QR Codes for loyalty programs & rewards: Boost customer retention & brand loyalty
Be a brand that customers love and give them a reason to keep coming back for more with QR Codes for loyalty programs. Check out our guide on how rewards via QR Codes can transform your brand story and improve customer loyalty rates!
Customers love personalized loyalty programs. So much so that, according to the Synchrony Financial poll, 80% of American adults are enrolled in some type of loyalty program.
A well-thought-out, hyper-personalized QR Code based loyalty program can increase customer retention, boost KPIs, and generate a positive ROI.
Why are QR Codes for loyalty programs essential?
In this era of modernization and sustainability, age-old plastic coupons and loyalty programs are not just outdated but also a hazard.
A mere 18% of plastic card-based loyalty users remained active after 3 months as opposed to an 83% mobile-based loyalty program.
In addition to this, there are various other advantages to including QR Codes for loyalty programs –
Faithful customers convert and invest with brands they like more often – as much as 79%.
Businesses who keep their customers happy increase their ROI remarkably. Since these businesses cater to their customers personally, users end up spending more than the others.
Increase in traffic via different channels (omnichannel platforms).
Boosts average revenue per user (ARPU).
Increases the percentage of order frequency.
Strengthens the relationship between customers and the brand to increase customer retention and advocate brand marketing.
Builds a network and presents ample opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.
How to create an effective QR Code-based loyalty program to reward your customers?
Although there is no consistent solution for handpicking the perfect loyalty program, personalizing them based on your customer behavior can help you relate with them.
The right fine-tuning of loyalty programs can garner a substantial amount of ROI. Four out of five top drivers of member satisfaction and engagement associate it with the brand experience.
Besides, as much as 66% of consumers modify their brand spend to maximize loyalty benefits.
Here are a few boxes to tick to follow the best practices –
1. Implement personalized messaging
QR Codes for loyalty programs serve as a great avenue for customer retention. As stated previously, customers connect on a higher level if a brand personalizes loyalty programs based on their taste, shopping, and spending behavior.
By leveraging dynamic QR Codes such as coupon codes, you can use customer analytics to provide and fine-tune relevant and timely offers.
2. Make use of an omnichannel platform
Approximately 2.7 billion users have access to smartphones. Using this to the maximum advantage, businesses can fully leverage QR Code-based loyalty programs on multiple forums – emails, mobile apps, flyers, direct mail campaigns, digital business cards, PDFs, and social media platforms.
3. Create a tailor-made strategy
Identifying a business’s goals and strategy to accordingly plan its KPIs and ROI is essentially ideal. Keeping these parameters in mind, fine-tune personalized loyal programs based on customer expectations and use the correct technology and channel.
4. Efficient communication
Using data insights from Analytics, contact customers through channels they often use.
For instance, if the QR Code-based loyalty program is more often used via emails, then reach out to the customers and offers them an incentive or maybe a hyper-personalized coupon based on their spending habit.
5. Location-based push notifications
Make use of proximity marketing tools such as beacons and NFC tags to locate customers when they pass the perimeter of your business location.
Push notifications can be a great method to reach out to the right target audience to bring out maximum returns.
For instance, if a customer is passing by a cafe, send a message with a 10% discount to try their new coffee.
Location-based push notifications can work as a great tool to bring back customers, especially for business owners.
11 ways to leverage QR Codes for loyalty programs
As consumers have grown more susceptible, brands and businesses have become more inventive in their offerings. Ergo, in-store promotions, payments, rewards, and loyalty programs are now easily available via QR Codes.
Here are a few methods to implement QR Codes for loyalty programs –
1. Social media
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter serve as great platforms for branding content.
According to Visual Objects, 22% of millennials said offers and promotions on social media compel them to visit a website, compared to 29% of Gen X and 38% of baby boomers.
Add a CTA when including a QR Code-based loyalty program and share instructions on how to use these coupons, in case customers aren’t aware of QR Codes.
Bonus tip: Include a link and QR Code so users who cannot scan the QR Code can leverage the coupon. Advertise the loyalty program so it reaches the audience that does not follow your page.
Email campaigns enable businesses to customize their loyalty programs and cater to different segments of the target audience to increase the download rate.
