In today’s episode you’ll learn:
Why Loyalty Programs are so beneficial – and when to start investigating them as an addition to your business
How you can build a loyalty program that isn’t based on discounts and what you can offer instead
The importance of rewarding different behaviours based on what you’re actually after
How to get more user generated content through a loyal following
Why you don’t need an extensive tier structure and how to keep it simple when starting out
An unbiased view (really, I promise) on how to pick the best loyalty program for you
Key features of LoyaltyLion
Where to find Fiona, the books and podcasts she talks about on the show:
Where to find Fiona
Books Fiona recommended
Seth Godin – all of the books
Podcasts Fiona recommended
Create your personalised business case for Loyalty at
Hi and welcome to the Bright Minds of eCommerce Podcast. I’m Dahna, founder of Bright Red Marketing, your eCommerce advertising specialists. Today we are here with Fiona from LoyaltyLion. Fiona Stevens is the Head of Marketing at LoyaltyLion: a data driven loyalty and engagement platform for fast growth eCommerce merchants. LoyaltyLion helps thousands of retailers worldwide to build fully customised loyalty programs, proven to increase customer engagement, retention, and spend. Fiona has 10 years experience in marketing, having worked in-house and agency side across functions including PR, SEO and content. She has specialised in loyalty for retail and eCommerce brands for the past five years. So let’s get into it. Welcome to episode 10!
Hi and welcome to the Bright Minds of eCommerce Podcast. Today we’re here with Fiona, welcome! Hi, thanks so much for having me. Thank you so much for being here. So tell us a little bit about LoyaltyLion and what makes it different from other loyalty programs?
Yeah, so we are a loyalty and engagement platform. We work with eCommerce stores around the world, helping them to power growth. We work with stores on all major eCommerce platforms, so that’s Shopify, Shopify Plus Magento and BigCommerce. In terms of what makes us different, it’s really our approach to data. We know that if you’re investing in a loyalty program that can be a really big decision. It’s important to be able to justify that decision and prove that there’s an ROI there. Our real point of difference is helping you to prove that ROI with loyalty, insights and opportunities to AB test.
Awesome. So we will get into the AB testing in a second cause I think that’s really, really interesting. But just generally speaking, why do you think that loyalty programs are so important for growing eCommerce stores?
So there’s a couple of key reasons. I think first of all, your loyal customers are the ones that have the highest lifetime value; they’re far more valuable to you than your one-time shoppers. In fact, we actually found from some research that we did last year that over 50% of your revenue comes from just the top 20% of your customer base. And that makes sense because your existing customers already have a relationship with you, they know you, they trust you. It’s easier to encourage them to come back more regularly or to spend more when they do come back and that’s why investing in a program that helps you form a deeper connection with those existing customers. But on top of that is actually all about acquisition as well. It’s said to be five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and members of a loyalty program are the ones that will probably go out and shout about your brand and they’ll leave you reviews, they will refer you to friends and family, they’ll post about you on social media. All of those are brilliant ways of getting you more new customers from your existing ones, far more cost effectively than some of the other acquisition channels you might be using.
I think that’s really, really interesting and very important. I mean we obviously specialise in Facebook ads and it can be so expensive to get those new customers. I suppose if you don’t have something in place at the end to make sure you keep getting the most out of those existing customers, you really can be leaving a lot of dollars on the table. That’s exactly right. It’s about, you know, the ones that you do bring in through those other channels and how do you make sure that they stay with you for a long time. Definitely.
So we’ve obviously got a lot of listeners that are in I suppose every stage of business. So from still thinking about a concept and just doing some initial research to, you know, they’re in the process of scaling a really big business. For those who are in I suppose, who don’t have a loyalty program, at what point do you think it’s good to start looking at implementing such a program?
