Jan 05, 2023 Margaret Thacker

6 Natural Food Store Customer Loyalty Ideas

Repeat customers make a big impact for small businesses.

And niche businesses like natural food stores have niche audiences, so it’s your job to build relationships with potential and existing customers to make sure they become loyal customers. The best way to do that? Ramp up your rewards program.

Check out these six customer loyalty ideas for your natural food store.

1. Offer Discounts for First-Time Purchases

Before you can start rewarding your loyal customers, you need them to sign up for your loyalty program. Some customers are quick to sign up and start saving cash, but others might need a little bit more convincing — especially because they’ll be giving you private contact information. 

A deep first-time purchase discount is a great way to attract new customers that might be otherwise hesitant — who wants to turn down a 30 percent discount, when all you have to exchange is an email address or phone number?

They’ll see immediate benefits, and you can continue contacting them with great deals moving forward.

2. Try a Tiered Loyalty Program

Your best customers are signed up for your rewards program, but how do you encourage them to buy even more? Try a tiered loyalty program, where higher tiers receive deeper discounts and more significant perks.

If your point of sale (POS) system has a built-in loyalty program, you can assign points to every dollar spent. As your customer moves up to higher tiers by spending more money, you can increase — even double or triple — this point value. For your first tier, maybe each dollar is worth three points, while those in the second tier might earn six points for every dollar.

Buyers will be encouraged to spend more in order to reach these higher discounts — increasing overall profits for your natural food store.

3. Ramp Up Referral Rewards

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote your business and gain more customers — 90 percent of consumers are more likely to trust a brand recommended by both people close to them and by strangers. Smart business owners understand the value of these recommendations, because 64 percent of marketers consider word-of-mouth to be the most fruitful form of marketing.

Take advantage of these numbers. Natural food stores often carry products by smaller, more niche brands that don’t have the luxury of large marketing budgets — and your store is a small business itself. Make sure to encourage your customers to spread the word by offering referral rewards. Try giving them a $10 coupon for every customer they refer who makes a $75 purchase

Loyal customers might already spread the word about your natural food store, but incentivizing their recommendations will encourage them to reach even more potential buyers.

4. Celebrate Your Buyers’ Birthdays

Everyone loves a reason to celebrate, and what better way to show your customers your appreciation than by sending them a discount for their birthday? It might be the best gift of all.

This is one of the easiest ways to reward your customers and build quality relationships.  Sending them a birthday deal provides the personalized experience that many customers appreciate about small businesses like natural food stores. 

Send emails or (handwritten!) postcards with a customized birthday message, and offer a special deal just for them — try a coupon for 25 percent off any purchase, or double their rewards points values throughout their birth month. These promotions are about more than rewarding your customers and increasing their purchase amounts — they’re about building lasting relationships that will keep them coming back.

5. Send Exclusive Email Promotions

Many people find the mere exclusivity of a loyalty program enticing — it makes them feel like a preferred customer (which, of course, they are!).

Take advantage of this mindset and send exclusive deals to loyalty program participants via email. These can include deals available to everyone, but which are only notified to loyal customers, or they can be custom discount codes, individualized for each customer. Plus, if you have a solid e-commerce website, you can send them directly to your online store via a link in the email.

Remember these tips for creating productive email content:

  • Write a catchy subject line.
  • Include exciting graphics to capture your customers’ attention.
  • Use a personalized signature.

You don’t want this special discount to be simply scanned over and pushed to the bottom of their inbox.

6. Reward Repeat Customers

You’re keeping your customers content, and they’re coming back. But how do you make sure they’re coming back consistently? Reward repeat customers with more points or deeper discounts for shopping at your store multiple times.

Keep track of every time your buyers come in and make a purchase, and try different incentives. Offer a free gift after their tenth visit, or for every five purchases totaled more than $50, give a $20 coupon. 

Traditionally, businesses use punch cards for these types of deals — and they’re still a solid standby. But don’t be afraid to get creative, either. Send follow-up emails, which are great for getting customers to visit your website, or even a direct mailer. Know your audience, and then communicate with them in the way that feels most comfortable.

Encourage Customer Loyalty at Your Natural Food Store

Retaining customers plays a huge role in boosting your small business’ total profits, so it’s important to establish lasting relationships with your buyers. Plus, loyal customers usually place larger orders, and repeat purchases help you better understand buyer behavior, so you can make smarter inventory decisions.

But first, you need a POS system with an integrated customer loyalty program — and one that’s designed by grocers, for grocers. Our specialists at IT Retail are ready to help you get started with a new solution to help you streamline all aspects of your business, so schedule a demo today!

 

Bonus Knowledge

The natural food store customer loyalty ideas, it's important to mention the use of IT Retail Loyalty or App Card, a loyalty software that can be added to the point-of-sale (POS) system. These types of loyalty programs allow natural food stores to reward customers for their purchases and encourage repeat business. By offering incentives such as discounts, free products, or personalized recommendations, natural food stores can create a sense of community and make customers feel valued. With IT Retail Loyalty or App Card, natural food stores can easily track customer purchases and offer tailored rewards, increasing customer loyalty and overall satisfaction.

It's important to mention the use of a data analytics platform like RetailMetric, which integrates with IT Retail's grocery point-of-sale (POS) system for a deeper dive into customer data. By using RetailMetric, natural food stores can analyze customer behavior and preferences to create personalized loyalty programs that effectively engage and retain customers. For example, RetailMetric can help natural food stores identify which products are most popular among certain customer segments, or track how often customers visit the store and make purchases. By leveraging the insights provided by RetailMetric, natural food stores can create targeted loyalty campaigns and rewards that drive customer loyalty and increase sales.

 

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