5 Ways Digital Customer Loyalty Programs Help Grocers Sell More

Building a relationship with a new customer is like entering a long-term relationship.

It requires consistent effort, communication, and understanding to build trust and loyalty. It means listening to what they have to say, and paying attention to their thoughts and feelings.

Laying down the foundation for customer loyalty with the right care and attention can help you flourish.

But just like a relationship, customer loyalty isn’t easy.

We understand your pain.

You’ve invested heavily in your store, your inventory, and your marketing efforts, but you’re still struggling to retain customers. You thought you were doing everything you could, but it’s still not working.

You notice your customers often come in once, purchase a handful of items, and never seem to return. 

Others come in on occasion, but they don’t seem to be buying much. Retention is lacking, and average ticket sales are low.

What can you do to turn one-time or occasional shoppers into regulars?

This is where digital customer loyalty programs come into play.

By offering rewards, incentives, and a loyalty program for customers to participate in, you entice your community to keep coming back to your store. We’ll help you explore five key ways that digital customer loyalty programs can benefit your store.

Digital Customer Loyalty Programs and Grocery Stores 

Digital customer loyalty programs have become an increasingly popular and effective way for grocers to drive sales and build customer loyalty.

Loyalty programs offer a wide range of benefits to grocers, making them a powerful tool to increase sales, drive customer engagement and improve the overall shopping experience.

In today’s competitive grocery market, a well-designed digital loyalty program can be a key differentiator that sets a grocer apart from its competitors and drives long-term growth and success. 

This is an important factor in the success of a grocery store as competition is one of the biggest challenges new grocers or independent grocers face in this industry. Being able to compete against big box stores is important, and loyalty programs are a great way to make customers feel more connected to your store.

With that being said, we’re here to help with five ways digital customer loyalty programs can help you sell more.

1. Data Driven Decision-Making    

Digital customer loyalty programs can allow you to collect detailed data on customer behavior and preferences, which can be used to make informed business decisions and improve the customer experience.

Through collecting and analyzing data, you can identify which products are most popular with specific customers and create personalized offers to incentivize them to make additional purchases.

Additionally, you can also analyze overall customer behavior patterns to identify trends and develop targeted promotions to drive sales.

For example, if data shows that you have more foot traffic in the store on weekends, it may be wise to offer special weekend promotions to drive sales and increase the average ticket size per customer. The data shows you that traffic isn’t an issue on weekends, so you can focus your attention on getting your customers to spend more.

Data helps to inform where your focus and attention should be. If you notice foot traffic is lower during the winter season, but the average order per customer is high, you can prioritize bringing customers in more often through events, contests, and other community initiatives.

Improving and combating seasonality is a big differentiator between successful, and slower grocery stores.

Quick Tips

  • Listen to your data!
  • You don’t have to look very far to figure out what to do, and your programs should be determined by what your data tells you
  • Look at trends, seasonality, and buying patterns
  • Let the data inform your focus areas - what needs help and how can we fix this

2. Personalized Offers  

Using data and analytics to personalize offers to individual customers based on their purchasing history can make them feel more valued by your business, giving them even more reason to come back regularly.

Additionally, personalizing offers can increase the customer’s perceived value of the loyalty program and make them more likely to continue participating, which can drive repeat business and increase sales.

You can use location-based offers to capitalize further on customers that live close by to your store. If someone drives close to your store, they can receive push notifications, or any sort of communication, to push them to stop by on their way home.

Personalized offers are a great way to make customers feel more connected and more loyal, to your business.

Quick Tips

  • Be creative, be playful, and have fun with your customers
  • Personalize their offers by looking at their purchase history, but also make your suggestions personal by talking about why you chose those promotions or discounts
  • People want to feel like you’re talking to them directly, so be conversational in your approach

3. Convenience   

Digital loyalty programs increase convenience and make it easier for customers to engage with your program.

Making programs more accessible via mobile programs or other digital means eliminates the need for customers to carry around physical coupons or visit the grocery’s website to access their rewards, making the process of redeeming rewards faster and more convenient.

