Why you need omnichannel loyalty programs

Omnichannel loyalty programs
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As the lines between communications channels are blurring more and more every day, marketing professionals are struggling to deliver consistent and personalized shopping experiences to customers.

Today’s empowered customers are channel-agnostic and constantly seeking for convenience and consistency wherever they are in their customer journey. They expect to get the same experience as when they shop online where they get personalized recommendations, detailed product information, access to reviews and inventory and can seamlessly compare prices of products.

Related: How to delight the multi-channel shopper

To meet these elevated store expectations and move at the speed of customers, retailers need to put the customer at the center of every action they take. They also need to invest in technology, new tools, and strategies.

In this context, omnichannel loyalty programs can be a powerful tool for retailers during this demanding and ongoing process. But, how is an omnichannel program different from a traditional one? Are these programs more effective?

Traditional loyalty programs vs. Omnichannel programs

An omnichannel program is a loyalty program that is based on an omnichannel strategy. This means that it first takes into consideration the multi-channel behavior of today’s shopper. Moreover, it doesn’t only reward customers when they make purchases, as most traditional programs do. On the contrary, omnichannel programs go beyond purchases; they encourage members to engage with the brand both in online and offline channels. By enabling members to interact in-store and online, as well as in-app and get multiple rewards, brands connect with the consumers in more meaningful ways at the right time and context. Omnichannel combine a customer-centric approach with technology and use customer’s data throughout the customer journey.

Related: Why your loyalty program shouldn’t just reward purchases

Leverage unified customer data

Imagine being able to identify each customer that steps into your physical store or site and dynamically personalize your brand’s messages and content based on the customer’s shopping behavior, past purchases, preferences, and location. Data is the only way to turn this into a reality. Data capture enables brands drive personalized communications, thus better customer experiences.

But most retailers still don’t have access to in-store analytics or haven’t implemented the right technology to unify data from all channels. Most of the time, unless a shopper completes a purchase with a loyalty card in a physical store, transactions are anonymous. When data is siloed, brands cannot properly reach their customers and create relevant experiences. Omnichannel loyalty programs provide retailers with personalization capabilities, enable them to track and analyze the complex shopping behavior and finally bridge the gap between online data and in-store experiences.

All in all, an elevated approach to your loyalty strategy is essential to your business if you aim to retain today’s customers and future-proof marketing effectiveness. Understand customer desires, use everything you know about your customers to be able to create campaigns that customers do not ignore and invest in technology to leverage the customer experience.

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