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Points for Loyalty

By Robyn Greenspan     Feedback

Why rely on some rewards portal when you can start your own incentive program for loyal customers?

Points for LoyaltyThe Web has spawned dozens of rewards and incentives programs that e-commerce merchants can use to inspire loyalty among online shoppers. In some cases, the rewards program acts like a portal and customers can accumulate points for patronizing any of the Web merchants contained within.

But, how does a merchant choose which loyalty program to join? And what does a merchant do when the rewards program they are using goes out of business?

These are genuine concerns to e-business owners who want to offer incentives to repeat customers. The solution may be to create your own fully independent program that is exclusively for shoppers at your e-commerce site.

Merchandise can be assigned point values or the points can be based on dollars spent. When a customer accumulates a certain amount of points, they can be redeemed for discounts, free merchandise or gift certificates. Essentially, you'll be rewarding your very best customers.

Publicize your rewards program heavily on your site and promote it in all of your advertising. Create a realistic table of the rewards offered for different point levels and keep track of every shopper's points in your customer database.

Every time you send an e-mail confirmation for a purchase, let the customer know how many points they've accumulated. Also, you can send personalized, periodic updates with point totals and site specials and sales.

Always make redemption easy and convenient for the customer. Have links to the rewards program on all of your pages and in all e-mails.

Related articles:
Study: Consumers Want More Online Incentives
Survey: E-Shoppers Buy More With Incentive Programs

Reprinted from ECommerce Guide

This article was originally published on May 24, 2001
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