Loyalty programs are an essential part of the entire customer retail experience. The availability of a rewards program holds so much importance that it can influence a shopper to either purchase or not patronize an ecommerce retailer. For this reason, major brands require loyalty program platforms that are innovative, scalable, and adaptable to various channels.
These platforms can be the difference between a successful retailing business and an ecommerce business that is barely making sales.
A good platform can enable retailers to make better-informed decisions by providing deep insights and analytics about buyer behavior. In fact, most retailers only want to use loyalty platforms that have more advanced functionalities and can allow them to tailor the loyalty experience to their brand and their customer needs.
While there are a ton of off-the-shelf loyalty program platforms, not all of them provide the same features, and selecting one that is reliable and can serve its true purpose can be a tricky process. However, an essential point is first to know the features you need to look out for that can enable your business to maximize customer retention and win the affection of customers.
To help you choose the right loyalty program platform, this article has highlighted some of the most important features you should consider before making a decision.
Key Features of a Loyalty Program Platform
Though this feature might sound cliche, it is one of the most important attributes to consider when choosing a Loyalty program platform. As an ecommerce business owner, there is already so much to do to thrive in the industry. Hence, the need for a platform that is extremely simple, even for a retailer who is setting up a rewards program for the first time. Beans’ rewards app gives its users a great head start due to how simple it is to set up a loyalty program. Store owners do not necessarily need technical experts because the platform was designed for users with the least experience in ecommerce. Allocating and redeeming rewards follows a simple and straightforward process with the Liana app.
Loyalty management software companies do not know the peculiar needs of each ecommerce brand. This is why the best loyalty program platforms allow users to add custom rules, attributes, and others. Users should have the freedom to fully customize their loyalty program to suit their brand identity, values, and needs. There should be flexibility to alter earning rules and limits or customize rewards and criteria to serve the goals of the retailer.
Beans provides one of the most customizable loyalty programs you could ever find. Beans loyalty app, Liana, allows merchants to create a memorable marketing experience that fits their brand identity. In addition, the platform is easy to set up, simple to use and allows for quick customization to suit any brand the company chooses. For instance, one of Beans' unique features is its built-in templates. Unlike other traditional programs that do not have this option and insist on using fixed templates and their branding, Beans' rewards program can be easily customized to match your brand identity. In addition, merchants can set their own reward rules at their discretion.
When choosing a loyalty platform, look out for one that enables other software applications to integrate certain functions via API. Such platforms can manage the program's validation, logic, redemption, and tracking from the back-end. With API, the software is able to pull data needed to run more personalized loyalty programs from the data sources.
Another undeniable benefit of choosing a platform with a flexible API is that it is much faster to write one's own loyalty software solution from scratch or make changes with a couple of clocks or simple API requests when integrated. Again, API-focused platforms offer the flexibility to connect to virtually any existing or future platform, mobile apps, making your loyalty program an omnichannel experience. Platforms with APIs are also cost-friendly and affordable since they are usually subscription-based. Finally, they are highly scalable and can handle drastic changes in traffic and the program as a whole.
With Beans Marketing API, you can easily integrate the app with your Point of Sale system, CRM or any part of your ecommerce stack.
Another critical feature to consider when making a selection is the kind of rewards the program allows you to offer. Good loyalty platforms enable you to set up a variety of rewards, including more personalized options. Examples include Free products or samples, free shipping, automatically applied discounts, special product bundles, gift cards, loyalty points, discount coupons, sweepstakes, free subscriptions, or upgrades.
A good loyalty platform should require minimal effort from developers to manage and integrate. Developers should be more focused on building the core business rather than building loyalty features. In addition, there should be clarity in the API documentation, available SDKs to help developers integrate API faster, access to a sandbox environment, monitoring options, maintenance features, and ready-to-use integrations that can reduce developer efforts.
Reminders and Notifications
The platform should allow merchants to distribute information across omni channel platforms efficiently. Check if you have options to display information about the program in the customer portals and can send notifications when customers reach certain milestones. Liana, for instance, enables its users to send out reminders and notifications when customers achieve a higher tier, have points that may be expiring soon, or a promotion that is coming up. Also, ensure that even if the platform does not have this function, it can be integrated with other distribution tools that have them.
For merchants who do not have all the time or resources to write front-end code, customizable, built-in front-end solutions can be beneficial. You should consider choosing a platform that provides features such as an email editor, landing page editor, digital wallet, or dashboard where customers can see the program's status, expiry dates and available rewards, and easy-to-use widgets.
Flexible Rules and Limits
The rules features are essential in every loyalty program because they determine the kind of actions customers need to take to gain rewards. Therefore, in choosing a good platform, you need one that offers diverse options. There should be flexibility in selecting the start and expiry dates in the loyalty program. Check the basic earning rules available and ensure that there is enough room to set up new rules that suit buyer behavior. There should be flexibility in creating loyalty tiers and differentiating the rewards for each tier. You should be able to allocate rewards to certain special products and set reward usage limits and expiry dates in the loyalty program.
Meet Legal Requirements
Another factor to consider is that the software you choose should be able to meet all legal security and privacy requirements in the various countries your business operates. Depending on the region and its rules, the platform should be PCI DSS, CCPA, or GDPR compliant. To be on the safer side, choose platforms that provide features such as two-factor authentication or other security features such as password protection, Security audits, PCI scans, SSL protected access, marketing consent management, and Data encryption.
Referral Program & Integrated Experience
To achieve a higher customer retention rate, merchants need to put in all their effort. Referral programs have been phenomenal, especially when combined with a loyalty program. You need to select a rewards program platform that can combine both or more marketing efforts to create a fully integrated experience. The platform should enable you to set up a complimentary referral program with rewards that will motivate customers to promote the loyalty program to their circles. Since Beans provides a fully integrated platform, you can easily set up a referral program and rules in your loyalty program that reward customers for referring others to your program pages and the store.
The above features are some of the crucial requirements you need to evaluate before deciding on the kind of loyalty program platform to use. Just as businesses continue to evolve, however, the needs of merchants will also continually evolve. At Beans, we are constantly improving on our apps and collaborating with merchants to find out and meet their peculiar needs for a loyalty program. Liana offers the top-notch features above and, more importantly, gives its users an easily customizable platform that can be designed to suit their most pressing brand needs. Get started with us on your loyalty program journey here.