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5 Loyalty program trends that won’t be going anywhere in 2024



Like almost everything, loyalty programs go through trends, new ways to engage users, new ways to deliver experiences and new ways to beat your competition. Here’s 5 loyalty program trends that we think won’t be going anywhere.

…But just before we get into it, if 600 words is going to take up a little too much time for you right now:

TL/DR:

  1. Gamification – makes it fun, engaging and drives people to return to you again and again.

  2. Instant rewards –instant gratification drives engagement and interaction.

  3. Tiered programs – opportunities for growth and more growth, the more they spend, the more they get.

  4. Personalisation – being relevant in as many ways as necessary *will* engage people and drive more action.

  5. Experiences as rewards – they create deeper and more meaningful connections with your brand.

Right, now for the good stuff, how to choose the right approach for you.

1. Gamification


Engagement, engagement, engagement. We can’t say it enough. In this case, using it to increase brand awareness, positive sentiment and ultimately, customer loyalty. In loyalty programs you can use it to add a competitive element, drawing your users in and creating enjoyment, who can resist a bit of competition. By gamifying a loyalty program, you create an incentive for customers to engage with your brand and a point of difference from your competitors.


An added bonus of this approach is it can provide valuable information for your user and inspire user-generated content. Different types of gamification can be used depending on your customer base, your business goals and what you’re trying to achieve through the program. Know your customers and challenge them accordingly.

2. Instant rewards


It seems to be all about instant gratification these days, and why should your loyalty program be any different? Instant rewards reinforce positive behaviour and encourage repeat purchases. That sense of instant value can be more motivating than long-term benefits, not to mention enhancing customer satisfaction and engagement, increasing the likelihood of longer-term loyalty.


We can look at instant rewards in a couple of different ways. One is that you can offer them as rewards for birthdays, anniversaries, performing specific actions or simply because they deserve one, and who doesn’t appreciate that! The second is to offer instantly redeemable rewards, such as gift vouchers. Merchandise and experiences mean that a customer must wait, but some rewards could be delivered instantly, for example gift vouchers.

3. Tiered programs


Motivation. We all need it from time to time and tiered programs is where it comes into its own. Motivating increased spending with every purchase made, setting targets for a reward and giving them the option to continue earning for something bigger and better. The higher the tier, the more valuable the reward and that little enticement is often all that’s needed to reach for more.


Tiers need to be chosen based on how much your customers spend and engage. It’s important to structure them based on customer behaviour, you don’t want to put off spending with an unachievable goal. This just risks disillusionment with the entire process. Equally, you don’t want to make it too easy and be giving away too much, discrediting the program as well as costing yourself.

4. Personalisation


Never underestimate the personal touch, it makes people feel special. As if what you’re offering was designed with them in mind, and who doesn’t love that! In this case that connection with the customer can encourage repeat purchases, increased sales, reduced attrition, improved loyalty and increased satisfaction.


It’s not news that personalisation has become commonplace. Almost all communication these days includes at least your name. But there are many different ways to personalise interactions with your customers. With the right data you can send your customers the details of their closest store, highlight items or products they are likely to be interested in and tailor different rewards depending on their interests. It’s all about the right message to the right person at the right time and frankly, the right name should be a gimme!

5. Experiences as rewards


This is all about creating that emotional connection with your customer, no matter how subtle it will impact on their choice as to where to put their money. Experiences as rewards focuses on the personal aspects and really makes your customers feel considered. They are unique, focusing on creating memories and a fantastic way to stand out and drive better results. In this case it’s not even necessarily about the value of the reward the customer receives but the value to the customer of the experience.


This approach offers you a high chance of success as it gives your customer something they really want but wouldn’t feel comfortable buying for themselves. How many of us would like to have our favourite chef cook us a meal? Ah, but would you buy yourself it?

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