Team eCommerce Next interviewed Charlie Casey from LoyaltyLion to get more insights on Loyalty programs and trends/predictions for 2022. Following is our interview with him:
2022 is approaching quickly, what ecommerce trend excites you the most?
This year, retailers were faced with privacy updates left, right, and center. As we approach
2022, I’m excited to see more and more retailers use their loyalty programs to empower
customers to share data on their own terms. In exchange for VIP experiences (like membership to community spaces), we’ve seen customers wanting to hand over their personal preferences and data. With this, retailers can serve up hyper-personalized experiences that keep shoppers loyal. I’m excited to see more of this continue next year.
I’m also excited about the rise of the conscious consumer and that sustainability continues to play an important role in business success. Customers are increasingly more likely to buy products and remain loyal to stores that prioritize sustainability or support charitable causes that align with their own personal passions.
As we move into an opt-out era, how can ecommerce brands still target and personalize their marketing?
As data privacy comes to the forefront of consumers’ minds, we find ourselves at a juncture where third-party data points aren’t enough to effectively target customers if they opt out. Brands should instead give customers reasons to want to share their own data. By telling customers they’ll get a more valuable experience if they share their preferences (like the opportunity to earn loyalty points on their favorite products), customers will be motivated to hand over more data points in exchange for a tailored experience with the brands they love.
With digital advertising costs rising, how can retailers bring in new customers more costeffectively?
Using your existing customers as an acquisition tool is the best way to go. Customers acquired through referrals have a 16% higher lifetime value than shoppers brought in other ways. This is because they’ve been recommended by someone they trust. Plus, this method is cost-effective as you’re working with shoppers you’ve already acquired without any additional spending.
Retailers should then seek to reward their existing customers for every successful referral they make with loyalty points they can spend on purchases down the line. Or, if a customer has left a positive review, retailers could reach out to these already happy shoppers, asking them to make a referral on their behalf.
With challenges like the pandemic and supply chain shortages testing brands, how can retailers use loyalty programs to maintain a positive relationship with their customers?
Loyalty programs that appeal to the aspirations of customers maintain a positive relationship with customers. With program tiers, retailers can give customers more exclusive perks the more they engage and spend with the brand (like free shipping or birthday gifts). This will build a positive relationship as they’ll know their loyalty is being valued and rewarded.
Retailers will also maintain positive relationships by rewarding shoppers loyalty points as an
apology if they have a problem with their order or make a complaint. This will show shoppers that the brand wants their experience to be as painless as possible and will maintain a positive relationship at a time where traditionally the relationship could be tainted.
What advice would you give a marketer in your industry right now?
My advice would be to bring customer loyalty and retention into the heart of all your marketing. This includes retargeting existing customers on social media, in emails, and SMS, as well as integrating a loyalty program with all existing marketing technologies. This will mean that every single channel and tool can be enriched with more data points for personalization and automation. By making loyalty and retention a focus, marketers will see business-wide growth (as they’ll grow the LTV of already acquired customers) all while saving time and money.
How can retailers better appeal to the conscious consumer of today?
Our latest research showed that shoppers in the US and UK favor brands that offer the
opportunity to contribute to a charity or initiative aligned with their values. To better appeal to conscious consumers, retailers should let shoppers trade in loyalty points for charitable
donations that align with their customers’ values. For example, the sustainable clothing brand, Zorali, lets their customers trade in loyalty points to plant a tree. This will show shoppers who are eco-conscious that these brands care about the same challenges they do. Overall, this will mean these shoppers will choose these thoughtful brands over others in the market that don’t go the extra mile.
About Charlie Casey
Charlie Casey is CEO and Co-Founder of LoyaltyLion, a data-driven loyalty and engagement
platform that powers ecommerce growth. Proven to increase retention and spend, LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of fast-growth ecommerce merchants worldwide. Prior to founding LoyaltyLion, Charlie joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as an Economics Advisor before becoming a consultant at Deloitte.
LoyaltyLion helps fast-growth ecommerce merchants turn unengaged customer bases into
active communities that power longer-lasting relationships and sustainable growth. Use loyalty data and insights to connect and accelerate your marketing efforts and drive more revenue from a subsection of highly engaged, highly valuable customers.