Brand loyalty in the past was a simple affair. You habitually shopped, in person, at the limited range of stores available to you, each specialising in their own product type. The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker met all of your meat, bread and candlestick based needs.
Fast forward to the modern retail market, and particularly the online realm, where our options are so varied that choice paralysis is common and the fight for customer attention has reached fever pitch…
The dream; to become the brand synonymous with your product type, the first port of call, bypassing an online search, bookmarked, known by heart and favourited. There’s almost a sense of nostalgia to the idea, a return to that small town shopping experience of days gone by. It’s the replication of that sense of trust and familiarity that the best online stores achieve. The end result, that holy grail of commerce: brand loyalty.
Whilst brand loyalty is, of course, a desirable goal for retailers in any space, there are some particular benefits for those in the eCommerce space. A loyal customer base can typically be assumed from a consistently high conversion rate, but beyond metrics, faithful customers become evangelical ambassadors, with online loyalty making the leap offline via word of mouth advocacy. The result, direct referrals that don’t cost a penny to acquire.
In addition, in a market where pricing is so easily and quickly comparable (and with cost often cited as the primary purchase deciding factor), brand loyalty can render customers less insensitive, or at least less sensitive, to price. Loyalty also means behaviour that’s easier to predict, and purchasing patterns that become more consistently evident.
So far, so good. So how do we foster and encourage loyalty? Traditionally, through programmes rewarding and encouraging repeat purchasing, either via automated discounting, special perks online referrals and VIP setups. We took a look at three of the top-rated Shopify apps that can assist with building that ongoing, self-sustaining buzz around your brand.
Built by: Union Works
The elevator pitch: Build brand loyalty through automated birthday discount rewards, delivered by email. Birthdays happen all year round, ensuring increased visibility throughout the year, rather than the peaks and troughs of more general holidays like BFCM. Collect customers’ birthdays in a variety of ways: a sign-up form on your site, a custom birthday sign up page linked from your Shopify theme footer, or a sign up feature embedded within the Shopify Point Of Sale app for in-store “real life” customers.
Big wins: Merchants using our Happy Birthday App are achieving an average email open rate of 60%, click through rates of 10% and conversion rates of 5%.
Pricing: From $10 per month, free trial for 30 days
Integrates with: Shopify POS, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, SMSBump, recharge, omnisend.
Built by: LoyaltyLion
The elevator pitch: London-based LoyaltyLion are synonymous with well-executed rewards tooling within the Shopify ecosystem. However, instead of featuring their main Referral And Rewards Program, we wanted to shine a light on a fantastic free tool they offer, the NPS & Customer Satisfaction app. This provides incredibly valuable insight relating to your most engaged and satisfied customers, those likely to be your best advocates. By surveying customer feedback, brands are able to focus marketing efforts on those who are more likely to repeat purchase, increasing loyalty & lifetime value, honing the focus of your rewards strategy.
Big wins: Happy customers across a wide spectrum of verticals; beauty, apparel, sport, luxury and more.
Built by: Smile.io
The elevator pitch: Smile.io offer a powerful loyalty points program, referral programs, and basic design customizations as part of their free package, with features such as customizable email notifications and referral messaging, advanced design customizations and VIP programs unlocked as part of their paid plans. They aim to bring a human touch back to a world of “beeps and clicks.”
Big wins: Smile.io are the most used rewards program in the world, helping tens of thousands of businesses with their retention and loyalty strategies.
Pricing: From free through to $599 per month.
Integrates with: Shopify POS, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, ReCharge, Okendo, Privy.
At blubolt we’re delighted to be offering Shopify Plus as an option to the ambitious, fast-growing brands who look to work with us. In addition to the industry-leading out of the box features that the platform offers, the thriving app ecosystem that supports and supplements the brands setting up their stall with Plus is a huge asset, and we’re perfectly positioned to help pair our clients with the ideal third-party solutions.
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