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Detailed Guide for An Effective Customer Loyalty Program in 2023

by Julie Nguyen
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Loyalty program

As we all know, customer loyalty is a great way to increase revenue and keep customers coming back. In fact, 84% of consumers say they’re more likely to stick with a brand that offers a loyalty program. And up to 66% of consumers admit the ability to earn rewards actually changes their shopping behavior.

Acquiring new customers can be a costly investment for brands, which is why many companies focus on loyalty and rewards programs for their repeat customers instead. Even though customer loyalty programs can be effective, they’re not new by any means. That’s why some retailers are looking to break the mold and find innovative new ways to build rewards programs that will truly inspire customer loyalty.

To solve this problem, we will discuss what a customer loyalty program is, how a business can benefit from it, and how it can work for a business. Most importantly, this blog will cover some ways to build an effective customer loyalty program to keep customers loyal to your business.

Let’s get started!

What is a customer loyalty program?

A loyalty program is a system designed to encourage customers to continue doing business with a company. 

Those programs can be sponsored by retailers, businesses, or even individuals. 

66% of loyalty program members spend more money to maximize points earnings Bond Brand Loyalty

As we all know, incentivizing customers with points is an effective way to get them to spend more on brands.  And with a loyalty program, customers earn these points for every purchase they make, which customers can redeem for discounts, coupons, freebies, free shipping, or other rewards. The more points a customer accumulates, the greater the rewards they can earn. 

With a loyalty program, customers can earn points for every purchase they make

With a loyalty program, customers can earn points for every purchase they make

So if you’re looking for a way to show your appreciation to your customers, a loyalty program can be a perfect solution to keep customers coming back. Moreover, it can be used to increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.

Benefits of customer loyalty programs 

Loyalty programs have proven to be one of the most effective ways for retaining customers by rewarding them. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that such programs offer tons of benefits for businesses and consumers alike.

customer loyalty

Customer loyalty programs can be an excellent way for businesses to show appreciation for their customers

1. For businesses

Loyalty programs can help increase customer retention and boost sales. Not to mention, you can also gain deeper and more valuable insights into your customer’s shopping behaviors. 

To be particular, a loyalty program provides additional data points based on what types of products are often purchased together and whether specific incentives are more effective than others. This data can be used to improve your business products and services

This eventually helps improve both your customer experience and your conversions as well.

2. For customers

Loyalty programs can provide customers with savings on purchases, rewards for spending, and early access to exclusive products, deals, and offers. Moreover, customer loyalty programs can be an essential part of a business’s marketing strategy and can be tailored to fit the company’s specific needs. 

For example, a business might offer a loyalty program that gives customers a discount on their next purchase if they spend a certain amount of money in a given period of time. 

Or, a business might offer a loyalty program that gives customers points for every purchase they make, which can be redeemed for rewards such as discounts, free items, or exclusive access to sales and events.

Overall, loyalty programs can also be an excellent way for businesses to show appreciation for their customers. By offering benefits and rewards, companies can let their customers know they value their patronage. This can help create a strong sense of customer loyalty which can, in turn, lead to repeat purchasing and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

The customer loyalty program can lead to repeat purchasing and positive word-of-mouth marketing

The customer loyalty program can lead to repeat purchasing and positive word-of-mouth marketing

Now that you have acknowledged what a customer loyalty program can bring to your business, it’s time you start working on it. Still, you will need to find an app to create loyalty programs that suits your needs and budget. 

Best Shopify loyalty app to implement your campaign

Before discussing the app options, there are 9 key features that the best Shopify loyalty program apps should have. Let’s review them quickly, so you will know what to look for when choosing a customer-loyal app for your store.

  1. Easy setup with no coding required
  2. A user-friendly interface
  3. Deliver personalized offers
  4. Automated loyalty program management
  5. The ability to handle customer data securely and efficiently
  6. Support multi-lingual 
  7. Reasonable price
  8. Integration with other Shopify apps
  9. Timely customer support

So now, are you thinking of going to the Shopify app store and browsing for loyalty apps that meet the 9 criteria above? 

No, you don’t have to do that. Cause we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the top 3 customer loyalty apps for the job without breaking the bank. So, be sure to check out our top picks!

1. OneLoyalty ‑ Loyalty & Rewards by Onecommerce

Rating: 4.0/5

Pricing: Free 

If you’ve been running a store on Shopify for a while now, you might have noticed that it’s getting harder to attach your customers to an old, less exciting loyalty program. And you know your loyalty program will only be successful if you make it attractive and valuable to customers. 

Luckily, OneLoyalty has the tools you need to make your campaigns more engaging, and it‘s completely FREE!

customer loyalty

Highlight Features

  • A rich template library that includes widgets, email templates, and more to get you started quickly and easily. 
  • Multi-lingual loyalty widget: the app helps auto-translate your loyalty widget into any language that’s in your Shopify Market settings
  • Exciting point-earning missions: motivate customers to complete fun-filled missions to earn points: Joining your loyalty program, Placing an order, Engaging on social media, Celebrating birthdays, etc.
  • Diverse redemption options: customers can earn redeemed points for various rewards, like discounts, free shipping, or products
  • VIP tiered programs: pamper your most loyal customers with VIP treatments. Give them VIP status and better accessibility to more exclusive deals and discounts!
  • Automatic email: keep your customers in the loop with their points, VIP status, and birthday presents using our fully-customizable email templates

2. Loyalty, rewards & referrals by LoyaltyLion

Rating: 4.4/5

Pricing: From $159/month. Free plan available.

customer loyalty

LoyaltyLion is another eCommerce business tool that helps retain customers by adding a loyalty and rewards program. You can add it to your store in minutes without any technical expertise required. By encouraging customers to redeem points for rewards at your store, you increase the chances of them staying loyal to you and increase your store’s revenue. With a free plan available, you can enjoy your own unique loyalty program that reflects your brand identity. However, this app offers limited features. If you want to add advanced features, you will be charged (from) $5/month. 

