What are the key findings for customer loyalty trends?
Challenges in 2020
From a long-term perspective, improving overall Customer Lifetime Value, acquiring new customers, generating more revenue for the brand, and lowering customer churn rate are the most common objectives for Loyalty Marketers.
A deep dive into the latest data from the research (March 2020) shows that many Marketers are adapting their short-term plans to the coronavirus outbreak. For many Loyalty Experts, a proper business response to changes caused by the epidemic is by far the biggest challenge.
Loyalty Trends matrix
The graph shows the importance of trends from two angles: the biggest impact on Loyalty Marketing in 2-3 years and trends with the biggest urgency in terms of investment in 2020.
Loyalty marketing trends for upcoming 2-3 years
Most of the Loyalty Professionals recognize personalization of communication and offers as the most important area of investment. Further development of features for loyalty applications, transforming data into actionable insights, and loyalty marketing automation are also among important upcoming investments.
Mobile payments, big data, mobile loyalty applications, paid memberships (including subscriptions), and experience-based rewards were identified as trends that will have the biggest impact on Loyalty Marketing in 2-3 years.
Having these trends in mind, we can expect that loyalty programs will evolve into ultimate cross-channel customer engagement tools. Among emerging trends, we can see predictive analytics and segmentation. Loyalty managers are also looking for inspiration from thought leaders like Amazon Prime.
Investments in 2020
On the other hand, marketing automation, mobile loyalty applications, experienced-based rewards, gamification (including game-based mechanics embedded into loyalty programs), and mobile payments are trends in which loyalty marketers plan to invest in 2020.
The epidemic of COVID-19 will definitely impact the order of investments in the upcoming months. In the time of crisis, most marketers focus on communication and adjusting the offer to the new realities of the market. Having a well organized and cost-efficient loyalty marketing plan is essential. In tough times, partnerships and co-promotions become more important. All more innovative projects like facial recognition or improvement of the in-store experience are postponed or completely canceled.
The future of loyalty programs
The predictable future of loyalty programs lays in the hyper-personalization of the offers in the frictionless omnichannel experience. Owning well-secured and maintained data—as well as the ability to act upon your insights—is the key to success.
The study shows that building a solid data-driven base for the personalized customer experience is still the main focus for most marketers. The implementation of that objective is a long-term process and for many brands and full personalization is yet to come.
For many businesses, loyalty programs are becoming the main medium to communicate with and attract customers. It seems extremely important in turbulent times which may change shopping behaviors dynamica Going outside of typical transactional loyalty mechanics and building communities around the brand might be reasonable next steps for many companies.