3 Case studies of outstanding Reward Programs

Summer Nguyen avatar
Summer Updated: August 01, 2021

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Since the market has been increasingly competitive, several online merchants are struggling in deploying an effective loyalty program to build customer retention among buyers. A loyalty program is necessary for business doers as it helps to remain a sustainable number of customers to make purchases at stores. In other words, loyalty program pays the way for the continuous revenues for a business.

However, there are various marketers who are not successful in running a loyalty program. It means that to earn accomplishment through this method requires shop owners to prepare carefully before starting. Following are three successful examples of how some brands can take advantage of reward campaigns to raise customer retention.

Starbucks

How does the Starbucks reward program work?

Starbucks offers one of the most effective loyalty programs,, which gives freebies and discounts to members. People know this program under the name “Starbucks Rewards”. Manifest research shows that nearly 48% of mobile users who often use restaurant loyalty apps use Starbucks Rewards. Starbucks reached more than 16 million loyal members in 2019.

The loyalty program is a great way to save money for customers to purchase at Starbucks. New members can register for the Starbucks Rewards Program in a couple of different ways. They can go directly to their website Starbucks.com/rewards or download the Starbucks Rewards app to their smartphones.

Starbucks Reward program
Starbucks Reward program

Starbucks allows customers to check their points balance, gift card via mobile phone, website, and in-store, on their user-friendly app.

Customers can earn rewards for every dollar they spent, birthday rewards, and double-stars during the limited-time promotion.

When clients reach a specific star level, they can choose to redeem it. You are free to decide where you want to spend your rewards, using the mobile app or showing it to the cashier at the local Starbucks.

The stars will be removed from customers’ accounts after redemption. They can choose how many stars they want to redeem. For instance, you have 100 reward stars, and you can choose to redeem them for two 50-value rewards, four-value rewards, or keep earning to achieve higher-value rewards.

Starbucks often gather information on customers’ habits and offer more relevant perks and freebies to meet customers’ needs with their rewards program. Moreover, their app brings precise details on how clients can earn reward points and redeem them. This helps the brand stay on top of customers’ minds.

What makes Starbuck rewards program become one of the best in the world?

Provide clear communication, diverse and creative offers

One of the most vital elements to motivate customers to join a loyalty program is to give customers detailed information about their benefits. Starbucks is doing well with this strategy. They inform their customers about how they can earn rewards and redeem them via the app and the landing page on their website.

To increase engagement, Starbucks shows the current points balance of customers on their account at the website or on the app. Clients can then decide how many rewards they want to spend or accumulate to get a higher value

Starbucks creates various offers and redemption options.

  • 25 stars to get an expresso shot, dairy substitute, or additional favor

  • 50 stars to have brewed hot coffee, hot tea, or bakery items

  • 150 stars will bring a handcrafted drink, hot breakfast, or parfait.

  • 200 stars, you will receive lunch sandwiches, a protein box, or salad

And so on.

To make loyal customers feel more delighted and surprised, Starbucks often announces seasonal promotions or new products to its members first. They can bring double star promotion campaigns to reward their loyal clients.

Various offers at Starbucks
Various offers at Starbucks

Various offers will motivate customers to purchase more to unlock exclusive benefits they will earn at different levels. With these attractive offers, every fan of Starbucks will feel that they will make a bargain for every purchase.

You may want to read more about the Excellent Ideas for the Loyalty Programs blog.

Apply technology into the rewards program

Firstly, Starbucks provides a wide range of offers for their customers via a mobile app. The application of hi-tech devices makes the program more accessible to buyers who mostly use smartphones to communicate. With their mobile phones now, customers can use an order-ahead feature to book whatever they want before they genuinely come to stores.

Apply technology into Reward Program
Apply technology into Reward Program

Starbucks increases engagement with their customers by providing free music and games in their reward program. Members can play games in the app to earn more bonus stars. Besides, it allows customers to send gift cards to other members and their friends through the app.

By applying technology in the rewards program, Starbucks lets members make payments and redeem rewards via their mobile app. Therefore, when buyers enter the shop, they only need to pick up their orders without wasting time. This practice gives every shopper the feeling of receiving priority. Moreover, the stores’ chain can also reduce a large workload when people have to line up to wait for their turns to order, which makes the buying and s easier selling process straightforward.

Through centralizing members’ purchase and behavioral data via the app, Starbucks can build long-lasting relationships with customers. Moreover, if they want to have a comprehensive analysis of customers’ buying behavior, they can check the loyal program’s data.

Personalized rewards

Not only creating available offers for customers, but Starbucks also shows their concern toward personal fans by offering them free drinks or unique rewards on their birthday as an appreciation for their contribution to Starbucks.

If members are looking for a personalized offer, Starbucks’ reward program shows them a customized homepage and access to the desired store’s playlist.

Related post: Complete guide to building an effective loyalty program

American Express

How does the American Express reward program work?