The short answer, it’s never really too early because if you have a customer, you have someone that you can retain, and you have someone that you can encourage to act as an advocate, whether you’ve got one or 100 or 1 million customers. But realistically, I think it is worth mentioning that a loyalty program won’t work for everybody. It’s really people with high repeat purchase rates, they’re going to benefit the most. If you’re selling something like nutrition supplements that people need to stock up on monthly or things like wine and gin that people love to get delivered on a monthly basis, and fast fashion, anything like that, then you know, you’ve got people who are going to be buying from you time and time again, then it’s worth looking at a loyalty program. But if you’re selling something like mattresses that you sell once every seven years, it’s probably not for you, just as a bit of a disclaimer! But I think there are a few things to look out for. Obviously nobody is going to want to jump into a loyalty program on day one because you’re too busy setting up everything else and building your brand. There are some key triggers to look out for. I would say the first thing is you might find that a lot of people are checking out as guests and that means that you’re not getting the information that you need to market to them on an ongoing basis. So really keep an eye on those guest numbers. When you’ve got a huge bank of guests, that’s the point to implement a program that will motivate them to come back and create an account. A second trigger might be that you have a growing number of customers who are at risk of churning. So by “at risk” we mean they haven’t come back to make the next purchase within an expected timeframe. That goes back to what is your expected timeframe for repeat purchase? It’s going to be very different between the mattress and the bottle of wine for example. But once you know the timeframe for your brand, you can see, okay, well I’ve got a lot of customers who actually have bought before but haven’t come back, and they’re much easier to convert than somebody who comes to your store completely cold. So a trigger is knowing that you’ve got a big bank of those customers and trying to reengage them and get them shopping again. The third thing I would say is if you’re ready to build a brand community, so in the early days of a store, you’re obviously just trying to get sales, to get your name out there. But then there are a lot of brands that become almost cults – they’ve got really serious followers, they’ve got people that really love the brand, live by following their content, etc. Loyalty programs are a really good way to get this. If you built up your brand, you know what it stands for, you know that you’re ready to start building that community, and it might be with things from completely outside of your website and purchases. It might be more along the lines of content and events and things like that. But if you’re ready to make a big step in terms of your brand, then its probably the right time to think about a loyalty program to help you do that. Yeah, I love that because I know that a lot of, a couple of clients anyway, are kind of breaching into that cult-like space. Which obviously, I think for a lot of small businesses is the goal because if you get that cult-like following you’re really doing well. That’s a really interesting marker of a good time to sign up to a loyalty program or to get something on board and I think that’s a really clever marker, as you said.
Okay, so if people do want to start building out a loyalty program, what are some of the biggest areas that either people get wrong or that people do really well? Like, what’s the important things to get right when building out a loyalty program?
Good question. I think the most important thing is to remember that you don’t have to get it all right straight away. So, like we said earlier, it’s often a big decision to invest in a loyalty program because people think they have to have it all nailed down before they can put it live. That’s not really the case. You know, as long as you know who you are as a brand and your program follows that identity from the word go. So I mean things like the name of it, the name of the points you’re going to give and just how it kind of aligns to your brand and your brand values, then you can start really small. You could start with literally just awarding points for creating an account and making purchases and don’t worry about anything else until later. Then you could build it out and start rewarding reviews, start rewarding referrals, that kind of thing. You know, you don’t have to have the answers on day one. And so I think, yeah, the first kind of mistake is taking or thinking that it needs to take months before you can go live rather than just getting something out there and trialling it. And then I think another misconception or a mistake that people make is thinking that it has to be all about discounts.
There’s a big misconception out there that loyalty programs will cheapen your brand because you’re just giving percentages off, you’re just giving money away, etc. But actually there’s a lot of stores doing really fantastic things with their rewards to counter that. So it might be that instead of offering a discount or a percentage off, you offer a member early access to sales or early access to new product ranges, and that costs you absolutely nothing as a store, but it gives a real VIP/exclusive feeling to a customer and it makes them feel very special, which is a brand experience that you want, not the discounting piece. So I think, yeah, that’s probably another mistake. Finally, people forget that it’s part of your wider marketing strategy. Loyalty is not an island at all. It’s something that should be powering the other tools that you’re using. So if you’re sending out post-purchase emails, what loyalty factors can you build into that to make those post-purchase emails more effective? If you are focusing on reviews and user generated content, what can you do with your loyalty program to make people leave more reviews? If you have a help desk and you’ve got people dealing with disgruntled customers everyday, how can you build your loyalty program into your help desk approach to make those conversations better? It’s something that can sit at the heart of all your existing marketing and really give it a bit more oomph. I think people sometimes fail to connect the dots there and they see it as this one thing that is difficult to manage, but actually when you really integrate it with everything else that you’re doing, it can be very, very simple.
