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Loyalty Schemes for Small Businesses

It’s not just the big players that can benefit from a good loyalty scheme. We’ve all seen the cards produced by leading supermarkets and brand outlets that offer regular customers great deals and points to buy more products.

But smaller businesses can benefit by operating a loyalty scheme too. After all, it makes sense to keep the customers you already have and this is a powerful strategy for ensuring they stay with you and are rewarded for doing so.

The main benefits of a loyalty scheme are:

  • Loyalty Schemes for Small BusinessesIt encourages your existing customers to keep on buying.
  • It sets you apart from your competition.
  • It’s inexpensive to set up and run.
  • It encourages new customers to come on board.
  • It keeps your customers happy.

Larger companies have long known the value of the loyalty card. Many have stated that it has played a large part in the continued rise of sales figures and contributed to record profits despite the recent recession. The majority of small businesses, nearly 7 out of 10, don’t have a loyalty scheme in place despite the fact that it is a valuable tool to help increase sales.

Recent research has suggested that loyal customers make up around 10-12% of a company’s base but that they are responsible, on average, for around 55-70% of the sales. Over half the people surveyed by Clickfox recently said that they would consider buying more from a particular business if it had a loyalty scheme in place.

Loyalty Schemes for Small Businesses

Is a loyalty scheme right for you? If you have a company that has infrequent customer contact such as a repair business it may be difficult, but not impossible, to find a way to reward loyalty. It’s a marketing strategy that works very well for areas like retail because people simply like to and need to shop.

What are you going to offer? Experts advise against just limiting your offering to straight discounts. Many large retailers that sell a variety of products often work on a point accumulation system that keeps customers coming back. If you buy 5 coffees at Starbuck’s you get your sixth free. That doesn’t work for everyone and it’s probably a good idea to see what your competitors are up to and find out what your customers actually want.

Keep it simple. Customers like a loyalty scheme that is easy to use. At the supermarket you just hand in your card with your weekly shop. If you run a hairdressing salon, a simple printed card that can be presented when someone comes in for their next appointment could do the trick. If you run an online business then getting customers to subscribe to your email updates is good way to send promotional codes and make them feel special.

Track results and cultivate your best customers

By keeping track of how your loyalty scheme works and finding out which consumers use it the most, you build up a clearer profile of your customer base. That can help you develop the scheme further but it can also help you highlight those individuals that are likely to be good brand ambassadors. They are the ones who are most likely to mention you to their friends and family and bring you new customers and you can adjust your scheme to provide them with that little bit more.

With a touch of imagination and some thought, a loyalty scheme can boost your brand profile and increase sales. It’s a simple but often ignored marketing strategy that can bring great results at a price that can be tailored to most marketing budgets.

ID Card Centre can supply a range of PVC card options for your loyalty scheme including traditional credit card type loyalty cards and handy fobs that attach to a key ring, keeping your brand and message in your customer’s hand!  The cards are fully customisable on both sides, with the ability to data capture.

We work with a partner who can take your loyalty system online giving you the ability to keep connected with your customers with targeted email shots, letting your customers know instantly about promotions and special offers.

For more information please contact us on 01604 422422 or sales@idcardcentre.co.uk.

Ben Posted by Ben

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