Are you looking to start a loyalty program for small business?
Are you operating on a shoestring budget and need a little extra push to get you out of the red and into the green?
Or maybe you just want to take your business to the next level. Loyalty programs can do just this, you know. Pretty easily, too.
So a loyalty or rewards program might just be exactly the thing you need. But what does a loyalty program for small business look like?
There is more than one way to implement a loyalty program. Many small businesses use a punch card.
You’ve probably seen them at your local coffee shop or café. They give them out to their customers and with every visit/future purchase, they add a punch to their card. Once the customer has reached a designated amount of purchases (or filled his punch card) he gets a free drink, sandwich, or some other special deal for his loyalty.
Customers love these kinds of perks. The mentality for many of them is if they are coming there so often anyway, why not get some sort of reward in return for their continued loyalty?
It’s a great way to encourage them to keep coming back, and with more regularity. The sooner they fill up their punch card, the sooner they get their reward! And, the sooner they can start a new punch card.
I would personally recommend something a little more guaranteed than a punch card which is physically punched. Some slightly unscrupulous people might try to mimic the punches at home and, thus, get free things they didn’t necessarily earn.
Issuing loyalty program cards with a barcode which is scanned with each purchase is a much more efficient and “safer” route. You can even personalize them with your store’s logo or some other eye-catching design. This can also help attract the attention of non-loyalty program customers.
Let’s say you own a coffee shop. You design a very eye-catching logo for your loyalty cards and display them near your cash out area. Your customers will inevitably notice them and either inquire or be prompted by whoever is cashing them out if they would like a rewards card.
There’s another, even more modern, type of rewards card now, too. Rewards programs have evolved yet again. Now customers can sign up with their smartphone, often straight through Facebook, in just the click of a button. No need to fill out any forms.
To make it even sweeter, customers don’t need to carry a physical card around anymore, either. They simply scan the store’s loyalty QR code with their phone when they checkout and this gives them a “punch” on their digital rewards card app stored on their phone.
Now for the cherry on top… the business owner (is this you?) can now communicate directly with his/her customers because of this app on their phones. You can make up and send “loyal customers only” VIP deals, and put a timer on it so the deal expires when the countdown ends. You can even send them text messages offering discounts.
None of this was possible with traditional physical punch or scan cards! This modern day ability to remotely contact your customers on their phones, telling them about deals, has proven to grow sales immensely in businesses who use it regularly.
Loyalty programs are free to join, typically, and only require the customer to fill out a basic form (in some cases, they don’t even need to do this).
Once they have a loyalty card which has been activated, they simply hand it to the clerk at the time of purchase, or scan it through a reader.
Their purchase is registered and counted and they will eventually get the incentive or reward you have designated once they reach the purchase requirement.
Some loyalty programs give the customer an immediate discount which is taken off the total balance of their purchase. These programs have special prices for certain goods and when your customer selects these items for purchase, once they scan or enter their loyalty rewards card number, those discounts are immediately applied.
These programs are very effective at producing and maintaining a steady flow of customers into your store. When customers know they will receive an immediate discount or special price for their goods, they tend to buy more, and buy more often.
It’s simple arithmetic.
The benefit for your business goes even beyond the initial increase in business. Customers who like or enjoy the discounts they receive tend to also share information with their friends and family. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool to have on your side!
The fact that you are providing a constant incentive to your loyal customers will bring them back to you, time and time again. Not your competitors. You.
Loyalty programs are not hard to start and also are quite easy on the budget. The best thing about them though is as soon as you start a loyalty program, you will almost immediately notice a difference.
You will begin to see your “regulars” more regularly, and you will also begin to see a lot of new faces. What does this mean for your business? Well, as we said above: simple arithmetic.
More customers = more revenue.
No one goes into business to sit idly by and watch potential business/revenue slip out of their reach. We go into business to be successful and make money.
Of course, providing a quality service or product is also very high on your list of objectives, but it all comes back to making money. What is the point otherwise?
So get your business out of the red. Give it the extra boost it needs. Implement a loyalty program for your small business and watch your business go from small, struggling business to strong, capable, successful business!
We’d love to help you on your journey! Give RedFynn a call and let us guide you in the right direction. We do have answers to all of your questions. This is what we do, at no obligation to you!