Considering a loyalty program app for your brand? Discover why it’s a smart business decision.

Brand loyalty is important. Having consumers come back for more is often one of the pillars on which successful brands are built. Few business entities can survive purely by bringing in a constant stream of new customers.

Let’s look at some of the most successful brands operating in the UK right now:

  • Costa
  • Tesco
  • Apple
  • BMW
  • Coca-Cola

Consider the impact on these brands if they experienced zero customer loyalty and their consumer base dropped them at the first chance they got. Imagine Apple without its leagues of fans lining up when a flagship product is launched, or Costa coffee drinkers abandoning the chain as soon as another café opened nearby. Their success might not be totally lost, but it would be severely diminished.

Good business is built on a strong loyalty foundation. Acquisition of new customers is important, but so is keeping existing customers happy. There are many ways to inspire brand loyalty, from a great personal service to simply providing the best product on the market — but there are other options available that can help you go the extra mile.

Loyalty program apps are rising in popularity amongst major brands and small businesses alike. They have the potential to increase brand loyalty and create those stable foundations of business the biggest players in the corporate world lean on.

What is a Loyalty Program App?

A loyalty program app is just that: an app. It is a piece of software that customers can access on the app store and download.

The idea is that in their pocket is something akin to a loyalty card. Instead of stamps, though, you use digital scanning and online purchases to acquire rewards. Rewards can come in any shape or form. They could be free products after a certain amount of purchases, exclusive deals and discounts, or preferential treatment such as reduced waiting times or access to items before general sale. The way that customers’ loyalty is rewarded is entirely up to you.

Why Use a Loyalty App Over a Physical Card?

Loyalty programs are nothing new. They’ve been around for as long as brands have existed. Apps, however, are a much more modern invention — and a marriage between the two makes sense for a number of reasons.

To begin with, apps don’t get damaged or lost. They are on your phone and backed up to cloud systems. Unlike a flimsy card or voucher, there is no risk of customers losing their well-earned rewards and getting frustrated. They also can’t forget to bring the loyalty card with them, as it is always on them providing they have their phone, which means there is never an excuse not to visit or use your business “this time”.

Then you have the benefit of brand awareness. A card can easily get buried in a wallet or draw and forgotten about. An app takes pride of place on a device your customer is constantly looking at their phone. The average person spends 3-4 hours on their mobile per day and checks it over 80 times. That’s a lot of opportunities to notice your loyalty program app and be inspired to make more purchases.

How to Use Loyalty Program Apps to Increase Sales Potential

Now we’ve established what a loyalty program app is, how can a small business use it to increase their revenue?

Offer Updated Perks and Rewards to Boost Business Interest

A card is very limited in so far as once the offer is printed, you cannot change it. An app is different, though, as it’s connected to the web and can constantly be updated. This means you can modify the offers and rewards available.

For example, if you find one reward service isn’t getting much attention, you can change it to see if you observe an increase or decrease in app usage. Adjustments allow your brand to find the sweet spot; the offers that provide the best value to you and your customer.

Essentially, you’re A/B testing your loyalty program app to see what reward system inspires the most loyalty and increases repeat business.

Improve Branding Experience by Giving Something Back

91% of people who form brand connections do so in a positive way. They do this because they feel that the business values them, that they care about their patronage and place them above the status of a simple cash cow to be milked.

Loyalty programs help customers to feel like you’re giving something back. The more generous your offers, the more a customer will feel rewarded for forming a connection to your business. Building that positive emotional connection creates that all important brand loyalty.

Take Advantage of App Functionality to Market Your Business

A loyalty program app is a very powerful marketing tool.

Because the app itself offers benefits, customers will be quick to download it — more so than an app that is trying to sell them something. However, you can still use your loyalty app to market your brand.

Apps have the ability to access push notifications: alerts that pop up on the user’s phone with a message. They act like texts, but instead of a message from a friend, a push notification from your app can notify customers of deals, new products, store openings and more.

While your loyalty program app can help to inspire repeat business through reward systems and a rise in emotional connections, it can also be a clever marketing tool that boosts sales through brand awareness.

Want to create a loyalty program app and experience the benefits that come with it? The Apps4U team are affordable mobile app developers who specialise in creating bespoke applications for small businesses across the UK. Contact us today and get your project started.