Grow Your Small Business With a Loyalty Program App

19 April 2021 Writer: Lera Grechanik 470 views

Are you a small business owner and still do not have a mobile app? It means you are losing revenue day after day. But what does it mean in reality? To make it simple we can put it the following way: when you do not have an app you simply hand over your might-be customers to the competitors, who have the app already.

One of the first questions you as a business owner should ask is what is the profit of this or that decision. In the case of the Loyalty App, It can be a good step to get your favored position back. In any case, let’s have a look at the solution development for Small businesses.

P.S. We have a so-called “how-to” part, so you can jump straight into it if you already know of all the benefits the app can provide.

Why does your business need a custom loyalty app?

Today to have a loyalty solution is a must. The brands, having a working mobile solution received huge benefits as the pandemic began. Their experience will be reviewed a bit later. 

Boost your retention rate

To get the idea better let’s have a look at what we call "Brand Loyalty". In two words, if the Loyalty is high, the customers will use the services and goods again and again, regardless of the actions taken by the competitors. It also can be called a positive feeling towards the brand, turning passing by customers into long-time ones. In its turn, loyalty increases the lifetime value or LTV for short.

According to Kristy Campbell and Jed Williams

  • Long-time customers generate about 51% of the revenue for 60% of small business owners.
  • It is much more expensive to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. Sometimes 10 times cheaper, so why not?
  • If the retention increases by 5% the revenue increase 25-100% in turn.

Starbucks is one of the best examples to explore if you want to see the real power of brand loyalty. A few facts:

    • The app was launched in 2009. For now, it's one of the best cases to explore and one of the most successful ones. 
    • The app has a Loyalty Reward system, however, one can make orders using the app.
    • There are more than 15 million people participating in the loyalty program, and their number increases by 5-15% every year
    • These members represent about 39% of U.S. company-operated sales.

And here the benefits go:

    1. Starbucks doesn't disclose their average check, but according to the estimations, each customer spends on average $4 per visit
    2. With simple calculations, we can see that  a loyal customer, making the average check, potentially generates up to 
    3. $64 (16 x 4) a month. Still not inspiring? So, consider the following: a non-loyal customer generates only   $24, visiting Starbucks 6 times a month.

So how does it sound now? Do you feel ready to proceed with the loyalty program app development?

One place for all your content

The key point one should keep in mind is the value the product gives to the customer. Consider your app and try to find out what value for the potential customers it can provide. The most obvious answer - information. With mobile apps all the content can be kept together in a single place - pictures, videos, goods and services, news and events, and even hot offers can be stored all together.

One of loyalty app benefits is the opportunity to get to know your audience

Get to know your audience

Customer experience improvement is a necessary thing, it’s true. But why not try to turn it into a powerful analytical tool, bringing new unexpected benefits? Doesn't it sound good? We are sure it does.

The loyalty programs app provides you with typical behavioral patterns, not just with the data about the purchases and average bills. Having this data in hand one can easily alter and adjust the business strategy, so it will meet the ever-changing needs of the target audience. As a result, stronger relationships will be built.

Push notifications and iBeacon

Ok, push notifications can be annoying. But along with iBeacon, sending geo-based notifications when customers pass by your store, can be a powerful tool as well. The users will get the notifications with encouragement and hot deals, thus they will be reached even if there’s no direct interaction at the moment. This reason can be called among the top ones if we are talking about the why’s.

Personalization & targeting

People like to feel special. And the more research is done, the clearer it becomes

  • According to Epsilon, 80% of the customers will prefer to accompany, providing a personalized experience 
  • As LoyaltyOne put it out, for 76% it is  a thing of importance to get personalized offers, especially if they are based on the recent orders
  • RetailMeNot found out that 2 of 3 Generation X and Savvy Millennial shoppers will provide personal data if it unlocks  access to a more personalized shopping experience

In other words, people not just like to feel special, it can be used to boost sales by providing the customers what they really need at the right time and place.

It also allows making targeting more precise and relevant simply because a lot of different offers can be sent depending on the target audience. The most obvious example - two audience segments, sushi lovers and pizza fans. Surely, pizza fans will be happy to get an offer, associated with this dish and vice versa. Thus precise targeting allows building strong relations with the customers.