For instance, include a QR Code-based loyalty program along with the weekly newsletter or, special product releases. Entice the customer with rewards or discounts that can be availed upon scanning the QR Code-based loyalty program.
3. SMS campaigns
Sending loyalty programs via SMS is an effective way of reaching out to your customers.
Place the URL containing the QR Code for easy activation. Ask the customers to click on the link and present this QR Code at the nearest outlet to avail discount on their favorite item or the best selling product.
Bonus tip: Personalize the message with the customer’s name and interest.
4. Mobile App
For brands and businesses that have an app, sending across a QR Code-based loyalty program within the app to users’ smartphones is perfect.
Add the loyalty program in the form of ‘Add to the Wallet’ or ‘Save to Phone.’ When the user taps on this, the loyalty program is saved within the app or directly on their smartphone.
According to a study, 71% of customers are more likely to redeem their loyalty programs if they are mobile-friendly. Thus, in-app loyalty programs are not just useful but also drive a high ROI.
Receipts are fantastic real-estate to promote QR Code-based loyalty programs and coupons if there is an added incentive.
He stated that the loyalty programs are printed on the receipts of existing customers which is directly linked to their promo page to offer special discounts, proving to be highly beneficial.
Encourage customers to scan the QR Code for an additional discount or a free sample of a fresh product. This will not only entice them to scan the QR Code but also come back to the store.
Bonus tip: For a QR Code-based loyalty program on the receipt, make sure to train store executives to remind customers about the existing offer.
For businesses with a physical store, promoting QR Code-based loyalty programs in-store is imperative.
In-store loyalty programs can be run via posters, at the check-out aisle, or through a print ad.
Adding QR Codes on products is another great way of keeping the customers engaged and adding them to the loyalty program post-purchase.
Place the QR Code-based loyalty program(s) near areas of congregate such as entry/exit points, POS, or dwell areas.
Include the QR Codes near products throughout the store that are relevant.
Include a CTA for all QR Code-based promotions.
Do not forget to include a short URL for customers who don’t have access to smartphones to scan QR Codes.
7. Tier-based loyalty programs via QR Codes
A tier-based loyalty program is the most common type of loyalty program.
Although, finding the perfect balance between desirable and attractive offers is a challenge most companies fail to design – one such way to fight this is by implementing a tier-based QR Code loyalty program to boost loyalty to encourage more purchases.
Include QR Code(s) depending on the industry vertical. For most kinds of verticals, a tier-based system works seamlessly.
Place QR Codes in review feedback forms, POS aisles, during sales, and whilst promoting any new product. Make sure to let the customers know that upon scanning the loyalty program QR Code, they can enroll in the rewards program and maintain their membership account with a unique ID.
This not only keeps customers engaged with your brand as their tier level improves with more purchases over time but also lets you track their spending behavior to fine-tune campaigns and strategies. Customers can then be rewarded based on their tier level, eventually driving brand loyalty.
Bonus tip: Present a small reward for customers who sign up for the tier-based loyalty program as a token of appreciation. This ultimately helps customers repeat purchases and by increasing the reward value, the customer also moves up the loyalty ladder.
8. Point-based system using QR Codes
Aside from tier-based loyalty programs, a point-based loyalty program is the most common type of loyalty program.
There is a stark difference between a point-based system and a tier-based system – customers are keen on holding on to short-term programs vs long-term programs.
The formula is simple: regular customers earn points, which can be redeemed to buy a product, or sometimes even a reward.
Include QR Codes as a part of the point-based loyalty program and convey to the customers that they get additional points upon scanning. Whether it’s a discount, special product sneak-peek, or a freebie, that can depend on the points accumulated.
A handful of companies stagger in this method. Bridging the relationship between points and concrete rewards program is the key to a successful loyalty program.
Bonus tip: When opting for a points-based loyalty program via QR Codes, keep the conversions simple and intuitive.
9. Connect with customers via games
Gamification of your loyalty program can drive more users to sign up. 53% of customers say they are interested in using game mechanics.
Including games and game-like elements in a QR Code-based loyalty program can not just make it interesting for customers to engage, but also piques their interest in knowing more about the program.
