Are the customers in your loyalty program truly loyal, or is their allegiance simply a brief whim? Customer loyalty and rewards programs were designed to retain customers longer and encourage them to buy more through benefits like earning airline miles each time they use a specific credit card or a free pastry after they buy 10 cups of coffee. However, just enrolling in a customer loyalty program doesn’t always make someone a true brand loyalist. Often, a person may sign up when asked by a friendly cashier, and then never return again. People often cite giving inactive or fake emails to gain the discount for signing up without having to deal with any “spam” or further communications from your business. So how do brands determine the true customer loyalists from the fair-weather friends? They need a multi-dimensional customer data strategy that can look at all sides of the customer experience.
Applying Predictive Marketing Analytics to Understand Shifts in Customer Behavior
Rather than look just at a single transaction, brands need to have access to all of a customer’s engagements and interactions over time to deliver better personalized experiences. Achieving this starts with having ownership over all customer data and synthesizing it into a comprehensive view of each individual. Data tools such as Acquia’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) accomplish this through unifying customer data collected across multiple channels and systems and cleansing and standardizing this data to make it accessible to marketers in real time. According to a 2020 consumer loyalty study by BOND, “Loyalty program members who receive relevant offers that become more relevant over time are 8× more likely to go out of their way to use them.” This requires tailoring your personalization strategy and pivoting to changes in consumer behavior based on real time data.
Acquia CDP uses machine learning and analytics to gain insight into what buyers convert from retail-only or web-only shoppers to omnichannel shoppers and the time of their purchase. By tracking the migration of a specific customer segment from one channel to another over time, marketers could understand the ROI of their campaigns as a whole. Through the CDP’s Metrics Launchpad and visual dashboards, marketers have the power to drill into specific cohorts as they need to derive key insights.
To keep up with changing expectations around technology, retailers need to extend their loyalty strategy to span multiple channels both online and in-store. A CDP that unifies data from both online and offline channels can give brands a more detailed look into a customer’s overall relationship with their brand in a multiexperience landscape.
Analyzing the Time from Loyalty Enrollment to Purchase
Recently, one major retail brand using Acquia CDP wanted to understand the time between when a customer signed up for a loyalty program and their next purchase. The brand worked with Acquia’s data analyst experts to develop a custom dashboard that measured the time between Loyalty Sign-Up Date and Loyalty First Transaction Date for each customer that enrolled in their rewards program.
The robust analytics capabilities and reliable data model within the CDP allowed the retail brand to analyze how effective their current rewards were in supporting customer retention efforts and compare the conversion performance of each sign up channel. Overall, they found that 62% of new reward members made a purchase within a week after signing up.
This insight can allow brands to see which group of customers within a specific cohort are actually consistent brand loyalists and allow marketers to focus their attention on keeping those relationships strong through increasingly personalized offers. Conversely, this analysis also shows customers the brand could consider a re-engagement campaign for the segment of inactive loyalty customers, encouraging them to take advantage of their points.
With the recent move to more digital-first and contactless retail experiences, retailers who can provide a shopping experience with multiple layers of value will likely prevail in getting customers to stick around for the long haul. Activating all customer data to tailor personalized customer experiences will help brands build lasting connections with customers beyond just handing out a punch card or discount card.
For more information on how to apply a data-driven approach to your customer loyalty strategy, check out our e-book: Who Are Your Best Customers? Rethinking Customer Loyalty in a Digital-First World.