Leveraging the Power of Loyalty Cards: How to Keep Customers Coming Back
The Benefits of Plastic Loyalty Cards
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, hence businesses often look for ways to ensure their customers remain loyal. Loyalty cards have thus become an increasingly important tool for businesses, as they allow them to reward customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits. Plastic loyalty cards are an ideal method of creating a customer loyalty program as they come with a low cost of entry and offer a number of valuable benefits to both businesses and customers.
Pros and Cons of Plastic Loyalty Cards
Plastic loyalty cards are an attractive proposition for businesses, as they are both cost-effective and easy to use. Some of the key advantages of introducing plastic loyalty cards include:
- Low setup costs: businesses don't need to invest in any special equipment to set up and use plastic loyalty cards.
- Flexible rewards: plastic loyalty cards enable businesses to reward customers based on their level of loyalty.
- Reduced risk of fraud: compared to other forms of loyalty programs, plastic loyalty cards help to reduce risk of fraud, as they are difficult to copy or counterfeit.
- Easy to integrate: businesses don't need to invest in any additional software solutions to integrate plastic loyalty cards into their existing systems.
Despite the benefits of plastic loyalty cards, there are some disadvantages to consider. These include:
- Time consuming for customers: for customers to make the most out of plastic loyalty cards, they must take the time to become familiar with the loyalty program and remember to present their card in order to collect rewards.
- Fragile: due to their lightweight material, plastic loyalty cards can easily be damaged in wallets or purses, reducing their lifespan.
- Data protection concerns: businesses must also take care to ensure sensitive customer data is kept secure.
To illustrate the effectiveness of plastic loyalty cards, here are two case studies involving successful loyalty programs:
Starbucks launched its My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program in 2009. Customers were incentivised to use the company's plastic loyalty cards by being rewarded with free drinks after accumulating a certain number of points. This program proved to be a great success; within three years, the number of customers enrolled in the loyalty program had increased to more than 10 million - a testament to the benefits offered by plastic loyalty cards.
Target is another example of a company that has benefitted greatly from its plastic loyalty card program. Since the introduction of the Target REDcard in 1999, the program has grown significantly, with 44 million customers enrolled in 2016, up from 27 million in 2009. The program's success can be attributed to its ease of use, low cost of entry, and the ability to accumulate points quickly.
Here are some frequently asked questions about plastic loyalty cards:
Q: What are the benefits of using plastic loyalty cards?
A: Plastic loyalty cards offer a number of benefits to businesses and customers alike. For businesses, they provide a cost-effective way of rewarding customer loyalty and generating repeat visits. For customers, they offer an easy way of accumulating rewards points and taking advantage of discounts and special offers.
Q: Are plastic loyalty cards secure?
A: Generally speaking, yes. Plastic loyalty cards are difficult to copy and counterfeit, so they provide a level of security that cannot be achieved with other types of loyalty cards. Of course, businesses must ensure that any sensitive customer data is kept secure and confidential.
Mistakes to Avoid
When setting up a plastic loyalty card program, there are a few mistakes businesses should try to avoid. These mistakes include:
- Neglecting to engage with customers: businesses should not simply set up a loyalty program and expect customers to sign up. Rather, businesses should engage with their customers and encourage them to sign up and take advantage of the loyalty program.
- Not offering sufficient rewards: businesses should ensure that the rewards on offer are attractive enough to incentivise customers to sign up and remain loyal.
- Not investing in data security: as mentioned previously, it is important for businesses to take the necessary precautions to ensure customer data is kept secure.
If businesses follow the best practices when setting up a plastic loyalty card program, they will be on the right path to success. Here are some key best practices to keep in mind:
- Keep it simple: businesses should keep their loyalty programs as simple as possible, so that customers can easily understand how the program works.
- Offer rewards that matter: businesses should not only offer discounts and gift cards, but also focus on rewards that their customers value, such as exclusive access to products or special events.
- Encourage engagement: businesses should actively engage with their customers and encourage them to make the most of their loyalty programs.
When used properly, plastic loyalty cards offer a multitude of benefits to businesses and customers alike, from cost-effectiveness to added security. In order to take full advantage of these benefits, it is important for businesses to take the time to engage with their customers and ensure their loyalty program is tailored to meet their needs.