People buying refrigerators don’t buy a new one every year—and if they do, they’re probably not going back to the same retailer. The purported “plague” of the infrequent shopper haunts many companies trying to establish reward programs: new cars, plane tickets and home appliances are all infrequent purchases that make it difficult to offer rewards, because customer purchase patterns are so sporadic.
But an experienced data analytics company can help predict these patterns regardless of customer frequency. Every sales model has patterns, and tailoring a customer rewards program is just a matter of understanding customer behavior—even if it’s en masse.Make it Worth Their While
One way retailers have overcome this problem is simply by making their rewards more lucrative and attainable. An airline retail credit card is a perfect example: use it every day, and you can accumulate rewards points for a free flight. It’s a massive savings—hundreds of dollars’ worth, potentially thousands—and becomes suddenly achievable, because it doesn’t require the customer to do anything differently, aside from use a different credit card.
Conversely, retailers have found success in business by finding partners to pay out the rewards on their behalf. Partnering with other companies and sharing data (with customer consent, of course) can be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.Make loyalty fun by going online
One of the reasons virtual loyalty is on such a major rise lately is the sheer potential fun of it. Transforming your brand from an infrequent obligation to an enjoyable experience, through such hot new trends as branded apps or mobile rewards programs, offer incentives and savings for customers in between their big purchases, and keep them engaged through an extended purchase cycle.
Interacting with customers on social media and holding raffles or contests via Instagram or Twitter can also do a tremendous amount to interest customers between purchases. The key is to find ways to remain in their minds during those lapses between purchasing—so when they need to buy, you’ll be their first choice.Break down invisible barriers
Many retailers remain uncertain about trying rewards programs, and therein lies the problem: the perception is that it’s not worth the time. Thinking this way is a false start. The myth of the ineffective retail rewards program is going out of style, and more companies are realizing it’s their best bet for standing out against the competition. With a combination of open-mindedness and expert data analysis, it’s always possible to create a strategy that will keep infrequent customers coming back for more.