They say “a loyal customer is 10 times worth their first purchase.” Good customers not only spend more, they recommend others to shop with you, too. Brands started rewarding their evangelists for referrals and this gave birth to the whole concept of customer loyalty programs. Today’s customers have become so accustomed to loyalty rewards. According to the consumer loyalty study conducted by CrowdTwist, 87 percent of Generation Z customers look for omnichannel customer loyalty programs. Customers know the value of their social media footprint and they expect some compensation for their time and attention. So, brands extended the loyalty programs to increase social engagement.
Despite the advancements that tech has brought to the marketing space, nothing works better than “word of mouth.” Member acquisition is social currency and the number of loyalty programs only seems to be growing. Startups are coming up with innovative ways to help brands and its customers use loyalty programs in a mutually beneficial way. Here is a look at five such interesting startups.
Founded in 2009, the New York-based startup provides a SaaS platform for omnichannel loyalty analytics. CrowdTwist’s loyalty and engagement solution help brands to acquire and retain customer relationships. The platform collects customer data and enables companies to create profiles both on the individual and macro level. When a customer joins a loyalty program, their interactions with the brand are logged into their loyalty profile. Reward points get added to their profiles for every interaction. For example, when a customer likes the brand’s Facebook profile or makes a purchase or recommends a friend to sign up, reward points get added to the loyalty wallet. These points can be redeemed for rewards like store coupons, brand merchandise, VIP concert tickets, and more.
Loyalty programs are mutually beneficial. They help customers get rewards and also help brands understand their customers. This way, brands can personalize the marketing efforts for every customer. CrowdTwist tracks age, location, recent purchase, browsing patterns, and other relevant information required for businesses to tailor their marketing. CrowdTwist’s customers include Fortune 500 companies like Pepsi, Steve Madden, AMC Network, Budweiser, Zumiez, The X factor, L’Oreal and 24 Hour Fitness deeply understand their customers. The company was honored with three Loyalty360 awards at the annual Customer Expo at Nashville, Tenn.
Millennials show more interest in gathering reward points than knowing how to actually use them. According to statistics, around $16 billion worth loyalty points expire every year. UsingMiles help customers avoid this by managing all these loyalty points in one place. This is a boon for frequent flyers as the platform manages the loyalty programs that include airlines, car rentals, hotels, retailers, and credit cards. You can manage your entire family’s loyalty points in just one dashboard. You can also browse and book flights, cabs, and rooms within the platform and get to see the points you would need to book certain itineraries. The platform’s proprietary recommendation engine calculates the reward points, analyses the most economical ways to use them and suggests the user. Users also get alerts when it is the best time to redeem their miles (or points) and when the loyalty points are about to expire. With bank-level encryption, the company makes sure that the customer data is in safe hands.
Chirpify is a social media-based loyalty marketing platform. The company encourages social engagement by converting social actions into rewards. Spreading awareness about your loyalty program is as important as creating the program itself. Social media engagement is one of the most powerful methods to spread the word. According to a white paper in Chirpify’s website, socially connected loyal customers spend 75 percent more. Chirpify’s platform can manage listening, responding, shipping and fulfillment for the sampling programs on a real-time basis. The company also leverages a chatbot to handle marketing automation.
Founded in 2011, the Oregon-based startup has raised $8.2 million in four funding rounds. In 2014, Chirpify reinforced its marketing analytics capabilities by acquiring Measureful. Measureful’s platform focused on telling meaningful stories around the web traffic data. Using these stories, you can exactly understand what the stats are trying to tell you. For example, what has changed, what went wrong, what’s doing great and what can be improved. The duo is together making the social media more transactional.
Travelers getting flyer miles for their airline tickets has become too mainstream these days. How about earning miles for booking rooms? Rocketmiles is a startup that helps you earn airline miles for your hotel stays. The company buys rooms for lower prices and sells them at higher. The platform majorly targets the business travelers who travel dozens of times every year. They have partnered with some premium hotels in various cities and reward customers with miles every time they make a booking.
The company works with the world’s biggest airline operators and gives its customers at least 1,000 miles per night on bookings. An average Chicago-based user earns about 800,000 miles every year with Rocketmiles. This is a boon for people like travel organizers and corporate event managers as they get to earn hundreds of thousands of miles when they book rooms in bulk. The Chicago-based startup has raised $8.5 million in two funding rounds since its debut in 2012. Rocketmiles was acquired by Booking Holdings in 2015. Even after the acquisition, the company continues to grow in Chicago’s west loop and Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood helping people with wanderlust to incentivize their hotel bookings.
5. Loyalty Prime
Loyalty Prime is a SaaS platform that empowers organizations to create successful loyalty programs. While businesses design loyalty programs to achieve a particular goal, they don’t pay attention to the other benefits they can achieve using the same program. Loyalty prime help businesses make the most of their loyalty programs in every possible way. It provides all the business rules to craft loyalty programs with maximum flexibility and high performance.
The platform comes with multiple application user interfaces (APIs) that can integrate with IT systems like front-end channels and campaign management. With intuitive user interfaces and seamless workflows, the platform ensures high performance towards reaching targets. Loyalty prime is the first of its kind Cloud-based loyalty solution and has won the best B2B loyalty awards 2015 at the prestigious Loyalty Awards. The company has clients across the world and their customer base includes over 40 blue chip companies
Despite being an early-stage startup founded in 2014, Loyalty Prime generates $3.2 million annual revenue. Their team has 60 employees working in their three offices in Munich, London, and New Delhi. In November 2018, the company raised an undisclosed amount from four investors including the famous SaaS angel Alexander Bruehl who is also a co-founder of the company. The startup intends to use the funds for research, product development and international business reach (especially in the United States).
With a new brand popping up in the market every day, it is important for businesses to retain their customers. Offering an excellent service is not enough today. Reciprocation is one of the most important methods of persuasion. Only when you give your customers something extra, you get their loyalty in return. According to HubSpot, getting a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. Also, your existing loyal customers spend 67 percent more than the new ones. In the United States, although 92 percent of the online store visitors are new customers, 40 percent of the revenue comes from the 8 percent of the existing customers. You cannot sustain in the market if you don’t find a way to achieve customer loyalty and keep them coming back for more. Overall, customer loyalty programs are inevitable for today’s businesses and the future of the startups built around this concept looks really promising.