With more and more startups launching all the time, you not only need to consider industry giants your competitors, but ‘the little guys’ as well. A priceless asset helping set you apart from your competitors is customer loyalty, so creating a loyalty scheme for your community is a brilliant way to help your business thrive, either by encouraging repeat purchases or increasing footfall.
The Domino's Effect
Domino's Pizza recognises the power of customer loyalty schemes in building lasting relationships. – But actually, for small businesses, the impact can be even more significant, offering the following benefits:
Customer loyalty schemes increase the frequency of sales. Local coffee shops offering loyalty schemes are by no means a brand-new idea, but offering a free cup of coffee after a certain number of purchases incentivises customers to return, increasing the frequency of sales. If you can get to know your customers and their regular orders, you can also offer them their favourite hot drink on the house every month too.
Including personal touches as part of your customer loyalty scheme also fosters a sense of community and helps builds lasting connections. For example, a local artisanal bakery who knows their ‘regulars’ could offer free personalised incentives like a free pastry on a customer's birthday or discounts on their favourite baked goods.
You could also try tiered loyalty programs which encourage customers to strive to unlock higher value benefits as their loyalty grows. For example, a small boutique clothing store could offer bigger discounts, early access to sales or exclusive invitations to in-store events with collaborative brands, incentivising customers into the store and to make more purchases, to work their way up the benefits ladder.
A Recipe for Success
While Domino's Pizza gears up for its loyalty scheme, small businesses can leverage the same principles to create a loyal customer base. Whether you offer an online service, have launched a local coffee shop, run a boutique, or own bakery, customer loyalty schemes can be the secret ingredient for success.
By driving sales frequency, increasing footfall, and building lasting connections, loyalty programs empower small businesses to stand out in a crowded market. Here are five ways you can grab a slice of the action:
1. Create a Simple Point System: Create a straightforward point system where customers earn points for each purchase. Once a certain threshold is reached, offer a discount, a free item, or exclusive access to new products or services.
2. Personalise Rewards: Leverage customer data to tailor rewards to individual preferences. A local bookstore, for instance, could offer discounts on genres the customer frequently purchases or provide early access to book signings.
3. Community Involvement: Engage with the local community by tying loyalty rewards to community events. A small fitness studio could offer special discounts or exclusive classes to loyal customers during community health and wellness fairs.
4. Offer Exclusive Memberships: Introduce a VIP or membership program with premium benefits. For a small artisanal chocolate shop, this could mean exclusive tastings, personalised gift packaging, or early access to limited-edition confections.
5. Remember Digital Integration: Implement a digital loyalty platform, leveraging apps or simple point-of-sale systems. This not only makes it easy for customers to track their rewards but also provides valuable data for refining and optimizing the loyalty program.
By implementing straightforward point systems, offering personalised rewards, engaging with the local community, creating exclusive memberships, and embracing digital integration – tailored to your brand identity – small businesses can take inspiration from Domino's Pizza to not only compete but thrive in the realm of customer loyalty.
Remember, it's not about the size of the business; it's about the strength of the connection with customers, and a well-crafted loyalty scheme can be the key to unlocking enduring success.
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