The Loyalty landscape has changed significantly in recent years, shifting focus from pure transactional loyalty to brands providing a mix of hard and soft benefits to their loyalty program members. The combination of tangible and intangible benefits provides economic value along with personalised and emotional experiences leading to improved customer retention and lifetime value (LTV).
Key to any loyalty initiative is a robust loyalty strategy, which when executed correctly can show significant results.
Your loyalty strategy should align with your company and your brand(s) goals, benefits and growth objectives. It should also focus on how your loyalty program will benefit members, increase engagement and LTV. Once your strategy is defined, it’s time to choose a robust yet flexible loyalty platform for your program.
Choosing the right technology platform
With any investment, it can be tempting to compare technologies/solutions based primarily on price and not whether they can fully support the company’s loyalty strategy. Equally as important is whether the technology supports the ability for the program to grow and adapt to meet the changing needs of a successful loyalty program and the changing situation, needs, and expectations of program members.
At Epsilon we have had discussions with clients who have unfortunately gone down this road only to find that the technology selected does not offer the required ability to nurture, grow and engage with loyalty members.
This has resulted in these clients having to start again and kick off yet another lengthy RFP process, swallowing up precious more time, resources, and significant expense, not to mention the extreme pain to migrate to a new platform and vendor. There’s also the potential damage to your brand's reputation when a loyalty program has been unsuccessful, the negative impact on the relationship with existing and future loyal customers, and the expense and challenges around re-engaging with these customers.
Key considerations when selecting your technology platform include:
- Platform scalability and stability
Can your loyalty platform manage the volume of interactions with your members and scale up as memberships grow?
- 360° customer view
Can your technology provide a view of your members’ entire journey, including transactional and behavioural data, and provide the most comprehensive customer view?
- Ease of use
Is the platform intuitive to multiple users? For example, can you enable your program manager to easily and quickly create new offers and campaigns or enable support staff to provide excellent service via an intuitive support portal?
Does the solution provide real-time/near-real-time access to dashboards, reports, and insights key to monitoring the ongoing performance of your program and campaigns?
- Comprehensive capabilities
Does the program have rich functionality to support your current strategies such as enrolment, multiple tiers, segmentation, and personalisation? Is there capacity to evolve to more advanced capabilities including AI & Machine learning and gamification for increased engagement?
- Easy integration with wider ecosystem
How easily can the platform connect to other technologies? An extensible platform (API driven) is key to connect with your entire ecosystem (Martech, POS, eCommerce, CDP, mobile app, Social Media...)
Does the platform provide the required levels of privacy and security to protect against fraud and meet regulatory requirements such as GDPR and CCPA?
- Future proof
Does the provider offer an extensive solution roadmap to ensure a constantly evolving and future-proofed platform?
Find the right partner
The key to ensuring success with your loyalty program is to partner with a Loyalty vendor who can guide you through each stage of your loyalty journey following best practices. Setting up and managing a loyalty program is complex and there are many aspects to address and consider from program management to campaign support and security, analytics, and reporting expertise. Keep your strategy, and your customer, at the heart of your decision to choose the right partner for you.
What our clients say
"We were able to launch a [loyalty] program in a few short months ... we wouldn’t have been able to do it without Epsilon and the partnership we’ve built."
- Kelly Smolinski, Director, Customer Systems, Walgreens
"Epsilon's platform and marketing expertise enable us to effectively scale across new communications formats, modernizing the Dunkin' experience and further growing our business."
Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, Vice President, Digital and Loyalty, Dunkin'