Yeah, and I mean I think that’s where, for everyone who doesn’t know, I did a case study with our client who was using LoyaltyLion a couple of years ago, and what we did was take the platform they had and integrate that into their Facebook ads and it just worked so phenomenally well. I think that’s a really important point that it does have to be a piece of the puzzle. It’s certainly not an island, as you said. You mentioned before that people get stuck into that discount mentality and cheapening the brand. I love the suggestion you gave of, you know, offering early access to sales and things. I do know that that is a big reason why a lot of people don’t take up loyalty programs.
Have you got any other suggestions of things that people can offer as rewards that aren’t discount-based that you’ve seen work really well? Yeah, definitely. I think this is something that’s taking off now actually. As we said, there are things like early access to new products. Sales people often do beta testing, “Hey, if you’re a member, you can get this product before anyone else and you can then give us feedback on it.” So including people in the growth of your products can be really strong. One of my favourite examples is the idea of ethically eCommerce conscious consumers. Customers are starting to buy according to what they believe in and what they value and they only want to buy from merchants that are really aligned with that. They’ll pay more, in fact, to shop with somebody who they feel shares the same passions that they do. We’ve got one client, Stay Wildish, and they’ve completely designed their rewards strategy around that. Rather than getting points that you then redeem for discounts, you can redeem your points to give a dog some knitted booties, if it’s dogs that you care about. Or you can use it to planting tree efforts, the environment that you care about. They’ve really aligned, they’ve got a few causes that they believe in as a brand and as a customer. Each time you collect enough points, you feel like you’re then contributing to those causes.
Similarly, Pacifica Beauty, it’s one of my favourite programs, they allow you to earn points for recycling mascara packaging. So once you finish your mascara, you send it back to them and you get points for doing that. Incredible. I really love that because I do tend to buy from those sorts of places myself personally, so to find out that businesses are using that and then integrating that into their loyalty program, like, that’s just incredible. Yeah, it’s one of the most positive shifts I think I’ve seen in a while. It does show that the industry is changing. It’s no longer cheaper and who can do it faster and I suppose, dirtier. It’s how can we do this better and actually make a positive change to the world. That’s really incredible. I love that! And it’s the best way to get away from the competition that’s out there, you know? There’s no need to get involved in a race to the bottom or slash your prices or anything because you know, if you’ve really got something you believe in and your customers believe in it too, as long as they know that you believe in it, they’re likely to come back to you, even if it’s going to cost them slightly more. And they’ll believe you more when you say that you’re an ethical and sustainable company. If instead of loyalty points for a discount, then you know you’re planting trees like that’s, that’s amazing.
I love that. To be fair, that is something to watch out for. There’s a concept, I think it was called greenwashing. People still get caught out for saying that they believe in a certain thing, but then acting completely differently. It’s so easy to do. Like you can walk down like our supermarkets and there’ll be a big bunch of, like there was a brand for a while that was some take on the word organic, but there was literally nothing organic in it other than oil! It’s that sort of concept, but if you’re going to do that, you’ve got to do it authentically. Definitely. And I think a program really helps you to do that because you need to change the way you package something to change the way that your warehouse works. Those are big things and as consumers we can’t expect brands to do an about turn on that overnight. It’s going to take time for that. Unless you were set up completely organically or whatever, it’s going to be very difficult to get to that. But you can then use your program as an entrance to say, “Hey, we are trying, we’re doing something here.” No, that’s amazing. I love that. That’s where the world is, is moving things. That’s really cool.