Highlight Features

  • A loyalty program as unique as your brand: bring your brand to life and create emotional connections through your loyal program
  • More significant gains in customer lifetime value: Increase engagement, repeat purchase rates, and average order values with points awarded for non-transaction activity.
  • Personalize experience wherever your customers are: Turn your existing shoppers into advocates and a cost-effective acquisition channel.

3. Gift Cards & Loyalty Program by Rise.ai

Rating: 4.8/5

Pricing: From $19.99/month. 7-day free trial. Additional charges may apply.

customer loyalty

The Rise app is a fantastic tool for small businesses that want to establish a customer loyalty program. By using automated store credit rewards, companies can attract a loyal customer base that will act as brand ambassadors and help spread word of mouth. 

Plus, customers can send branded Gift Cards directly to recipients using the Gift Card gallery & customization options. However, the monthly pricing may be too high for new merchants: the starter plan 19.99$/month, and for small businesses 59.99$/month.

Highlight Features

  • Build your gift card program: flexibly build an enhanced Gift Card and Store Credit program on every Shopify plan.
  • Automatic Rules and Custom recommendations for sending Store Credit: create as many rules as you want to boost member loyalty, satisfaction, and retention.
  • Increase marketing capabilities by using bulk gift cards: send a bulk gift card and bulk discount campaigns.
  • One-click checkout: quickly apply and easy to custom – all vitals included.

How to create a customer loyalty program on Shopify

With a customer loyalty program, you can offer incentives like discounts, coupons, and exclusive deals to keep your customers coming back. Therefore, it’s time for you to learn how to create one and reward your best customers for winning their loyalty.

Additionally, there are a couple of really good options for you to consider, such as Oneloyalty (completely FREE) or LoyaltyLion( with a free plan included or a starter plan from $159 per month). No matter what app you choose, remember that your choice should come down to your specific needs, budget and preferences.

Once you’ve decided on the app you want, it’s time to choose the type of loyalty program you want. The 2 most common types are:

  • Points Programs: Customers can earn points through purchases and actions at your Shopify store, which they can later redeem for free products, free shipping, cash back, discounts, or coupons.
  • Tiered Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs with multiple tiers are designed to offer increasingly valuable rewards to members as they reach certain milestones. These milestones are often measured in money spent, so the more members spend, the more they progress through the tiers.
Customers can earn points through purchases and actions at your Shopify store

Customers can earn points through purchases and actions at your Shopify store

So, have you decided on the loyalty program you want to set up for your business yet? If so, great! As you get started, here are six things to keep in mind.

1. Keep everything simple and concise

It’s essential to keep your loyalty and rewards program simple and concise so that your customers don’t get overwhelmed and give up on using it. You can use a digital customer experience platform to improve customer service and explain things in a way that is easy for them to understand. This will help keep them engaged with your program so that they continue using it.

2. Research what motivates your customers

Before offering customers any type of loyalty or rewards program, it is crucial to do your research and first understand what your target audience is and what motivates them. Then, what are they looking for in such a deal? What would they find valuable? 

With this crucial information, it’ll be easier to create a successful program that meets the needs and wants of your customers.

One of the best ways to know what will work best for your customers is to simply ask them for their feedback! You can get their input through post-purchase surveys, social media polls, or email campaigns. This way, you can remove any guesswork and tailor your approach to what your customers want. 

3. Don’t set too difficult or time-consuming goals 

If your rewards program is too difficult to complete or customers have to invest a lot of time to get a reward, they’ll likely give up on it altogether. As a result, this will leave you feeling frustrated and like you’ve wasted your time and energy. 

Instead, you should focus on setting attainable goals that will provide a sense of accomplishment for your customers.

4. Introduce personalization

Something as small as sending out birthday cards or greeting your customers by name can significantly impact your relationship with them. By going the extra mile to show your best customers that you appreciate their business, you’ll inspire them to continue shopping with you in the future.

5. Keep your loyalty program engaging and exciting

It’s important to keep your loyalty program engaging and exciting to stand out from the rest. With so many different programs available, most customers already participate in several others. So, if your want to keep them interested in yours, you need to make sure it has plenty of perks and benefits that they’ll appreciate.

6. Be prepared to adjust your plans

As your business grows with time, your customer loyalty program should grow along with it. Therefore, be prepared to change and update your loyalty program as needed to ensure that it is still relevant and provides value to your customers.

Conclusion

A customer loyalty program is an excellent way to encourage repeat customers and increase brand value. Besides, loyalty programs can incentivize repeat purchases, drive customer engagement, or retain customers. Therefore, it is essential to consider how involved you want your program to be and what your end goal is in establishing it. 

We hope you enjoyed OneCommerce‘s article about customer loyalty programs. With this helpful knowledge, you can build your own loyalty program and improve your campaign. So, if you haven’t created a loyalty program for your Shopify store yet, it is the perfect time to get started!

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