The Future of Customer Loyalty Programs – Now and for the Holidays

By Timi Garai

Last week, as I was sitting at my messy desk and drinking my coffee (in reality, it was more like a mug of milk with a splash of coffee…), someone recommended that I read an article. It was a new piece from Yotpo’s CEO, Tomer Tagrin. In it, he detailed some great eCommerce trends that will affect offline and online retail in the upcoming months. Like, how offline retail isn’t going to die anytime soon. The proof? Amazon acquired Whole Foods.

Hmmm…so what’s going on?

In short: Online eCommerce giants are moving into the offline sphere and we’re seeing more and more innovative solutions based on Big Data.

In detail: We’re seated in the front row, witnessing vital strategic movements that affect the entire world of eCommerce. Businesses (like Amazon) that were originally rooted in the online space are now getting a physical “form” and vice versa. Offline brands are strengthening their online eCommerce forces, too. Just take Adidas for example. Last year they grew their online eCommerce by 59%, which drove €1 billion in revenue. Okay, but we all know that for long-term success, it’s not enough to just sell things online. Amazon proved it.

I liked how big data entrepreneur, Bruno Aziza, called Amazon’s innovative strategies “Amazon moments” on Forbes. He clearly explained that the real essence behind the AMAZON MOMENT is the enormous amount of customer DATA they have. This data, combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, help them to realize the three main principles summed up by Rick Kenney from Salesforce Cloud Commerce: successful online/offline retailers should aim for: “findability, personalization and brand connection.”

And you know what?

What works for Amazon can work for retailers

A French retailer used software to monitor shoppers’ movements and facial expressions in store. When a customer expressed unease or dissatisfaction, a salesperson was called to help. The result? A 10% uplift in sales. Online it’s the very same story! There’s a customer online, whose shopping behavior is being monitored, and when he is about to abandon his cart… KABOOM! An irresistible discount pops up on the page. Or, a salesperson (or an AI) reaches out to help him on live chat.

And I haven’t even mentioned the news from July, which really made my heart race: established European retailer Zalando, launches an Amazon Prime-like loyalty program – called Zet – in Germany. Wow. If you ever read my posts at Antavo, you know how attached I am to this fashion eCommerce giant (thanks to my colleague, Andy). Zalando’s invite-only loyalty program will be based on a membership fee and it offers fast delivery, same-day pickup returns, personal fashion advice over the phone or on Facebook chat, in addition to many other members-only benefits.

On, Lisa Schöner said that the new Zalando loyalty program aims to provide a fully personalized customer experience.

So my point here is: every company CAN have their own Amazon moment. They just need to think outside of the box. And actually, a loyalty program is what Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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