Customer Loyalty Program Best Practices: Nichole Gunn Featured in Independent Retailer Magazine

by: Luke Kreitner March 11, 2020

Interested in learning more about the best practices for customer loyalty programs in retail? Independent Retailer recently asked Incentive Solutions VP of Marketing and Creative Services Nichole Gunn to share how retailers can create effective customer loyalty programs.

After all, to quote Nichole:

The customer is always right, but not always loyal. Retail establishments across every industry are aware of this. However, it can be tough to create scalable, measurable solutions to keep customers engaged and emotionally connected to your brand — whether or not they are in your store.

8 Best Practices for Customer Loyalty Programs in Retail

In “Customer Incentive Programs That Drive Loyalty and Growth,” Nichole Gunn shares eight customer loyalty program ideas for retailers. Better yet, by using the right loyalty program software platforms, retailers can incorporate these best practices and build their loyalty programs to scale.

1. Offer non-cash rewards.

Non-cash rewards are more motivational, memorable, and cost effective than price-related discounts.

2. Scale the value proposition of your program to appeal to a wide range of customers.

Provide a vast selection of rewards, with easily-attainable rewards for part-time customers and high end items and experiences for top customers.

3. Focus on personalization.

Customer loyalty programs are about more than rewards. By segmenting your audience and using analytics, your loyalty program is a chance to get closer to the one-to-one interaction customers and marketers both crave.

4. Use your customer loyalty program as a source of customer data.

Customers will be far more eager to exchange information for a reward-earning opportunity than they would be otherwise.

5. Give customers a way to connect – on their terms.

Using digital, mobile-ready loyalty software platforms give customers a chance to have fun, compelling, rewarding interactions with your brand – on the reg!

6. Communicate across every touchpoint.

Email, SMS, push notifications, site announcements…today’s customers want it all. Loyalty reward program communication is super effective. Just check out this case study!

7. Incorporate gamification into your loyalty program.

Loyalty program gamification is a trend that’s on the rise. For customer loyalty programs in retail, gamification is a way to capture the hearts and minds of your customers even when they’re not in the store.

8. Strategically structure promotions to align with your organizational goals.

The ability to structure multiple promotions gives retailers a way to target strategic sales and marketing initiatives while making their customer loyalty program more personalized and engaging.

Are These Best Practices Relevant to B2B Loyalty Programs?

Following these best practices will help retailers create exceptional customer loyalty programs. But are they relevant to the manufacturers and distributors who want to build loyalty with buyers and channel partners?

Although there are several key differences between customer loyalty programs in retail and B2B loyalty programs, the answer is yes. Today’s B2B buyers expect the kind of rewarding brand engagements that they have become accustomed to through retail experiences. However, a key difference is that manufacturers need to be even more personalized and strategic, since B2B purchases are investment-heavy and rooted in long-term partnerships.

For advice geared specifically for readers in the B2B space, check out our latest e-book!

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About Luke Kreitner

Luke Kreitner is the VP of Sales at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that specializes in helping B2B businesses accelerate growth, increase sales, motivate channel partners and retain B2B customers.