“Retailers understand that it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to keep their existing ones happy.” [Epsilon, 2014].
It’s also widely recognized that marketers use data analytics, often acquired through loyalty programs, to gain insight into their customers’ behavior to provide customized campaigns, exceptional customer experience and customer service.
The recent merger of two of the largest grocery chains, Albertsons and Safeway, has many speculating that the Safeway Club Card loyalty program could be eliminated. Following the move made by the Canadian division of Safeway, recently acquired by Sobeys, to chop the Safeway loyalty program.
What does this mean for the future of other retailer loyalty programs? And for the data that has historically been collected through these programs?
Customer loyalty and data can still be acquired through other channels that can work complementary to or outside of a traditional loyalty program model .
Customized Coupon Portal: Retailers can offer access to a customer portal that houses personalized promotional offers.
Social Media: Use social media as a tool for your customers to share digital coupons while identifying your top brand influencers and advocates.
Cross-channel marketing: Optimize and distribute your digital promotional offers across all marketing channels to create a seamless customer experience.
One thing is certain, big data is the new competitive advantage. Big data analytics are providing retailers with a new world of information about purchasing behavior, location, social media influence, and various other trends related to their customers.
Whether via a loyalty scheme or not, retailers must be digitally equipped to collect insightful customer data that can be turned into actionable and highly targeted marketing strategies, boosting profits for the retailer and creating an enjoyable experience for the loyal customer.