactional benefits. Simply by encouraging your customers to learn something new, engage in an activity, or surprise them with spontaneous rewards, consumers are more likely to develop a deeper emotional connection with your brand. In addition, supermarket loyalty programs are a perfect way to boost customers’ satisfaction and engagement with your brand.
- 💡 Did you know that if your loyalty program members have developed an emotional connection to your brand, they have a 306% higher lifetime value (Saasquatch DLA, 2019)? This means that customers are more likely to stay for an average of 5.1 years (compared to 3.4 years) and will recommend your brand at a much higher rate!
Supermarket loyalty programs: Order for takeaway!
In the end, everybody likes to feel rewarded and appreciated by a brand, from individual shoppers who visit your store because it’s convenient to families who have made their shopping trip a part of their weekly routine. But customers are more than just discount-driven peeps. The new generations of shoppers will be picky in choosing retailers that understand them best and bring them a memorable shopping experience every time they visit grocery stores.
This might be a good question to ask yourself: How well do you know your customers? It’s time to start connecting with them!