Okay, so obviously there is a lot of craziness happening in the world right now. There’s a lot of uncertainty based on the Coronavirus. How can stores use a loyalty program to build a relationship with their customers in these more difficult times. Or even just in future, I’m sure we’ll have more difficult times. You know, these things kind of come in cycles and waves and things, hopefully not too bad, but in these troubled times. How can a business use a loyalty program to kind of solidify that relationship with their customers? Yeah, I mean it is an uncertain time and I think, I genuinely think that loyalty has a huge part to play for merchants right now. I think during any crisis where confidence or consumer confidence might drop, you know, we’ve already talked about the fact that our existing customers are the ones that already know and trust, so their confidence in the economy might drop, their confidence in spending might drop, but their confidence in you is probably quite unaffected. So in uncertain times, your customers are really going to be the key to your ongoing success.
I also think, you know, we’ve seen certainly in the UK ,we’ve seen some amazing things come out of this crisis. You know, the sense of community, people applauding on their balconies for the nurses. There’s, there’s all sorts of really amazing things happening in terms of communities and I think that extends to brands as well. And it’s really important to show your customers that you’re there for them. I read some research the other day that said, I think it was around 50% of consumers genuinely want to hear from brands they know and trust and find it reassuring to hear from them. So make sure you reach out to your customers. And again, we’ve seen some lovely things on that for merchants that we work with. One had put a DIY hand sanitizer recipe if you can’t get it from the store, and then here’s how you make it yourself. We’ve seen some really nice things and I think brands really need to stop and focus on its community right now. Get a message out there, let them know that whatever it might be, it might be that business is as usual, where we are, it might be here’s something that we think will help you get through lockdown. Just showing that you’re still there as a brand and that you understand the what they’re struggling with and that you will help them through it. Loyalty rewards could be double points, promotions, it could be free delivery. If you know that shopping has become more difficult for them, then use your program to make it easier for them. And I think those are the kinds of actions that will keep a customer really loyal to you through a situation and that means that they will still be shopping with you as we come out the other side. The really important thing I think is at this point you probably have a lot of people browsing that you might not have had before – we are all at home, some of us have got a bit more time on our hands. There’s going to be more browsers, but as we say, consumer confidence might be low and it might not convert so well. So this is a good time to really connect with the community that you’ve already got and try and get them acting as advocates for you.
So it could be incentivizing referrals and getting people to introduce you to their friends and family. Or it could be saying, okay, you bought X in the last however many months, would you please come back and leave, leave us a review? And all of that UGC will really help people to build up trust that will last a lot longer with your brand. So again, even if it doesn’t convert someone right now, it might well do in a couple of months time. Yeah. I suppose that’s the important thing to think about. It’s not just, it’s not just about what’s happening right now. It’s about what’s going to be happening in two or three months. So it’s still important to get those reviews, to get that user generated content and to still be kind of building and nurturing that relationship. And I think from what I’m reading and what we’re seeing in our data, consumers are open to those relationships at the moment. I mean there’s obviously some big players who may have got things publicly wrong along the way, but for the most part people are behind stores. They want them to succeed, they want them to come out the other side. And I think they’re really happy to be engaged with them through the middle.
Yeah. It’s been really interesting just from a personal perspective seeing all the emails and things that I get because I do quite a lot of online shopping because I work from home, so I can. It’s really interesting to see the emails. Some of the emails are really tone deaf and they’re like, we’re here for you. But that’s it. Like, you’re not really here for me. You sell jeans, do you want me to buy more jeans? And then others are like: here’s how you can be really comfy at home. Here’s some outfits tailored for you. Like it’s really interesting to see the businesses that are just kind of guessing and throwing things out there and the ones that actually care about their customers or at least have thought it through from a more strategic standpoint. That’s very interesting. Yeah, it definitely has been.
