Implementing a loyal customer base is vital for customer retention. Incentivize review content as part of your loyalty program to encourage brand advocacy, generate UGC and increase revenue through a focus on retention & loyalty.
A loyal customer base is a valuable asset to have in eCommerce. Not only does it bring the revenue associated with retention, it’s also an opportunity to encourage brand advocacy and generate engaging UGC. How? Simply by incentivizing review content as part of your loyalty program.
From higher customer lifetime value to acquisition through referrals, there are multiple ways customer loyalty increases revenue and lowers costs. As a result, a lot of eCommerce merchants have rolled out some sort of loyalty program as part of their long-term growth plan.
These programs are typically built around transactions. A customer makes a purchase and is rewarded for doing so, increasing the likelihood they’ll return to redeem their points or discounts. It makes perfect sense, but a purchase isn’t the only touchpoint you can (or should) leverage.
You should also reward customers for submitting reviews, photos and video content. Here’s why.
Awarding loyalty points for review content is beneficial to both parties in the customer-brand relationship.
On the customer side, incentivized reviews are a quick and easy way to build up a points balance without spending any money, making the loyalty program more financially beneficial.
Beyond this, it’s also another opportunity to engage with a brand they love - not only sharing their experience but having it acknowledged for its value. When they feel a brand appreciates their time and effort they form more of an emotional attachment to it and begin to see themselves as part of its community. This adds value to any future purchases they make.
For you as a merchant, the most obvious benefit is that incentives help you collect more UGC, which is important for engaging with today’s consumer and driving sales:
You also get the added benefit of that deeper emotional connection on the customers behalf, which of course is a driver of loyalty in itself.
Essentially, by combining reviews and loyalty you trigger a profitable cycle. Members of your loyalty program become brand advocates, more than willing to submit quality content in return for rewards. This UGC helps you significantly with new customer acquisition. First time buyers are attracted to your brand’s loyalty program, and the cycle continues.
It’s a highly effective growth strategy and so easy to implement with the right tools.
The first thing you’ll need to do to incorporate reviews into your loyalty program is to make sure the tools you use for both are compatible with each other. From there, it’s a straightforward process.
Decide what actions you want to reward: you’ll obviously want to award points for product reviews, particularly those that include photo and video content. Don’t overlook social media as another source of UGC though.
For example, you may choose to award points for Instagram @mentions. If you’re using tools like Influence.io and REVIEWS.io you can then combine these @mentions with review content and publish it all in shoppable UGC galleries.
Assign a value to each action (in beta testing): some actions will be worth more to you than others. If the products you sell are best showcased in action you’ll want to incentivize video reviews more. If product imagery is important, award more points for photo submissions. Think about what you want to achieve and set points awarded per action accordingly.
Encourage quality content: awarding just 5 points per review will likely lead to a lot of text reviews that say something along the lines of ‘excellent product’. This is not helpful to yourself or future shoppers, and the customer that left the review will have to leave a lot more like them to build up any sort of usable points balance.
When choosing how many points to give for each type of content submission, consider the effort required by the customer and award them fairly. This will encourage higher quality content.
Make it an easy process: instead of encouraging loyalty, you’re likely to frustrate and drive customers away if they encounter any kind of friction in the process. Make sure it’s easy for them to create and submit review content, that points are awarded quickly, and that those points are easy to redeem.
Monitor performance: once you’re up and running, check in on your loyalty and review data at regular intervals. You want to be sure that your efforts are paying off and the points you’re awarding are bringing results.
As with any eCommerce strategy, it’s all about monitoring performance and making changes accordingly, whether that be awarding more points for certain content, or replacing a simple earn and redeem program for more advanced loyalty tiers.
Including reviews in your loyalty program is a clear win-win, beneficial to both you and your customer base. And the best thing about it is it’s one of the easiest eCommerce strategies to implement.
With Influence.io and REVIEWS.io in your tech stack, you have best-of-breed solutions for both loyalty and reviews, and a seamless integration to combine the two. That means you can easily reward your customers for their content, encourage more brand advocacy and attract new loyalty members in the process.
Talk to our Customer Success team about setting up this powerful integration today.
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