By providing a convenient and easy-to-use loyalty program, you can increase customer satisfaction and drive sales by incentivizing customers to shop more frequently and make additional purchases.

Customers are more likely to participate in the program and take advantage of rewards when the process is simple and hassle-free.

Retention is all about reducing friction, and when you create a loyalty program that is convenient to use, customers won’t think twice about joining because there is little friction stopping them from participating.

Quick Tips

  • Think about what makes you join or decline a membership program
  • Everyone offers them, so think about how you can create a compelling reason, or easy way, for users to sign up and use their membership
  • Offer a mobile membership so customers can accumulate points and participate without thinking too much about it

4. Increased Engagement     

You can use gamification and interactive elements to increase engagement and encourage repeat business, as well as provide a sense of community and belonging.

Create a loyalty program that includes a reward system and a members-only community where customers can connect with each other and share tips, recipes, or experiences.

This type of engagement can build a sense of community and connection among customers, making them more likely to shop at the grocery store and participate in the loyalty program. They’ll feel like they’re a part of something greater.

By monitoring customer interactions within the community, the grocer can gain a deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences, which can inform product offerings and promotions.

You can offer points or rewards for specific actions, such as making repeat purchases or referring friends, which can increase customer engagement and loyalty - attracting new customers through loyal customers. Ninety-two percent of people in a Nielsen study said they trust word-of-mouth recommendations above anything else.

Customers are more likely to continue shopping at a grocery store when they feel connected and valued. This comes from creating opportunities for them to participate and engage in a deeper shopping experience.

Quick Tips

  • When gamifying your programs and offering rewards, don’t shy away from being generous, or making the rewards worth it
  • Better rewards will show customers you actually care, and nothing is more off-putting than having to work towards something or spend more in order to gain nothing
  • Your generosity will be met with loyalty, which will benefit you in the long run
  • Create loyalty tiers, so customers can continue to build and work towards bigger rewards

5. Better Customer Retention 

Loyalty programs help to build customer relationships, which increases customer retention and reduces acquisition costs.

Digital programs make it easy for customers to track their rewards and benefits, encouraging them to remain loyal and continue making purchases. When they get excited about their rewards and want to make purchases, they aren’t going to think about shopping elsewhere. 

By providing a rewards-based loyalty program and personalized offers, you can increase customer retention and drive sales because your customers will come back to you, rather than check out a competitor. 

Customers are more likely to continue shopping at a grocery store when they feel valued and rewarded, and loyalty programs can help you build a solid rapport with customers so they feel connected to your business.

Quick Tips

  • When starting your loyalty program, make sure to track and measure results and your customer data
  • This will help you see what is successful, and what is not, and help you better optimize your strategies to see more growth
  • Think about your customers as people, not numbers
  • What makes them tick, what makes them value a business, and how can you positively impact their experience in your establishment

A POS System to the Rescue

You don’t have to look far to build or create a customer loyalty program. Point-of-sale solutions like IT Retail come packaged with customizable loyalty programs, as well as robust reporting that can help you harness the power of a loyalty program.

Combined with sales reporting and inventory management, IT Retail can help you get started on the right track, and focus your efforts on creating happy customers and repeat visitors.

Unlock Success with Your Digital Customer Loyalty Program 

Digital loyalty programs offer a wealth of benefits to anyone looking to increase sales and improve the customer experience.

Leveraging data, personalization, and interactive elements drive customer engagement, retention, and loyalty while providing valuable insights into customer behavior.

Offering rewards for purchases, personalized offers, and opportunities for increased engagement helps you build customer loyalty and drive sales, encourage repeat business, and increase customer retention.

By leveraging the power of technology, digital customer loyalty programs can help you increase customer satisfaction, build brand loyalty and drive sales in the competitive and ever-changing grocery market.

IT Retail offers customizable loyalty programs, and a wide range of features that can help you build a program from the ground up, and improve not only your customer retention but your business processes as well.