So what are some of the best uses of loyalty programs you’ve seen for smaller businesses? Because obviously you guys manage, you know, LoyaltyLion is used by really small businesses and mega mega businesses. So maybe from the, a lot of our listeners are probably more on the small side, what are some really good examples that you’ve seen? Yeah. So I think one of my favourite smaller ones is probably, they certainly started small anyway, Annmarie Skincare, so what they’ve got is really nice and I keep talking about community, but they’ve got really nice community that they’re building. They’ve done it through a really simple tier structure. They’ve got their Beauty Tribe, they called it, which again I just love the name of it. The tribe has an insider tier. If you engage with them enough to become part of the insider tribe then you get access to exclusive content, so they focus very much on less the kind of the product and the purchase side, but more it’s things like recipes for your own skincare products. It’s things like understanding why one thing works for your skin and another doesn’t. And you know that really, really detailed content that I can only get as a VIP. And it makes people feel really special, but it also makes them feel part of something bigger. And you know, they haven’t gone for sort of four different tiers of all different types of rewards. They just get it really simple. One’s VIP, which is still quite special, still feel part of something. And I think that that’s a really a really nice way of doing it. I love that. So it’s more content based? It’s not, again, it’s not discounts cause I mean we run Facebook ads, everyone wants to do discounts through targeting. We don’t because we don’t think it’s necessary. A lot of people think loyalty program means more discounts, more money off. So they’ve just basically done like content so you can really be in that inner tribe of, you know, being in the know I suppose. Yeah. And I think they have a Facebook group as well, so you can join that and then you can discuss that with other people who care about the same thing, which is connected to something bigger. Build that community and you’ll get, you know, their information, their data and you know, you can leverage that I suppose to continue building the business. It’s, it’s incredible. Yeah, that’s definitely one of my favourites. I think the other thing that was saying with a lot of smaller businesses is a lot more people are obviously getting into the subscription thing now and that is a great way for some small businesses to get the longevity. And so one thing that we see a lot with the smaller clients is introducing a subscriber tier. So again, it’s just, it’s very simple. You only have to do a normal tier and then a subscriber too. Not a lot to manage, but as a subscriber you can unlock some additional rewards and that might be free delivery, it might be content as we talked about, it could be anything, but it just, it’s people who, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but I find that if I subscribed to something within about three months, somebody offers me the same thing with an introductory offer somewhere else. And you know, there’s a lot of kind of fickleness where subscribers jumped from one thing to another all the time because there’s a better introductory offer. But at the end of the day that offer ends and price goes back up. And then I have to either live with that or I have to jump around again. And by creating a kind of subscriber tier, I think some of the smaller brands are really negating that churn and leading you to somebody else because I’ve got a better reason to stay. You know, if the price, the introductory offer goes or runs out and I start paying more per month, I’m getting more back in return. So it’s worth staying put. And then by that point I’ve built that brand affinity and I really want, I look forward to receiving that thing in the mail. You know? I think that’s probably the other thing that we’re seeing a lot with the smaller brands that I really admire.
Yeah, it’s really clever. I really loved that. Something we touched on briefly before, but what are some of the other things I suppose businesses can be doing right now considering what’s happening in the world to kind of solidify that business and you know, start to prepare for witnesses eventually all over? So I think the key thing, we’ve talked about this already, but I think have a look at really segmenting your customer base. You can see who has purchased recently. You can see who hasn’t purchased in a while. I don’t recommend going after your at risk customers with a discount and trying to get them back in the door with one of those sort of very blanket message from the CEO emails. But you know, they have shopped with you before and they do know your brand so take the opportunity to reconnect with them and perhaps it’s not even with a product or a sales message. Perhaps it’s with something more along the lines of, you know, a recipe for a hand sanitizer or something. But take this opportunity to send them a genuine message to remind them who you are as a brand, and then keep nurturing that relationship until we do come out the other side when they may be ready to make a purchase. I think it’s a really good time for those kinds of nurture campaigns.
I definitely agree with you there. I mean even just from a Facebook perspective, the ones, the clients of ours that are struggling a little bit with pulling away from the cold audiences and just really nurturing the existing customers ready for when this is all over. Absolutely. And then there’s obviously the people that you would consider your most valuable customers, your loyal ones. Just how can you keep them? Again, they may not be in a position to purchase right now, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be earning points with your program. They may just consider, “Oh great. The programs work only when I shop” – well not necessarily because you could be rewarding them for following you on social media, liking, sharing your content. You can even now award points to somebody who uses your brand hashtag. So if I’m a store selling sweatpants, then I should be encouraging every single one of my members to post an Instagram post about how they’re working from home and reference the brand. You know, I think there’s so much and that’s that’s that’s a total give and take.