Here are a few ways to include games in the loyalty program –
a. Declare a contest
Include QR Codes in store premises, emails, mobile apps, and webpages. Promise a high-value reward upon scanning the QR Code to submit anything that drives the KPI – design ideas, recipes, or music.
b. Include challenges
Add a level-based game like a scavenger hunt or maybe an in-store game to add challenges. Include a QR Code for every level to guide the customers easily.
With every challenge completed, reward the customers with a freebie, a discount on an item, or a shoutout on social media.
This not only drives long-term commitment to foster repetitive purchase behavior but also garners attention on social media to reach business goals.
c. Set up sweepstakes
Include QR Codes on post-purchase add ons such as lottery tickets or an invite to an event.
d. Place a prize wheel
Set up a prize wheel with multiple offers on each quartet. Include QR Codes on each quartet to claim the offer instantly.
Place the prize wheel in wait areas, POS, and entry/exit points.
Danone included QR Codes with their loyalty programs in Spain encouraging its users to scan the QR Code on the products as a way to earn points.
Each Danone pack contained a QR Code that allowed consumers to earn up to $50 per month in the form of discount coupons. The dairy giant also launched a multiplatform mobile application for users that could be quickly downloaded by scanning the QR Code.
This QR Code-based loyalty program was so successful that the app was downloaded 30,000 times in the first three weeks.
McDonald’s introduced a QR Code-based loyalty program via their McDonald’s app in their ‘Deals’ section.
The loyalty program is rewards-based, giving out free beverages upon scanning the QR Code located in the app. The process was simple: Purchase any item and present the QR Code at a McDonald’s outlet to claim a free McCafe.
The reward program was so successful that there were more than 7.5 million app downloads, which surpassed all expectations.
According to a study by Juniper, retailers are in the right place at the right time to leverage the power of QR Codes to an increasingly receptive user base.
Starbucks introduced a QR Code-based loyalty program to promote its new summer refreshments. The coffee giant placed QR Codes on leaflets to advertise new beverages and show customers how Starbucks reinvented coffee.
When consumers scanned the QR Code, they were taken to a mobile-friendly page to witness the discovery of experiencing coffee to gain reward points.
The coffee giant, Starbucks, also introduced a reward-based QR Code loyalty program.
Customers were expected to scan the QR Code to vote for their favorite roast. Starbucks encouraged them to scan the QR Code by waiving $1 off their favorite bag of Starbucks coffee.
US-based, Benefit Cosmetics, belonging to the parent company of LVMH, leveraged QR Codes to drive shoppers from its online platform into its brick-and-mortar stores in New York City.
The QR Code-based loyalty program offered special rewards accessible only to shoppers who scanned the QR Codes at Benefit boutiques. The QR Codes were attached to a grand prize of $1,000 of benefits services including tinting and makeup application.
Upon scanning the QR Codes printed on a Benefit flyer, the user is directed to a site presenting another QR Code that is to be scanned by a Benefit executive in the store.
Benefit leveraged the power of social media and QR Codes to successfully drive customers to their offline stores whilst growing their online presence simultaneously.
QR Codes for loyalty programs: Boost customer engagement and retention
In a world where there are unlimited product choices, a robust loyalty program can make all the difference.
According to the Loyalty Report by Bond, 8 members out of 10 are dissatisfied with the level of personalization in their loyalty program.
But the same report also states that when it is done right, personalization contributes to a massive uplift in customer spend, retention, and engagement.
Loyalty programs by themselves are a powerful tool for customer retention and improving brand marketing. When coupled with the technology of QR Codes, they serve as an impeccable solution to solve major pain points of the B2C industry.
Frequently asked questions about QR Code-based loyalty programs
1. How to redeem coupons using QR Codes?
Coupon redemption via QR Codes is extremely simple. Just open your smartphone camera, point it towards the QR Code, and click on the link that pops up. This will take you to the landing page, from where you can copy the coupon code and use it on the relevant webpage shared by the company to avail of discounts and offers.
2. Are there any QR loyalty card alternatives available?
Yes, there are software and apps available that serve as an alternative to QR loyalty cards. However, we recommend opting for a trusted QR Code solution for loyalty programs as you can get so much more – design customizations, scan analysis and tracking, retargeting, enhanced security features – starting as low as $5 a month.
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