The customers you already have are just as important as the customers you’re chasing after. That’s why you should try different ways to keep them and build customer loyalty so they always keep coming back to you.
Did you know that existing customers are “nine times more likely to make a purchase” than new customers? Or that “the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%”, as opposed to only 5-20% for prospective customers?
Sounds good, right? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s an effective way to do this, and it’s called a customer loyalty program. In this article, I’ll tell you all the basics about it and give you some smashing examples that’ll help you create your own customer loyalty program.
So stay tuned!
TLDR: *A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy based on a rewards system for customers aimed to make them come back to your business and remain loyal to it. Customer loyalty programs are super important if you want to encourage existing customers to keep coming back. *
There are different ways you can design a loyalty program. One example is The Body Shop, which has a points system - for every dollar you spend, you get a point, and 100 points get you a $5 voucher. You also get access to exclusive offers, free perks, birthday vouchers, friend-referral discounts, and more. Penguin Random House, offers a very simple points-based loyalty program. Every book purchase brings you 10 points, and with 120 points, you get a free book, alongside personalized book recommendations. Sephora’s elaborate point system - from 0$ to 1000$, you can get different benefits depending on how much you spend per year. Also, you get specific discounts and cashback by using Sephora’s credit card.
What is a Customer Loyalty Program?
A customer loyalty program is a marketing strategy that’s aimed toward established customers to encourage them to make repeat purchases and build brand loyalty. This kind of strategy is based on a rewards system. It includes different types of rewards, discounts, giveaways, vouchers, points, cashback, free perks, and so on, all to incentivize customers to keep returning.
In fact, there is no one way you can design a customer loyalty program, but many, depending on customer expectations and the type of business you have. That’s why in this article, I’ll show you examples of brands that utilize different types of loyalty programs. That way, you can try them out and see which will suit your brand best.
Customer Loyalty Program Examples
Okay, time to see the best loyalty programs out there!
1. The Body Shop Loyalty Program
You’ve probably heard of The Body Shop, the beloved skin and body care brand that has stores all over the world. Well, as it turns out, they have one hell of a loyalty program as well.
The Body Shop loyalty program includes points you earn and exclusive offers and rewards.
What’s more, they offer 10% off for every new member who signs up for the loyalty club. This is a good start for a program that offers a lot more when you sign up, as you will see in a moment.
Okay, so how does the program work?
- Body Shop Points Loyalty Program
With its points program, The Body Shop gives its members 1 point for every dollar they spend on any of its products. Once a member amasses 100 points, they’re automatically awarded a $5 voucher.
- Body Shop Exclusive Offer Program
Members of the loyalty club also get access to exclusive membership offers. They change all the time, but you can always find the latest exclusive offers on their website.
- Body Shop Free Perks Loyalty Program
The free perks program includes getting a 10$ voucher for a customer’s birthday, early access to special editions, and some other (unspecified) exclusive gifts and prizes.
Other Loyalty Program Offers From The Body Shop
The Body Shop allows you to spend your vouchers on any of their products, regardless of whether you shop online or in a brick-and-mortar store.
You also have the option to donate your vouchers to any of the charities that are chosen as charity partners of The Body Shop.
A personal favorite of mine is the friend referral, in which your friend gets $10 off when they shop online, while you get $10 off the next order you make.
2. Penguin Random House Rewards Program
If you want something simpler to start with on your loyalty program journey, take a look at Penguin Random House.
Their loyalty rewards program is pretty straightforward. Once customers sign up online (for free, of course), they’re able to earn points - with every book they buy that’s published by Penguin Random House, they earn 10 points. The books can be purchased anywhere there’s a Penguin Random House store. Once 120 points are accumulated, members of the program are rewarded with a free book. They can earn a maximum of 720 points per year, and the points are valid for two years from the date of issue.
By signing up for their loyalty program, members also become eligible to get personalized book recommendations from Penguin Random House.
And that’s it; pretty straightforward and a very simple and easy way to start if you’re new to the whole customer loyalty program.
3. Sephora Loyalty Program
It seems that no internet list on customer loyalty programs can be complete without Sephora’s program because of its genius marketing.
The story begins with all members of their Beauty Insider loyalty program being able to earn 1 point per $1 spent on Sephora products. By making purchases customers can rise from an Insider to a VIB, up to a Rouge status. But what do these names even mean?
As you might know, Sephora’s products are a bit pricey, so coming up with a detailed but well-structured loyalty program is a great way to retain customers and keep them coming. The Insider type of member is usually a new member or one who spends less than $350 a year on Sephora products.
These members get to redeem 500 points for $10 off, access exclusive discounts and savings, and free standard shipping for purchases above $50. They also get a free birthday gift, exclusive perks, and access to the rewards bazaar where they can redeem points for events and samples, among other things.
Insiders can also access Sephora’s app, attend exclusive events, and access exclusive product launches.
VIB members are customers who make purchases that amount to more than $350 per year (up to $1000). They get the same benefits as the Insider customers, the difference being that their free shipping threshold is above $35.
Rouge members are customers who make purchases that exceed $1000 per year. They get free shipping on all products, regardless of how much they buy per purchase. They get all the perks Insider and VIB members get, but they’re also eligible for the Rouge Reward consisting of 2,500 points acquired for $100 off.
Moreover, they get to enjoy first access to exclusive discounts and savings and exclusive product launches.
Sephora’s loyalty program is an elaborate piece of work that allows customers to tailor it according to their buying habits and personal budgets.
