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, keep KPIs in check, 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In this era of modernization and sustainability, age-old plastic coupons and loyalty programs are not just outdated but also a hazard.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 a few more advantages on 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 high traffic via different channels (omnichannel platforms)
Improves average revenue per user (ARPU)
Boosts the percentage of order frequency
Strengthen the relationship between customers and the brand to increase customer retention and advocate brand marketing
Building a network and being presented an ample opportunity to grow amongst peers
What drives the right QR Code based loyalty program?
Although there is no consistent solution for handpicking the perfect loyalty program, personalizing them based on customers can help resonate 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 as coupon codes, 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.
Allow customers to engage with the business and brand in more than one way such as emails, mobile apps, flyers, direct mail campaigns, 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.
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 the business location.
Push notifications can be a great method to reach out to the right target audience bringing 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, 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 a great platform 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.
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.
2. Email campaigns
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 an additional pass or discount upon scanning the QR Code-based loyalty program.
3. SMS campaigns
Sending loyalty programs via SMS is a sure way of getting to the customers.
Place the URL containing the QR Code for easy activation. Ask the customers to present this QR Code at the nearest outlet to avail discount on their favorite item or the best=selling product.
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 is perfect.
Add the loyalty program in forms of ‘Add to the Wallet’ or ‘Save to Phone.’ When the user taps on this, the loyalty program is directly added to the right bucket.
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.
We reached out to Joe Flanagan, the lead project engineer at Tacuna Systems who leveraged QR Codes for loyalty programs.
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.
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
7. Tier-based system
Tier-based loyalty program is the most common type of loyalty program.
Although, finding the perfect balance between attuning offers and desirable 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 QR Code, they get rewarded.
There is a stark difference between point-based system and tier-based system – customers are keen on holding on to short-term programs vs long-term programs.
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
Aside from tier-based loyalty programs, a point-based loyalty program is the most common type of loyalty program.
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.
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 to 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 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 righteously.
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 to download and scan the QR Codes quickly.
This QR Code-based loyalty program was so successful that the app was downloaded 30,000 times in the first three weeks.
Unique 60 million codes
Danone claimed that its QR Code-based loyalty program was one of the biggest campaigns in Europe with 60 million QR Codes being generated per month.
For yogurts, the QR Codes are placed on one of the labels whilst for yogurt-based drinks, they are placed on the inside of the cardboard packaging.
Mc Donald’s introduced a QR Code-based loyalty program via their Mc Donald’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 Mc Donald’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 the 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 Benefit 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: The uprising of customer retention
In a world where there are unlimited product choices, a robust loyalty program can make all the difference.
According to the Loyalty Report 2019 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 huge uplift in customer spend, retention, and engagement.
Loyalty programs by itself is 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.
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A number of realtors of all sizes have already leveraged the technology of QR Codes, beacons, NFC tags, and geofencing in real estate such as Coldwell Banker, RE/Max, and JLL amongst others as their mobile marketing strategy. These real estate companies have not only tasted immense success but, also, achieved a high ROI with customer retention.