Personalization and targeting with you loyalty program app


Now, when it is clear why a loyalty program for small business is a good idea, let’s have a closer look at the components, which will be the key to brilliant results and all the benefits, stated above.

How to develop the best app for loyalty cards?

If loyalty apps are nicely and correctly built, being multiplied by the marketing strategy, they become powerful tools that can easily boost the ROI in a short time. It is easy to say, but if it is easy to implement? To begin with, let’s have a look at the elements that this “perfect app” has to include.

We at Celadon offer the following list:

  1. User profiles
  2. Loyalty block/Reward opportunities
    • Coupons
    • Digital Stamps
    • Points
  3. Push notifications
  4. News
  5. In-app map
  6. Analytical tools

I. User profiles in loyalty apps

As we have mentioned, personalization and accurate targeting really matter. The more precise they are, the more benefits loyalty apps get.

All the discounts and all sorts of benefits you offer to the customers are closely connected and are directly linked to the people’s activity and the ways they interact with the brand. It makes the following points not just necessary to consider, it makes them too important to neglect:

  • Benefits should be linked to the person’s activity directly
  • The user  shouldn’t lose his activity points during his journey over the app

Possible impact:

If user profiles are used and settled properly, the user data can be protected and stored safely even in case the initial account itself was deleted. Another common cause of data loss is when the same account is used on different devices. What does it mean in reality? The fact that users will more likely become the repeated customers. This, in turn, leads to sales increase. 

However, the data collected from the profiles and being analyzed opens immense possibilities, for example, the benefits can be tailored to the user’s unique experience. The profit is obvious-the benefits and offers to reach people who are really interested in them. 

II. Loyalty block or your small business loyalty program

It is the heart of the app. Why? Because it brings together the opportunities, benefits, and rewards you can offer to the customers. It can be implemented in a lot of ways. Let's have a look at some of them.

Coupons

At Celadon, we would recommend creating a separate coupon screen if you think about this option.  The screen should provide a certain list of opportunities, for example:

  • The list of all the coupons being available
  • Offer expiration date and additional information
  • Used coupons, marked clearly so they can be easily distinguished from the rest of the list. 

As soon as a new app is developed and launched, it is easy to send the coupons to the users and keep them interested in interacting with the brand, however in buying the goods and services you offer.

Coupons have one advantage, though, which is underestimated-they save money because there’s no need in printing paper ones and distribute them somehow.

Digital Stamps

If you want to make your customers repeated ones but are not sure about the way it should be reached, try digital stamps. In short, they are a point system of a kind. It means that the users get “stamps” for this or that activity. Later these points can be exchanged for rewards and all kinds of benefits.

Stamps are an example of gamification, one of the most promising trends in marketing. The thing is, they encourage users to interact with the brand for rewards. They push the competitive button inside of the customer so he becomes engaged in active interaction.

As soon as the reward program apps are created, another possibility opens. It is related to behavioral patterns and helps to tailor user’s behavior to the rewards and offers.

Let’s take a simple example. Let’s say, you have a small shop with an average check of $7-8. But if you offer a Stamp for every $10 spent,  many people will consider it is worth spending additional 2 dollars and get the Stamp. Nice, isn’t it? Your average check will become nice at the end of the day too.

Points

If you ask which reward system is the most popular, the answer will be just like that - the one with the points.  Starbucks uses it, just for you to know. And these guys do know how to increase sales and average checks. However, people are familiar with it, they accept and know it, so it will be easy to implement the system in a Loyalty App for Small Business.

The point-related system is flexible and can be implemented for increasing the KPI of the brand, not just for brand loyalty establishment.

Points have a lot in common with Stamps and can be assigned for different activities. Spending some amounts and completing orders are not the only ways to get points. Encourage users to share brand-related content and create such content, and you can score your marketing goals pretty fast.

Also, one can consider Points as in-app currency, why not? Let users collect them, exchange them and buy some specific options or even merch.

III. Push Notifications & iBeacons

One of the important steps on your way to building a loyal audience around your brand is to keep the users interested in the services you provide and be informed about the news and updates. Use regular alerts to remind the users about the app, encourage their activity but keep the balance, because too many pop-ups and push notifications can do the opposite.

