Today’s retailers understand that loyalty increases customer lifetime value, return on investment (ROI), and positive brand awareness. Loyalty is built over time and is the outcome of retailers providing an easy-to-use, engaging, and personalized shopping experience. The native app is primed to give retail customers the ideal user experience — making it one of the best options for improving loyalty. This blog will take a deep dive into the reasons mobile app loyalty features help retailers generate customer loyalty and strong customer lifetime value.
Mobile apps are a loyalty game-changer
It can be understood that native apps possess software that is flexible and constantly evolving — allowing it to be continuously shaped to fit customer needs and wants. Native apps are specifically designed to display and provide rich user experiences that engage while also providing enriched data.
Activity tracked within the app provides data far more individualized, detailed, and comprehensive than desktop and mobile web (e.g., nearest stores, favorite times to browse, wishlist activity). Apps provide a window into the personal lives of customers and with this abundance of data, retailers can build extremely tailored experiences and communications.
Apps provide a window into the personal lives of customers and with this abundance of data, retailers can build extremely tailored experiences and communications.
How do native apps enhance loyalty programs?
With a set of best-in-class capabilities, a native app will determinately produce loyalty, which ultimately results in:
- User retention: The elevated app-user experience brings customers back with an average 4x higher return rate than mobile and desktop, according to Poq’s data. As a result, more users who abandon their cart will return to add more items to the cart and/or complete purchase.
- Improved customer lifetime value: App users become super users — purchasing more regularly, more often, and over longer periods of time. They are driven to stay loyal to the retailer’s app through personalized and satisfying experiences such as early access to products and invitations to special events.
- Increased revenue: Rich data from the app allows retailers to cater content and messaging to the customer. As a result, users are provided with more-relevant product recommendations, messaging, discounts, and more — decreasing cart abandonment and driving faster purchase completion. Additionally, it is your most loyal customers that drive the vast amount of your business’s revenue, so the more loyalty is generated, the more revenue is produced.
- Elevated brand affinity and awareness: Customers who often return to and purchase from your app trust your brand. They have a sense of security in knowing the transaction will be seamless and gratifying. These app users will show brand affinity on public forums as well as assist in the increase in brand awareness through word of mouth — driving more traffic to the brand.
Top 5 mobile-app loyalty features that keep the customer engaged
Now let’s take a look at what features you can rely on to make the experience extraordinary for customers.
1. Loyalty account
Where loyalty programs exist, the native app supports loyalty registration, login, status displays, and a digital loyalty card for in-store use. With a loyalty account feature on an app, retailers will not only cultivate customer loyalty but also effectively bridge the gap between online and store. As with My Account, all loyalty information is synced with the e-commerce website.
Loyalty cards can be made available offline and synced with the user’s mobile wallet — ensuring that the customer will experience no network-related issues when purchasing items in-store.
2. Bespoke discounts, coupons, and vouchers
Emotionally, a discount of any kind shows customers that they are appreciated and that the retailer is incentivized to serve them. Logically, discounts are appealing because less money is spent to purchase a desirable product. With the native app, retailers can send effective and targeted push messaging to their loyal customers with personalized discounts. Ultimately, the user will feel valued and gain motivation to remain a loyal customer.
Retailers can also send their high-valued customers personalized vouchers such as thank yous, membership anniversaries, and more, to be used within the app. Consequently, users who bring in the vast majority of revenue are enticed to maintain the relationship and continue shopping.
3. Experiential perks
Retailers can drive strong emotional loyalty by providing programs characterized by experiential perks. Some examples include birthday discounts, early product or sale access, invitations to exclusive events, concierge services and more.
Loyalty offerings centered around personalized experiences will not only make customers feel appreciated but also will give retailers a strong competitive advantage.
4. Push notifications
Using the power of SMS, retailers can send their customers relevant and instantly accessible content. With push notifications, retailers can communicate and re-engage with customers in a highly personalized way with real-time notifications around restocked items or shipped items — making its communication channel far more effective than email.
According to Dinarys, push notifications have a 50% greater open rate and 7x greater click rate than email, and segmented push notifications have a 93% retention rate.
5. Collaborative shopping
For some retailers, what makes them successful is the ability to offer unique value propositions such as a wedding registry, baby shower registry, social polling, and more.
The native app can bring that special shopping experience to the forefront of the customer’s journey — providing customers with an experience they are not only familiar with but will also find memorable. Providing a delightful experience for important moments in life or meaningful purchases will produce powerful loyalty.
Mobile apps vs. mobile passes
Native mobile apps aren’t the only option to bring loyalty features to customers’ smartphones. The other alternative is mobile passes, which are innovative software solutions that allow brands and retailers to generate one-time passcodes.
These mobile passes can also help with act as virtual loyalty cards that are stored on people’s phones instead of their wallets in their pockets — as people tend to forget physical cards at home, something that rarely happens to their phones.
Each pass is associated with a certain benefit, like a 10% of coupon or a free gift, which can be redeemed when the cashier scans the customer’s phone with a POS device. Membership passes, on the other hand, are permanent and members can use them to gain entry to special brand events or collect loyalty points.
It’s worth pointing out that comparing mobile apps and mobile passes isn’t a zero-sum game, as you don’t need to pick one above the other. Actually, implementing both of them could further enhance the effectiveness of your mobile loyalty strategy.
Why? Because having a native app that supports the loyalty program allows customers to engage with the features from their phones, while mobile passes make it convenient to redeem the reward they received due to their activity.
Mobile passes come in all shapes and styles, and they’re extremely convenient for smartphone lovers — these are some screenshots from Antavo.