Faced with increasing competition, grocery stores are always looking for new ways to increase sales in 2022. One effective method that Netflix, Amazon, and co. have pioneered and achieved great success with is customer-centric personalization.
Personalization is not as easy in the food and beverage segment because it is not an online-only service like Amazon or Netflix. Customers come into the store, buy online, buy through different platforms, and stores can’t always identify every customer right away.
This is where loyalty programs come into play. They are an essential tool to collect data and create personalized offers for each customer profile. When customers sign up for loyalty programs to receive better offers, stores can analyze their data on shopping behavior, preferred products, and purchase volume.
Let’s dig deeper into loyalty programs, personalization of service, and the connection between both.
What Are Loyalty Programs?
A loyalty program is a retention strategy that rewards customers for patronizing a store or brand regularly. Grocery stores can use loyalty points, attach them to frequency and order volume, and graduate customers the more they buy – even gamification.
Since members of loyalty programs spend 18% more than other customers, loyalty programs can be a great strategy to drive sales. But beyond that, it also helps the store deliver personalized services to customers.
Consumers are starting to see loyalty programs as a strong indicator of trustworthiness, and retailers that maximize the strategy will be able to build and grow lasting relationships with customers. It is beyond offering discounts to customers. It entails making customers feel special while providing them value.
Loyalty Programs for Access to Big Data
Some food retailers are willing to develop personalized experiences, but they do not have access to first-party data. With loyalty programs, retailers can interact with customers through different channels.
Loyalty programs provide a sophisticated way to track and record every transaction between the consumer and the grocery store. As consumers receive benefits every time they provide their membership profile information, they are more likely to identify themselves at in-store or online checkouts. By giving them a QR code with the app, or assigning them a personal number they can tell the cashier, customers will be able to collect points or receive discounts with each purchase.
Analyzing the data obtained by tracking each transaction can help retailers provide relevant offers and recommendations, which 91% of consumers want. Customers love personalized services, but not all of them are willing to supply the needed information. Using a loyalty program to access the required data is a win-win for both parties: customers get better services, and grocery stores boost sales.
Loyalty Programs to Understand Consumer Preferences
Loyalty Programs used to be all about making a particular number of purchases for a set number of points. However, that formula is not enough today. Modern loyalty programs let customers choose their rewards or what they want in exchange for points – a trend of hyper-personalizing the shopping experience.
Customers are likely to select what they consider valuable as rewards for participating in loyalty programs, and grocery stores can recommend similar rewards in the future. By taking note of the consumer’s reward preferences, food retailers will be able to connect with customers through targeted promotions.
Loyalty Programs Buy the Store More Time
Every customer deserves personalized service, and 80% of them will only shop with brands that personalize their experience. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to personalize the experience of a first-time buyer. This is because effective personalization requires an analysis of every customer’s preferences and buying behaviors. Since grocery stores may have difficulty personalizing the experience of a first-time buyer, they need the buyers to return to the store.
Loyalty programs encourage repeat purchases, giving grocery stores enough opportunities to collect real-time data on customers’ buying behavior and purchases. All loyalty programs come with incentives for the customers. However, customers usually have to make a number of purchases to get the rewards. While the customer makes a loyalty-program-motivated return to the store, retailers have more time to analyze for accurate results.
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