10 Innovative Rewards Ideas for your Loyalty Program

February 03, 2022

The essence of reward programs is to incentivize your customers to stick with your brand. There are multiple kinds of rewards programs. Once you find the type of rewards program that works best for your business, you need to figure out how to make it attractive. Which rewards can actually yield the repeat purchases you need? With the wealth of information available, getting the right rewards program incentives for your clients can become an overwhelming process. First, you need to consider if your customers are excited about the rewards you give. Then you also need to ensure that the rewards align with their purchasing habits.

This post will share some of the most innovative reward ideas you can implement in your loyalty program to achieve the best results.

Private events

An innovative way to reward your most loyal customers is to offer them exclusive experiences and access to private events that will not only make them feel special but imprint your brand in their minds.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program is noted for offering access to VIP events and private dinners with brand designers to their VIB Rouge members.

Nordstrom’s The Nordy Club is another example of a loyalty program that gives its members access to style and beauty workshops. Its higher-tier members gain exclusive access to VIP events and are prioritized when it comes to top fashion events.

This sense of prestige and exclusivity makes the brand more attractive and pushes lower-tier members to purchase more to reach that status.

Concerts, shows, and matches

To earn the loyalty of your customers, you need to reward them with something that they are excited to earn or something that genuinely interests them. Most importantly, the reward should also align with your brand in such a way that it creates a memorable experience.

For example, if you own a sports brand that sells tennis wear and products, a great reward for your customers will be to offer them a ticket to a tennis match when they make a purchase. The same can apply to a store selling musical instruments. You can delight customers by gifting them free tickets to an upcoming concert or music fair you know they would be thrilled to attend. For instance, if you sell golf courses, you could offer clients a free round of golf perhaps on their fifth visit to your store. What you are essentially doing with this type of reward is focusing on your customers’ interests and giving them memories to remember your brand.

The North Face XPLR Pass gives exclusive access to its members to attend certain expeditions across the globe and movie premieres.

Custom shopping experience

Modern customers enjoy having a highly personalized shopping experience and are more likely to stick with brands that spend their effort getting to know them and providing them with their exact needs. This is why giving your members a custom shopping experience as part of your program is a good bargain. Customers will benefit more and have their problems solved when brands seek to address them individually based on their personalized needs. For instance, offering loyal members product recommendations based on their specific needs is a great perk.

The beauty brand Sephora employs this tactic very well in its loyalty program, the beauty insider. Insider members can directly access a personal shopper who will assist and advise them on the best products they need depending on their problems.

Badges

One of the coolest ways to keep customers motivated enough to make repeated purchases and be loyal to your brand is by rewarding their progress. The more they believe they are closer to reaching a set goal, the more committed they will be in their effort to achieve that goal. This strategy is extremely effective if you want to enhance customer engagement with your brand and your loyalty program. You can reward customers with badges whenever they reach a certain set milestone. These badges can later be redeemed for tangible perks such as free items, a higher tier, or access to certain exclusive items.

A good example is the Nike membership program which rewards its members for living an active lifestyle. Their Nike Training Club app rewards its users with badges and other perks whenever they reach a new milestone. As more and more customers gain success with the training found in the app, they become more loyal to the brand and attribute their successful results to Nike.

Cashback

Cashbacks are another excellent way of rewarding customers in your loyalty program. With this idea, participating members receive an amount of cashback for every dollar they spend in your store. This cashback can later be used when they make another purchase. The element of saving money and gaining an instant reward for shipping is a great motivator for customers. A good example of such a structure is Kohl’s Cash. Customers earn $10 cash for every $50 they spend.

Free shipping

While people love to shop online, one of the biggest turn-offs is paying for hefty shipping costs to receive items. This problem can easily be rectified by offering free shipping when people purchase from your online store. This incentive will not only cause your brand to stand out from competitors but will also go a long way to increase purchase frequency and sales exponentially. Amazon Prime has used this strategy effectively raking in millions of loyal members as a result. Not only does their rewards program offer free shipping but they even offer to ship items to customers within one or two days. There are even times that customers have received their products on the same day. This kind of service enhances the customer experience and leaves them delighted enough to continue doing business with the brand.

DSW VIP Club members enjoy Free 4 to 7 days of shipping on each purchase they make. They can also return items for Free in-store if they are unsatisfied.

Discounts

Another incredible way to reward your customers is to give valuable discounts on the products and services you offer. A 20 percent discount on your products will encourage customers to keep visiting your store so they can save some money. However, shop owners need to note that to be effective with this strategy, you need to limit the discounts you make available publicly. You should prioritize giving the best discounts to members of your loyalty program. This will also prompt new and existing customers to join your program.

You can also send out customized discount coupons depending on the products you observe customers purchasing the most. If the customer data shows that a customer often purchases products in a certain category, you can offer them a customized discount for those products. This personalized approach will be well appreciated by your customers.

Exclusive access to special items

Ecommerce brands can retain their members by granting them exclusive access to certain items and sales. There are different ways to go about this idea. You could either decide to send out notifications concerning exclusive sales only to members of your rewards program such that they are the only ones who have access to the information and special offer.

Another way is to make information about the exclusive deals available to all customers, but grant access to these special products and offers only to your loyalty program members. This will motivate customers to join the program so they can also enjoy its benefits. You could also grant loyalty members early access to special products or big sales before alerting the general public. All these strategies will make your loyalty program valuable to new and existing customers alike.

Free products

Rewarding customers with free products is extremely popular when it comes to loyalty programs. This kind of incentive is usually a great fit for the food and cosmetic industries, and other similar industries in which smaller products are bought more frequently. Everybody loves to get free stuff. Giving away a free product, food item, or service in your loyalty program will make your customers feel appreciated and motivate them to purchase more.

There are several examples of brands that offer free products through their loyalty programs. For example, members of the Starbuck loyalty program can earn free drinks. Sephora, another example, allows customers to choose the free products they’d like to exchange their points for. Some members receive free product samples just for reaching the next tier in their rewards program. Sephora’s strategy works well because customers choose to pick their freebie, thereby increasing the value of the rewards program in their eyes.

The Chick-Fil-A One app is another typical example of a program that allows its members to choose a free product. Customers can earn points for purchasing food with the app. Those points can then be redeemed for free food items of their choice, ranging from salads to fries.

Birthday surprises

Everybody wants to feel special on their birthdays and what better way to win the heart of a customer than to give them a good treat on their birthday. Through your rewards program, you can set up a birthday surprise for customers once you have their data. An innovative way to stand out is to surprise customers with a free product, discount, or exclusive offer on the day or throughout their birth month. These incentives work even better when customers receive them as a surprise.

Now that you’re aware of some great reward ideas to implement in your rewards program, you need to take action by offering the right incentives to your customers. For online retailers, integrating a loyalty app such as Beans in your store makes it easier to reward and retain customers.

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