Improve loyalty programs to boost customer retention rates this year
January 15, 2014

Focusing on gift card programs and loyalty programs is an easy way for many businesses to pick up where they left off last year in terms of customer retention in 2014. Retailers in both the brick-and-mortar and online sectors are spending more time and resources trying to get their usual shoppers to return on a regular basis.

Rewards programs, no matter what the retail channel, are a central element of these initiatives. For example, a recent report from eMarketer found a large number of enterprises plan to use mobile marketing to directly influence customer engagement in the near future. While many small and medium-sized companies may lack the abundant resources to develop similar tools, a basic loyalty program can have a profound impact on boosting the overall quality of the shopper experience.

Current economic conditions in the U.S. present good news for retailers this year. According to Manta's End-of-Year Small Business Wellness Index, 72 percent of SMBs reported their operations flourished throughout 2013.

"Our end-of-year survey shows that the small business community had a great 2013, and are evaluating, planning and setting goals to make 2014 even better - both personally and professionally," Kristy Campbell, director of marketing and communications at Manta, stated in a press release.

Most of the companies that participated in the index's survey said marketing will be a major focus this year for boosting revenue growth even further. With these trends in mind, business owners must be careful they are approaching these initiatives in the right context. For instance, targeting existing customers is a much more cost-effective and efficient strategy than trying to attract entirely new demographics. A robust loyalty program can help stores experience a rapid increase in retention rates over time.

Nexus: G-WEBCD1