Also, this feature is among the ones, which can be in hand at the very beginning when you just start building loyalty. Let’s have a closer look at the ways it all can work for your mobile loyalty solution for small business:

  • Keep the users updated  and informed about new and active loyalty campaigns, including hot offers or new coupons in the shop 
  • Encourage purchases by reminding users to get their first stamps if they complete some tasks or spend some money 
  • Link notifications to the location. Now when the user passes, he will be informed about the offers and get the corresponding invitation.
  • Send kind reminders for the users, who haven't interacted with the brand for some time. It seems vague, but it does work, so the users return to the product. 

Also, keep in mind that target messages have to be worked on and processed with maximum attention. Make users accept the notifications and see how active they will become. The power of push notifications is underestimated, but statistics is like that - people, accepting notifications, are 3 times more actively interacting with the product.

But what about the impact on your business?

  • Interaction with the brand becomes more active.
  • Conversions will increase accordingly.
  • Use push notifications and see with your own eyes that they really work better than retargeting. Try another approach and add targeted notifications to enjoy greater results.
  • iBeacon is a tool worth considering because you can reach people who are just passing by, so the possible audience spreads on its own.

IV. News

Keep in mind that content sharing activity, like the rest of the implemented ones, has to be done on a separate screen. 

Analyze the content and decide what to share. It can be industry insights, brand announcements, or specific offers and their promotion.

How will it impact your business?

  1. Brand engagement becomes stronger as the target audience and the users see the regular news about innovations being adopted.
  2. The best way to increase the chances that people will buy something is to inform them in this way about the ongoing events. 
  3. If the content is valuable and interesting for the users, it will be shared via social media. This market reach will be expanded in a  natural and native way.

V. In-app map

If you have some stores, add a built-in map to the apps your users can see the shop locations with the work hours at once. This can work for MVP, but if you want something more advanced, implement navigation to lead the customers directly to your doors.

How will it impact your business? If the map is integrated, the foot traffic to your store increases, it is simple and clear. If your target audience is active, if the goods or services are in high need for them, a map in the app can do the deed pretty well.

VI. Analytical tools

Analytics is the thing that has to be implemented and used. Nowadays the one who has data has the key to everything. Good analytics turns almost any data into such a tool, and the data can be of any kind:

  • Demographics, including age, sex, and soon.
  • The list of the goods the users buy most and least. 
  • Behavioral patterns. Knowing what goods are popular during the workdays and on the weekend, for example, you can send notifications and offers directly to the ones who will be interested in them. 

How will it impact your business?

  1. Data-driven decisions can be implemented and used with the maximum profit for the organization, and the key to it is analytical tools. In other words, one can clearly see what goods have to be improved, which ones are popular and which ones are not.
  2. The better you know your customers, the better you can adjust the services you offer to the expectations of the target audience. 

Is it worth building a small business loyalty program?

Cost is one of the essential questions, and it has not been mentioned yet. Our workflow is stable, so if you need a Loyalty App, our development squad will prepare an estimation so you can see the approximate time and cost of the product you need. In other words, you will have in front of your eyes all the needed resources so the goal can be achieved.

Features of a loyalty app estimated in hours*

*using React Native

Important note: the figures stated above are not the final ones. They are calculated taking an average $35/hour rate. But the rates depend on numerous factors, including the app complexity. 

On average the development costs around $16,000 but the final figure can differ in this or that way. It is the main reason why we strongly recommend contacting us first, so the team can provide you with more accurate estimations.

Conclusion

There are a lot of good and reasonable solutions for a small business, but the Loyalty App is among the TOP ones. It has a huge potential of turning casual customers into repeated ones and generating huge revenue.

Celadon developers have collected some friendly reminder and decided to share them with you:

  • If you can be a UI-dandy, do not hesitate to do it. Follow the trends, investigate the popular solutions and implement them into your app.
  • Consistency matters. Your brand and the app have to correspond with each other, and the brand goes first. 
  • Mind flexibility. Explore loyalty programs, try them, implement, analyze, combine and change. The best outcome can be reached only when one thinks outside the box.

***

Looking for a product team to create your own loyalty app? We’d be happy to develop an app for your business and increase the brand loyalty of your clients. Just hit the button below!

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