500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

Many Loyalty Programs Arent Realizing Their Potential

by Julia Leyrer
March 20, 2015
Many Loyalty Programs Arent Realizing Their Potential

Originally posted on Merkle's Retail blog: While there are now more than 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships in the U.S., only half of enrolled consumers are active. Why is that? Since the purpose of a loyalty program is to influence consumer behavior, companies need to plan and execute their programs very strategically and wisely to achieve the goals they want. Among the growing selective member base, this is where many leading organizations may fall behind. Make sure to think about providing a “fair exchange of value” – I’ll give you my personal contact information if you deliver additional value – as the consumer strategy upon which all loyalty programs are developed. Creating an ecosystem of engaging content, enticing brand experiences, and preferential valuable services that go beyond the core product or service is where loyalty programs can have a huge impact. Points are a tactic, app… Read more

Keeping Up With Todays Loyalty Demands

by Julia Leyrer
March 05, 2015
Keeping Up With Todays Loyalty Demands

Originally posted on IBM's Smarter Commerce blog: Loyalty marketing is more and more prominent in today’s retail landscape. It is becoming common knowledge that customer acquisition costs are increasingly rising, and data-driven customer retention is a key area filled with untapped growth potential. But loyalty marketing is evolving and is more intricate than just offering discounts to existing customers. As many marketers realize, there are three common problems that they run into when trying to implement an effective loyalty program: 1. They often feel stuck offering dollars-off discounts and are losing their margins without sustainably changing their customer behavior. 2. Personalization is not going further than using much more than a first and last name, and is not connecting to the customer and building customer relationships. 3. Their loyalty members are not actively participating and being engaged, and… Read more

Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

by Justin Yoshimura
August 15, 2014
Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

You might think that, as CEO of a company that powers loyalty programs for over 50 retailers, I would be upset about Facebook’s recent announcement that the company will prohibit rewarding "likes" with incentives, monetary or otherwise. In fact, I'm a big fan of Facebook's move. For one thing, Facebook has restricted incentivizing social actions for years, so the new policy language only clarifies that stance. Also, I've long advised marketers against directly rewarding likes—500friends loyalty software actually disallows it—not only because it lives in a Facebook policy gray area, but also because it just feels wrong, and not in keeping with most brands' values. But the biggest reason I like Facebook’s like-rewarding ban? It has to do with the real value that Facebook offers for retailers. Some would say that's attention or traffic, but I disagree. It’s data. All-encompassing, personalizat... Read more

Loyalty + Predictive Analytics = Personalization: The 500friends / AgilOne Partnership

by Andrew R.
June 24, 2014
Loyalty + Predictive Analytics = Personalization: The 500friends / AgilOne Partnership

In this video, recorded at IRCE 2014, 500friends Director of Strategy and Development Arif Damji talks about how 500friends LoyaltyPlus and AgilOne's predictive analytics help retailers personalize customer experiences and offers.... Read more

500friends + IBM WebSphere, Unica, Coremetrics @ IBM Global Summit 2014

by Andrew R.
May 06, 2014
500friends + IBM WebSphere, Unica, Coremetrics @ IBM Global Summit 2014

As an IBM Smarter Commerce partner, 500friends makes it easy to integrate a loyalty program using IBM WebSphere Commerce, IBM Campaign and IBM Interact (formerly Unica), and IBM Digital Analytics (formerly Coremetrics). In fact, 500friends will be at next week's IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2014, where we'll be showing off our joint loyalty solution. Stop by the Marketing and Merchandising's Innovation Zone and say hello! Meanwhile, watch this video to learn more about how 500friends and IBM team up to deliver innovative customer loyalty solutions for brands like 1800Flowers.com... Read more

Loyalty Makeover: Office Depot

by Ashley Bienvenu
March 11, 2014
Loyalty Makeover: Office Depot

In this installment, we look at the loyalty program at Office Depot, the $17 billion office supplies retailer with 1,900 stores that recently merged with Office Max. Loyalty Makeover offers suggestions to retail brands for making the most of their loyalty initiatives.In late 2013, Office Depot completed a $1.2 billion merger with competitor Office Max. In this Loyalty Makeover we'll look at both programs, and we'll examine the opportunities in merging them. What the Office Depot and Office Max loyalty programs look like today: Office Depot Rewards lets members earn rewards for purchases of ink, toner, paper and copy/print/ship services. Members can also earn rewards for recycling used ink cartridges and completing member profiles. Members who spend at least $200 in a calendar quarter achieve Choice status, which allows them to earn extra points through purchases, made either in-store or online, for products in up to... Read more

Loyalty Makeover: JCPenney

by Zach Woith
March 03, 2014
Loyalty Makeover: JCPenney

In this installment, we look at the loyalty program at JCPenney, the $12 billion department store chain with 1,100 stores and $1 billion in online sales. 500friends Loyalty Makeovers offer suggestions to retail brands for making the most of their loyalty initiatives. What JCP Rewards looks like today: JCP Rewards members accrue one point for every dollar they spend. For every 100 points they earn in a calendar month, they receive a $10 coupon towards future purchases (up to a maximum of ten $10 coupons per month). At the end of every month, point balances reset to zero. First impressions: With a 2013 operating loss of over $1.2 billion, investing in customer retention and loyalty may seem like a luxury for JCPenney. However, to really get back on track, the embattled department store chain will have to prop up its gross margins, which fell to 29.4% in 2013 (typical department stores gross margins hover in the mid- to up... Read more

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