Why run a membership program for your retail store?

With so many restaurant and retail options to choose from, why are customers so loyal to just a few? One reason is that they flock to businesses that give them great customer service along with the items they need. Another less obvious reason is they stay with companies that reward them for their business.

If you are a retail store and still haven’t started a membership program, it’s time to get on track. Here are 5 reasons why you should run a membership program for your retail store:

1. They’re cheap to implement

A lot of retailers mistakenly think it’s going to cost more money to implement a membership program than they will wind up recouping. This just isn’t true. The low price of starting a membership programs is negligible compared with the amount of business you will have as a result. If you still aren’t convinced, consider that all your members need to present at the register is their phone number. No need to print up cards, saving you money and your customers time.

2. Retain customers

Did you realize it costs 7 times more money to get a new customer than it costs to keep an existing one? Membership programs are great for keeping customers coming back for several reasons. First, they provide incentive for customer to keep shopping at your store. Second, they remind customers to shop at your store, especially when you incorporate newsletters, apps and emails reminding customers to visit your store to redeem their rewards.

3. Cheap market research

Membership programs are a cost-effective way to track your customers’ shopping habits. You can use your membership program to determine who shops at your store, which products are most popular, which products are returned frequently and more. You will also be able to understand which incentives your customers tune into and which ones they ignore, thus making it easier for you to retain customers by giving them exactly the products and incentives they want.

4. Choose online or in store rewards

Membership programs can work on both online and in store platforms, giving you total flexibility when it comes to reaching your customers. These flexible options help you reach shoppers of all types, without limiting your reach to only e commerce or in store shoppers.

Additionally, having both online and in store membership programs will help you determine where your customers are spending more of their time shopping, which can help you with future planning and operations.

5. Increase add on shopping

Membership programs are great at increasing add on shopping, or impulse buying, especially when rewards can only be redeemed at certain price points. For instance, saving $5 off a $20 purchase can persuade a consumer to buy that additional item for $5 he would have otherwise not considered.

Are you convinced to implement a membership program in your store yet? If so, make sure to consider a few important things before diving in:

1. Make it easy

Shoppers don’t want to carry a million membership cards around with them, and with today’s technology, they shouldn’t have to. Make it easy for your customers to become and stay loyal members by simplifying the whole process. Their phone number is all the information they should have to provide to register for and use their membership.

2. Make it worth their time

Even the simplest membership program will get turned down if it doesn’t offer customers anything of real value. Make sure your membership program actually rewards customers in the form of cash, rebates, discounts or anything else that provides a real benefit to the customer.

3. Make it personal

Connecting with your customers, especially your digital customers, can be difficult. Personalized memberships connect you with your customers and increase customer loyalty. Send birthday wishes and targeted discounts to your customers to personalize their membership and keep them shopping with you.

Membership programs are great for retailers, and the best ones benefit both the retailer and the customer. Implement one today and start seeing the rewards stack up!