The American Express company, called Amex, is a multinational financial services company founded in New York, America. This corporation is well known for its success in providing the credit card charge card, and traveler’s cheque, and performing in these areas is also an advantage for Amex in successfully managing providing the credit card

The American express company, called Amex, is a multinational financial services company founded in New York, America. This corporation is well known for its success in providing credit card, charge card, and traveler’s cheque. Performing in these areas also an advantage for Amex in managing their its loyalty program.

The American Express reward program is called Membership Rewards Program offers exclusive benefits that you can use for your journey. Earning reward points on every purchase, then using these points to cover your travel expenses, card charges, or gift cards. Membership Rewards points are easy to earn and flexible to use.

Customers can enroll in the Membership Rewards Program and use their cards for purchases. Each amount you spend, you can earn that reward points. There is no expiration date for using these points. Clients can use them whenever they want.

There are a lot of options for redeeming your Membership Rewards points.

  • Book travel via the AmEx portal or Expedia

  • Transfer points to travel partners so that you can use these points for your travel expenses.

  • Pay with points at the checkout.

  • Cover your card charges

  • Use points to purchase online on specific retailers.

  • Redeem gift cards

  • Donate to charity

How does the American Express rewards program succeed?

Apply an ecosystem for their loyalty program

Amex applied an ecosystem for its loyalty program in which involving brands and cooperators also participate. With a membership card from Amex, card owners can redeem their reward points at any affiliated brands, including airlines, restaurants, and so on.

Using American Express card in an ecosystem
Using American Express card in an ecosystem

American Express has various Membership rewards partners. They want to redeem rewards points. The transfer partners include Airlines and Hotels such as Air Canada, Emirates, British Airways, Air France/ KLM, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, etc.

You can also use the reward points to pay at the checkout when you’re shopping online at retailers, including Walmart and Amazon. Besides, rewards program members can redeem their points to gift cards through the American Express site at several retailers from Home Depot to iTunes. The points value will be varied based on each retailer.

By doing so, customers know that they can get benefits anywhere.

Build a community for members in the rewards program

In this brand, the loyal customer becomes a member with their member card to accumulate reward points. Instead of considering a buyer as a customer, AmEx treats them like an involving member of a community that they created.

Each member can enroll by individual “AmEx Offers” when they log in their accounts online or via the American Express app. They will have different ways to earn additional Membership Rewards points. For instance, you will earn extra points for a limited time when you use the card at specific retailers. Or you can register for the Member Opinions program to earn points by completing surveys.

Customers feel that they are joining a community with different brands, not only with American Express. Then, they will have multiple selections to earn or redeem their points. Therefore, customer engagement will be much more improved.

LoyaltyOne

Air Miles is a loyalty program running and managed under LoyaltyOne Company in Canada. The reward campaign by this company has significantly changed the way people use to raise customer retention.

LoyaltyOne
LoyaltyOne

Among marketers, Air Miles is considered as an innovator in the affiliation reward program. There are multiple reasons why this program becomes successful.

Bring a coalition loyalty program partnered with hundreds of retailers

The Air Miles coalition has more than 200 retailers brands, hundreds of online retailers, and two Air Miles credit card partners. This loyalty program allows its customers to obtain and redeem reward miles involving stores and brands from gas products to hotel chains. Therefore, people who engage in this program can earn miles quickly and get rewards for their purchases sooner.

The partners’ list displays on their website and shows clear information on how many miles you will earn for every dollar spent.

Delight customers during their shopping journey

Shopping doers are encouraged to spend more as they know that they will soon earn a bargain after that. Applying this method in the reward program, LoyaltyOne, and other brands and product chains can benefit buyers because their ecosystem motivates people to shop more regularly.

With various customer feedback and transaction data, LoyaltyOne Can match customers’ specific desired to suitable shops by analyzing clients’ behavior by segment.

Generate motivation for every purchaser

To increase the customers’ motivation in their shopping experience, the rewards for a higher level of members are visible for customers even though their current status cannot get those rewards. This will make loyal customers spend more money on shopping to unlock the next membership level to get exclusive benefits.

The lessons:

Differentiated loyalty programs

By separating your loyalty program into different levels from ordinary to gold or VIP level, participants are passively encouraged to invest more money in shopping in order to obtain a higher level.

Treat people individually

Beside general rules and regulations applied for all people joining a loyalty program, each enterprise should find ways to treat their customers individually like Starbucks. Special offers on their personal events are sure to please any difficult customers and make them feel that they are receiving special care from your company.

Affiliate with other brands

Affiliate with other brands

Let think about affiliating with other brands and store chains as they will be greatly beneficial to your business. Consider what people need to find out the most appropriate cooperators to form an ecosystem in which every member can support each other and gain profits.

Learn more about Magento 2 Affiliate extension

Final words,

Running a reward program is absolutely a campaign that you should invest time, money, and effort in as their long-term advantages for your sustainable development cannot be counted. To gain success from this program you can consider some typical examples of three brands above.

Besides, if you are a newbie in this area, you can make use of support from Mageplaza Reward Points extension to complete your program. With several outstanding features from storing date to managing earning and spending rates, this extension will definitely not let you down. For more detailed information about how remarkably this extension can contribute to the ongoing success of your company, please visit Reward Points for Magento 2

Explore Loyalty Program Extension

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