A top-notch loyalty program goes beyond the traditional ‘point-for-purchase punchcard’. There is no one-size-fits-all customer loyalty template. The key to success is a data-driven loyalty strategy that combines customer data to create unique, personalized offers that increase engagement and revenue, according to Andres Sjokos, senior director and head of customer program and leading European retailer center excellence, Selling Group.
Speaking to Paula Thomas on her weekly podcast “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, Andres discussed the launch of the Saling Group’s highly successful customer rewards program.
Loyalty in the background of the epidemic
As Denmark’s largest retail operator, serving more than 11 million customers per week, operating in more than 1,400 retail locations, including restaurants, discounts and grocery stores and coffee shops. But far from the story of your general customer loyalty, the Selling Group has adopted a less traditional approach that continues to pay big bucks. It’s a story you won’t want to miss.
One would guess that the Saling Group launched its loyalty program in direct response to changes in customer behavior during the epidemic. However, according to Andres, it was just a coincidence.
“We started respecting the idea of a customer program in early 2019,” he says. “It was originally triggered by a major promotional transformation that I was leading for the group. From this project, it became clear that we needed a customer loyalty program.”
The selling group wanted to move away from its old point-collecting strategy that used a plastic-type token because, with COVID, it has become a hygiene factor. “Apart from being environmentally friendly, it has also made a significant contribution to our P&L.” We don’t believe it can really drive customer value in the long run, “Andres explained.
It saw Selling Group lean towards Cheetah Digital to invest in a new company-wide, fully-integrated digital marketing program that is unique to each of its brands and gives customers more – more personalization, more experience and more benefits. Gone are the days of Selling Group’s spray-and-prep strategy where it would deliver coupons on printed leaflets.
After much discussion and with the help of Cheetah Digital, Selling Group decided to create a loyalty program that could be used anywhere as a proprietary digital personalized communication channel; Something that didn’t rely on Facebook and Google’s walled garden. Even more, the program will help the group understand its customers beyond the transaction.
Passing ‘Grandma Exam’
Steve Jobs nailed it when he said that users should only be three clicks away from what they want to do. And that’s exactly the kind of premium selling group Cheetah Digital has launched that has created its loyalty program.
Instead of asking a lot of questions about sign-up and profile building, Selling Group’s loyalty program, which offers single-touch activation, requires only three things: an app download, an email address, and a payment card.
“It had to pass what I call the ‘Grandma’s Test’ – if it was easy enough for my grandmother to sign in, it was easy enough,” Andres said.
By focusing on delivering an excellent and seamless customer experience through digital payment, coupon and gamification weaving in personal brand app, Selling Group has achieved 10 times lift among daily active users.
What’s more, it broke its 2020 loyalty registration targets in just four weeks. And recently, the group has touched a major milestone worthy of applause. “We’ve just reached the mark of 1.2 million members,” he said. “It’s a very nice number to celebrate.”
Cost-effective and cookie-free communication
As Paula points out, compared to other digital, TV and marketing methods, having a direct digital channel to reach your customers is incredibly affordable. What’s more, with the demise of third-party cookies, keeping your customers is now more important than ever.
“The key is to be able to engage with your customers on their terms, with what’s happening with cookies and data privacy these days. When they sign up for your app, they’re basically saying that they allow you to engage with them there. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. ”
Recently, Selling Group has embedded Niatoscan service in its loyalty app. Now, customers can scan their items on their phone while shopping. When they finish shopping, they press the pay button and then exit. No need to line up.
“We have another feature, which we call digital refunds,” Andres explained. “So we obviously have digital receipts. But if you are dissatisfied with the product back home, because, for example, you cut the avocado in half and unfortunately, it is brown or something; To identify the product on your digital receipt, take a picture, send us some comments on why you want to return it and then send it and we will refund you to your digital account. “
Gamification as a strategy
Remember the paper scratch cards where you would get your coin and scratch the paper to reveal what you won? It was originally installed by Saling Group in its loyalty app. It’s a game that people still love to play, even digitally
“When they play games on our app, they are unlocking free chocolate bars or glue bears. It’s nice, but it’s not the main thing. And yet, there is this remarkable level of engagement. From kids to grandma, everyone wants to scratch. And it allows them to come back to our app, “said Andres.
Thanks to this incredible response, the Saling Group seeks to accelerate the development of new, more complex games. The group found that it was a highly cost-effective loyalty strategy that paid big money.
“Again, it’s all about simplicity,” he noted. “Before, when we played games, it was an operational nightmare because we had to allocate prices, make sure the cashier had the correct barcode to scan, and so on.
“It simply came to our notice then. The team combines experience with loyalty. Once our customers play the game and win the product, a free product coupon flies to their loyalty app. The customer can then pick up the item from the shelf and leave without paying for it. The store staff doesn’t even need to know that we’re playing a game. This was a key parameter to convince our people in the store to let us run these games. It’s been critical. “
For the latest global consumer attitudes and trends in personalization, privacy, messaging, advertising and brand loyalty, see Cheetah Digital’s 2022 Digital Consumer Trends Index Here.
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