Why Multichannel is so important for Modern Retail Loyalty Programs!

October 19, 2021
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However, have you ever wondered how retail loyalty has evolved and why some of the best loyalty programs follow a multichannel approach? Perhaps because of the fact that Retail Loyalty Programs benefit customers and Brick And Mortar Stores. The multichannel approach can literally generate an additional 10 to 35% in sales in any business easily.

Providing a retail loyalty program comprising multiple channels is one of the best ways to engage consumers and establish brand loyalty. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of multichannel engagement for online shoppers. As more shopping searches are done through voice search, it’s important to look at retail loyalty in a multichannel way.

What is a multichannel approach?

The multichannel approach refers to a marketing strategy that is carried out across multiple channels, such as traditional brick-and-mortar stores, online retail stores, and digital interaction channels like mobile sites and social media. You might also come across the term omnichannel as opposed to multichannel, but they are essentially the same thing.

The Evolution of the Modern Loyalty Programs-

The era of the unbending, single-channel loyalty program is over. Retail loyalty programs are no longer one-size-fits-all. Customers are now more selective about how and when they engage with your brand, demanding the newest and greatest perks, and taking the time to make an informed decision about how much reward each loyalty program will deliver. As a result, businesses have been forced to adapt.

With the rise of technology came an opportunity to launch multichannel loyalty programs that can adapt accordingly based on customer preferences and behavior. By connecting digital platforms such as social media and email, businesses can collect data in real-time from customers to ensure a bespoke experience in return for every engagement.

Today, when we are talking about the importance of multichannel in retail loyalty programs in order to build customer loyalty, we must recall two major retail companies – Walmart and American Express who have launched their own multichannel loyalty programs and are considered as one of the top players in the game. It’s interesting to see how customers react to these programs and whether they will succeed or not.

In 2010, Wal-Mart launched the “Everyday Low Prices” campaign that was deemed the largest ever marketing campaign in retailing history with a budget of $850 million. In spite of this large allowance by the management, there were many aspects of the campaign that fell short of expectations and returns were not commensurate with the investment made. Within a year of its launch, it was scaled down to $75 million. Some analysts also attributed Wal-Mart’s underperformance in 2012 to its refusal to have a multichannel approach for its loyalty program which could have helped it gain price leadership over Amazon and Target.

Why multichannel loyalty programs are needed?

One of the key reasons customers are turning away from loyalty schemes is that they want more for their store credit. They want a complete, end-to-end experience with their brands, whether it’s online, on the high street, and at the airport. And this means that if your brand is looking to win back customers and secure their loyalty, you have to offer rewards which give them everything they need – online, mobile, and in store.

The Future of Digital Loyalty Programs-

Software as a Service (Saas) has been a multi-billion dollar industry for the best part of a decade, proof positive that customers desire the kind of functionality of loyalty that they come to expect from other services. When it comes to customer relationship management, customers like to feel that their actions have a positive impact and they want to feel it as immediately as possible.

The SaaS model is fantastic because it allows for the quick incorporation of customer feedback into the product. By its very nature, the software can be updated and improved quickly and easily. This means that companies are much more likely to respond to customer needs than if they had a traditional, bespoke loyalty strategy in place.

Many retail loyalty programs are simply multi-channel apps that live as separate SaaS offerings, including a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The challenge for retailers is that they can’t deliver the digital transformation required to be relevant in 2017 without first transforming their CRM into an omnichannel platform.

However, frequent shoppers have a reputation for being brand loyal because of their customer-centric philosophy, and the best retail loyalty programs will take advantage of how well these customers respond to a multichannel approach. These businesses are using SaaS to provide their retailers with a technology platform that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime by staff; something that means they can take immediate action and thereby enhance customer experience.

The Bottom Line- All of the best loyalty campaigns are multichannel and still retailers find it difficult to adapt to multichannel customer preferences despite their enormous strengths in different areas. The 1 thing you need to jumpstart your loyalty program campaign is a solution that is technological prowess and design sensibility to lead the next wave of multichannel interaction. Vinculum offers you exactly the same. Learn more about how Vinculum Solutions can help you plan your loyalty program campaigns, product features

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