There’s so much brand awareness that you can be raising online right now because you know, I think what’s, I read 45% of people are using social media considerably more at the moment than they do usually. So you know there’s a really good opportunity to build that brand awareness online, but in return your customers can be earning points without even making purchases. So whether it’s social media, likes or shares, whether it’s reviews, whether it’s referrals, make sure that your program has other ways of earning points within it and then you can keep those people engaged even if they don’t make purchase in the next two months because it’s just not the best time for them. They’re still earning points, which means they will come back and purchase when you come out the other side because they’ve got a points balance to spend. They’ve got rewards that are available to redeem. The brand is still fresh in their mind. If they’re thinking about it and they’re actively trying to earn points, you know, that they’re actively trying to save something for, for down the track. Like it’s, it’s really keeping them top of mind rather than just showing them ads repeatedly in a time when they’re not ready to buy. So it’s probably a better way to connect with those customers. Yeah. And you, you know, you could be using those ad dollars to get people to sign up to your program. You know, it could be that you change your idea of what conversion is for the next two months.
You know, it could be that the goal of a campaign is not the purchase, it’s the member and then making sure that your ads really communicate the products of that membership. And then you’ve got a new bank of people to really sort of hit the ground running with in the hopefully not too distant future. I like it. I like it.
If someone is looking into adding a loyalty program, what should they be looking for when they’re kind of comparing? Cause obviously you’re not the only guys that do loyalty programs, but what kind of features should people be looking for when they’re kind of evaluating other programs?
I mean not to be biassed here, right?! We can’t expect anything else, but I would love some, some general feedback! No, of course. Quite seriously, my advice would be before you start looking at any platforms, take the time to think about exactly what you’re trying to achieve with your program. So what are the business challenges that you’re actually trying to solve? Is it that you’re spending too much on position? Is it that you’ve got too much churn, is it that your brand reputation isn’t strong enough? You know, what is it actually that you’re trying to solve as a business? And then really as you start doing your research, keep those things in mind. So you know, if you book a demo with each of the platforms you’re looking at, as you’re looking through the feature sets, look at how these features align with the challenges that you’ve already identified you’re trying to solve. I think it’s really easy to get on a demo, get blinded by some amazing features, and then come out and say, “Oh actually wait, I’ve lost track of what I was trying to achieve.” So I think keeping those in mind right from the outset is really important. I think it’s also really key to look at who a platform is working with already. So what other merchants do they have in your space that they’re learning from and they can use that advice to help you. And I think it’s important to look at their integrations as well too. So you know, we’ve already talked about loyalty should sit as part of your marketing and it should help you drive activity across your other channels. So which of these channels can you easily connect? That’s a really important thing to think about. I think it’s about finding a platform that can scale with you as your store grows. And for that you need to be able to prove that the program is working. You need to be able to prove that you’re seeing a return, otherwise somebody will suggest that you pull the plug on it. So I think it’s really being clear on the metrics that you care about and very much in the same vein as with the paid ads and things. Try to stay clear of just the vanity metrics. So it doesn’t necessarily matter how many members you have, it matters how engaged they are with the program and how much, how valuable their customer lifetime value is versus somebody who’s not a member. So I think when you’re looking at platforms, you need to be really careful too to look at how are they going to help you prove out the success of your program beyond just great, we’ve had 50 signups, it’s okay, and what were those 50 signups worth to my business. So yeah, looking at somebody that can go with you because they can help you prove where the effectiveness is quite important.
That was a very unbiased answer! That was actually just legitimately helpful advice. There was no bias to that whatsoever.
I think it helps that I’m a marketer that buys software for myself. So that helps. When we first started the interview, you mentioned that LoyaltyLion doesAB testing.
