Loyalty programs have long been a popular customer retention tool among brands and retailers. They encourage members to come back to the business by offering a variety of incentives that are not accessible to those not in the program.
Omnichannel loyalty programs have expanded on traditional loyalty programs to give members an even more rewarding experience. What makes a loyalty program omnichannel is that it engages customers across all channels. This means that to be truly omnichannel, a loyalty program must be accessible via browser, mobile app, and in-store.
Traditional Vs Omnichannel Loyalty Programs
There are important distinctions between traditional and omnichannel loyalty programs.
- Traditional: Besides only being usable on one sales channel, traditional loyalty programs focus almost entirely on incentivizing users with points that can be redeemed for discounts.
- Omnichannel: These types of loyalty programs focus more on engagement than simply incentivizing transactions. They are more interactive and often feature high levels of gamification to create an immersive experience that encourages customers to interact with the brand even when they aren’t looking to make a purchase.
In omnichannel loyalty programs, customers have the ability to gain points from actions beyond making purchases. This includes taking surveys, rating products, or simply logging into their account. Brands are able to use the vast amount of customer data collected across different sales channels to provide users a more personalized experience. Because all touchpoints are connected, customers are able to use exclusive offers stored on their mobile app to get special deals when shopping in-store.
With omnichannel programs, it is also easier for retailers to use tiers to reward the most loyal customers based on activity. Members can buy or engage anywhere and easily track their rewards status on any device so it is clear what tier they are in and what they need to do to reach the next level.
Omnichannel Loyalty Program Examples
Ulta (Ultamate Rewards)
The Ultamate Rewards program is a great example of how to use tiers to encourage customers to consistently engage with the brand. There are three tiers based on how much you spend annually. Everyone starts on the Member tier. Those who spend between $500 and $1,200 move to the Platinum tier, and anyone spending over $1,200 moves to the Diamond tier.
The rate at which you earn rewards increases based on your tier. For example, Platinum members earn 1.25 points per $1 spent while Diamond members earn 1.5. All users get free gifts on their birthday and the higher tiered members get additional benefits such as free shipping on orders over $25.
The mobile app presents users with personalized content and you can easily track your points and manage your offers in a single place.
Bed Bath and Beyond (Beyond+)
The Beyond+ loyalty program has an annual membership fee of $29 but this fee is well worth it given all the benefits you can receive.
Members get 20% off every order whether it’s made in-store, online, or via mobile app, as well as free shipping on all orders and access to exclusive offers and member shopping events.
You can access the exclusive offers directly on your phone via the Bed Bath and Beyond mobile app and present in-store when you checkout. If you place an order online while logged into your account the 20% discount will automatically be applied.
North Face (VIPeak)
The North Face VIPeak program is a great example of an omnichannel loyalty program that focuses on more than just buying products to get discounts. Yes, members do earn points for every $1 they spend whether online, in-store, or via app. But what stands out is the ability to earn points for other actions such as exploring national parks and monuments, bringing your own bag while shopping in-store, or referring friends to join the program.
The points build up in your account and three times a year the points are converted into a reward based on your point level. There are three levels, the first beginning at 2,000 points and the last beginning at 5,000 points.
The mobile app allows you to check-in at national parks to earn your points and it also showcases personalized gear and product recommendations. Members of the VIPeak program also get access to member-only sales and access to limited edition products.
Powering Omnichannel Loyalty with Headless Services
Running an omnichannel loyalty program requires a flexible suite of technical solutions. To help give retailers the tools they need to run their rewards program, Fabric will soon be launching a customer loyalty app that functions as a headless commerce service. Unburdened by frontend components, you can plug the service into your existing frontend system to provide a seamless loyalty program across all channels.