Is your customer loyalty rewards program scalable?

Grace Alexander

MarTech Blogger | June 6, 2022

When you’re implementing a rewards program that will keep customers engaged and loyal, you should have one eye on the future. Rewards, perks and interaction methods that won’t scale up as your company grows can present problems in years to come.

To take consistent value from your rewards platform, it should be consistently enjoyable for customers to interact with. That should remain true even as your audience increases in size and individual customers remain with the business for years.

Prepare for success: Include scalability in your rewards

What happens when your company scales up, but its rewards don’t? This could apply to a few different issues, any of which could cause long-term problems for your ability to maintain customer engagement over time.

Rewards programs that are limited rather than scalable, offering only a few potential options for customers, may fail to stay engaging in the long term. These may be point-based systems with few redemption options, or ones that don’t allow loyal customers to ascend to higher tiers over time.

A company with a rewards program that doesn’t scale up may find that no matter how many new users join, old users are disengaging. This makes it difficult to build and maintain a solid and engaged customer base.

Leading companies are realizing the need to scale up their rewards programs and become more ambitious with their offerings, as McKinsey & Company reports. Rather than settling for standard, point-redemption schemes, these businesses are building whole ecosystems for their customers to engage with.

The gold standard of this style is Amazon Prime, which has consistently rolled out new exclusive content and experiences for customers, including streaming video, alongside the retail discounts that first attracted shoppers. This is a true lifestyle platform, where customers have dozens of touchpoints to choose from when reengaging with the company.

In the era of cloud software, scalability and flexibility have become universal watchwords. Companies know how important it is to always be able to add new functionality, quickly and without friction. This concept should apply to rewards and loyalty programs to ensure businesses never feel stuck with a limited set of options for their customers.

Integrate rewards with other systems

One of the most promising ways to ensure a rewards program is flexible, scalable and consistently engaging is to make sure it doesn’t sit in its own silo. Customers shouldn’t have to struggle to find and use loyalty features — they should be natural parts of other touchpoints, from branded mobile apps to the point of sale and beyond.

Brands today are pushing to become true omnichannel companies, blending brick-and-mortar operations with digital offerings that span multiple devices. When customers engage with these companies in any of these locations, they get consistent experiences, ideally including loyalty and retention program features.

As The Wise Marketer explains, modern loyalty programs thrive on automation and integration with other systems. This allows the customer engagement features to have a greater reach, incorporating multiple communication methods and connecting seamlessly with the company’s other software systems.

The integration between rewards platforms and other systems should be seamless. Every time a customer has to specifically seek out a loyalty program, that’s a chance for that user to disengage. On the other hand, strong integration means that as the company’s other systems scale up, the reach of the rewards program grows along.

Integration doesn’t have to be limited to a single business’s ecosystem. When a business strikes a deal with strategic partners to make loyalty programs interoperable, that creates a positive closed-loop ecosystem that encourages customers to keep engaging and gives them more opportunities to do so. This is a way for a business to expand rewards beyond its own bubble.

Make sure data flows both ways, to and from rewards programs

As customer loyalty programs scale up to reach more customers through more touchpoints and deliver a greater variety of options, there’s an opportunity to derive extra value: increased collection and use of data.

Today’s powerful business intelligence systems support real-time analysis of data to turn customer behavior into actionable insights. A customer loyalty program that has scaled up to reach consumers on multiple levels is not only a source of more data than ever before, it also includes more elements that can be tuned with the use of data-driven insights.

Data collected about the way customers interact with a business can be used to shape further loyalty program elements. McKinsey partner Jess Huang recommended using data generated by transactions and engagements to determine how consumers prefer to interact with the company, rather than building loyalty features based on intuition.

Applying that idea of data-driven design to scaling up a loyalty program means a company can create a self-reinforcing cycle. More touchpoints mean more data, which fuels analytics to recommend what form new touchpoints should take.

Use Perx to unite rewards with other programs

The technology platform you use to build your loyalty and rewards program can determine whether you’re able to smoothly scale up and expand capabilities over time. This is a reason to adopt the Perx lifestyle marketing platform as your loyalty management technology of choice.

Due to the integration between Perx and other omnichannel solutions, your rewards program will be able to expand alongside your operations. You can give customers a wide variety of touchpoints they’ll want to use, earning and redeeming benefits at multiple locations, from your app to the point of sale. These programs are appealing whether an individual deals with your brand online, in person or by switching between the channels.

A true lifestyle marketing approach reaches your customers where they are, delivering experiences and rewards they’ll actually be excited and delighted by. Even as your customer base grows and top customers create years-long relationships with your brand, you can keep expanding and customizing your program so it doesn’t become dull for your audience.

Perx supports complex integrations to make sure the platform “plays well” with your company’s other systems, making loyalty a natural part of your operations, no matter how much the business expands.

Request a demo to see how the technology could propel your business toward its loyalty objectives.

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