Sephora also has the option to get your own Sephora credit card, which gives you 25% off for your entire first purchase, and plenty of other perks, discounts, and cashback options.
Starbucks has one of the simplest and best loyalty programs I’ve seen, which is no wonder for a brand of that stature.
The process for joining their loyalty club is really simple. Customers just need to create an account, which they can either do on their website or their mobile app.
And that’s it. Next time they buy something from Starbucks, they get a star, which is the basis of their rewards system.
Starbucks’ star system is really simple. Basically, for every dollar that customers spend on their products, they get one star. If they choose to use their Starbucks Card and pre-load it with a certain sum of money, they get two stars per dollar.
Collected stars are divided into five categories, all of which allow customers to choose Starbucks’ products for free:
- 25 stars - this is the first stars option that new customers will run into and with it, they get to customize their drink for free;
- 50 stars - customers can choose between a free drink (coffee or tea) or some kind of pastry;
- 150 stars - customer can choose between a hot breakfast, parfait, or a handcrafted drink;
- 200 stars - with this many stars, customers are entitled to a whole meal like a salad, sandwich, or a protein box;
- 400 stars - the highest stars category gives customers the option to choose Starbucks merchandise, a bag of coffee, or coffee accessories.
So as you can see, depending on how many stars are accumulated, Starbucks customers will get to choose different free products like drinks, food, Starbucks merchandise, and coffee accessories.
Starbucks’ loyalty club doesn’t only include stars and free products. It also offers other perks, like easy complimentary birthday food or drinks gifts, as well as in-store refills of tea and coffee.
Another great thing about Starbucks’ extra program is the option to save time when ordering. So, if one orders through the app and selects the store location, they can have their order ready just in time when they arrive. Also, customers can customize their orders, save their favorites, and track the estimated pickup time.
Customers can also do challenges and games to get bonus stars and get faster to the free perks. For example, Starbucks has special days where one can earn twice as many stars as on regular days.
Lacoste is a big name in the clothes and fashion industry. They have a three-tier loyalty program that offers early access to sales, exclusive gifts, new collection previews and access, birthday discounts, exclusive gifts, shipping offers, and VIP events invitations.
It’s a simple, but very attractive loyalty program. Let’s see how it works!
Lacoste’s Three-Tier Loyalty Program The tier system is based on points. With every Lacoste purchase, customers earn a particular number of points, depending on how much they spend (one dollar equals ten points).
The first tier is called L. 1 and it’s the one automatically awarded to each new member once they join. In this tier, members get a birthday offer and a loyal shopper bonus.
The second tier is the L. 2 one. This one starts when members accumulate 1000 points, and it includes a celebration offer, exclusive style access, and more.
The third tier, L. 3, starts from accumulated 5000 points. It includes free 2-day shipping for an online order, a free gift, and invitations to special events.
The points are accumulated both in-store and on the Lacoste website, and they’re valid for 12 months, starting from the date customers entered the loyalty level.
And that’s it! All one needs is to register, either at their stores, online, or through their customer service.
I just love, love, love Adidas’s rewards program called Adiclub. It’s so rich with perks and benefits, and it doesn’t stop only at Adidas’ products, it also motivates you to exercise more!
Adiclub’s Rewards Program
Okay, so Adidas’ loyalty program has four levels, each with a particular set of points. There are several ways members can earn points.
They can earn 10 points for every dollar they spend online or in-store, but also through Adida’s daily training sessions for every 5k, which they track on their running app.
Members can earn 50 points for creating an account, completing the profile, and reviewing a purchase they’ve made recently.
Members can earn 100 points for participating in an Adida’s runners event.
Adidas Four Reward Levels
Level 1 is from 0 to 999 points and it includes:
- Members-only releases, meaning access to limited-edition apparel;
- Access to their Confirmed mobile application that allows for easier previews of new editions;
- Early sales access, which means members are first to know when a sale is happening;
- Free shipping on all Adidas purchases.
Level 2 is from 1000 to 3999 points and it includes:
- Next-level access to special offers. Basically, the higher the level, the more of these offers members are able to unlock;
- 3 months' worth of premium Adidas running and training apps - members get a voucher allowing them to use 3 months of premium access to Adidas’ sports apps, which include custom workouts, personalized training programs, meal planning, etc.;
- Birthday gift - members are eligible for a gift for their birthday;
- Bonus surprise rewards.
Level 3 starts from 4,000 to 11,999 points and it includes:
- Early priority access to new Adidas products;
- Free personalization - members can add numbers, names, flags, and other stuff to selected shoes;
- Priority customer service - members have priority support when they use the Adidas app for whatever they need;
- Bonus rewards - the higher the level, the better the rewards.
Level 4 is 12000+ points and it includes:
- This is top-level membership which means members get to be invited to free concerts, games, and also meet and greets with top Adidas athletes in their city;
- Priority access to the newest limited edition Adidas apparel;
- 12 months of premium access to Adidas’ running and training apps;
- Bonus surprise rewards.
As you can see, Adidas’ loyalty program is super stacked with perks and access. It also involves Adidas’ commitment to a healthy and athletic lifestyle by including its training apps. There’s much to learn here, especially from the fourth level, which includes free gigs, games, and meetups with athletes. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a club like that?
As you can see, all of these examples have different elements to their customer loyalty programs. Of course, you don’t have to use all of them, just the ones you find will best suit your business. The key is to make your customers feel appreciated and make them feel like they’re entering a wider community of aficionados they just can’t wait to be a part of!