What other features, can you give us a little bit of a rundown on some of the other really cool things that LoyaltyLion can do? Yeah, absolutely. So the AB testing is a really big thing for us. It’s the idea that you can keep a program optimised to meet your existing customers even more valuable. So some of the things that you can do with that is, um, for example, guest checkouts, you can test different messages. You can have a popup that appears and says, Hey, you and you haven’t created an account. You could earn X number of points if you do. And you can play around with the messaging on that pop up and you can play around with how many points you offer and you can really find, okay, what is the perfect point between motivating somebody to join but not giving away too much at the same time? And you can do a lot of different testing around that kind of thing. It also works with referrals, encouraging people, you know, what’s the absolute minimum that you can kind of give away but still encourage somebody to engage with your program. There’s lots of good testing you can do there. The other feature that we’re really proud of is integrated loyalty page, which basically allows somebody to completely brand and customise a program and have it sit on a page within the site. So rather than it being a popup or an eye frame or anything, it’s a perfectly on brand beautiful page that goes through everything in terms of, okay, well what is the program, how does it align with my brand and what are the rewards? What is your actual existing points balance? What awards do you have available to redeem all in one place as part of the customer’s journey, and we’re actually doing a lot of work. We’ve got some quite exciting stuff coming up to make that more accessible for smaller brands as well. Things like you won’t need an agency or a developer to edit that soon, you’ll be able to do it yourself. So we’re really excited about that. Stay tuned for more on that.
And I guess the other thing is just all in caught rewards is probably our other really exciting feature, which just lets you put your logo program as part of the customer’s journey. It’s not a separate thing. It’s built in. So within a shopping page or within my cart, I can see exactly what I’ve got and what points I’ve got and what I can get for them. So it’ll come up with products and say, Hey, you could add this to your box, get for free right now. And all I have to do is click and it’s in my basket. And that’s just an integrated part of the shopping experience. So people are engaging and they’re redeeming and they’re part of your program without having to go anywhere else to do it. Yeah, that’s amazing. That’s a really good feature because I find that a lot of like, I’m on a couple of loyalty programs and I don’t think any of them use LoyaltyLion unfortunately. And the checkout process is just a nightmare. You’re like, do I have points? Can I use them? What happened to them? Where’d they go? Like it just, it almost becomes more problematic than if they didn’t have anything in the first place. It’s one of my biggest bugbears with loyalty as a industry concept is we’ve just got this heritage problem. I can’t tell you how many big grocery stores or anything like I have loyalty accounts with, but I can’t even use them because I mean one of them it’s ridiculous. I lost my card maybe two, three years ago and I can’t get a replacement card because I can’t log into the internet system to change the address and so they can only post it to an address I haven’t lived in for years and I’ve given up, you know. I’ve got goodness knows how many pounds sitting there waiting to be used and I’ve completely given up because it’s just too difficult to actually use it. And I think the legacy problem as a whole across retail is the same. It’s just it used to be really, really difficult to A) understand what your points were worth and what the value of even engaging was. B) it wasn’t actually valuable enough as a kind of exchange for a customer. You would, you didn’t get enough back in return for your loyalty and say it’s just really flipping difficult to use it. So I think, I think stores are paying the price for that now because it’s, it’s slightly harder to convince customers that they want to be part of a large program when that’s what they know loyalty programs to be like. So there’s definitely a job that we will have to do in convincing people that things have changed and those problems don’t necessarily exist anymore. Yeah, no, that’s great. Do you think there’s anything that was missed in the loyalty space?
Obviously it’s a huge space, but is there anything in terms of our listeners that you think might be good information to share before we get to our finishing questions? That’s a good question. I guess we, we haven’t talked about communication much, I guess. I think there’s a lot of evidence that loyalty emails perform very well compared to typical marketing emails and they have higher open rates, they have higher click through rates. I mean generally because there tends to be something in it for them, for the consumer. So whether it’s say, “Hey, this is how many points you’ve got” or “Hey, you’ve got an award available to redeem.” But it’s interesting to see the engagement that high and those emails, even if it’s just a monthly point statement, it gives you, again, another reason to check in with people really regularly. So it’s definitely worth looking at how a lot of program can actually give you an excuse to get in touch with your customers more regularly. I think that’s really a very fair statement. I mean our local supermarket sends me a points balance email once a month and is the only email that I opened from them and I really don’t care because it’s my local supermarket. But I will always read that email and it always is sneaky and they put a little special discount or something in the bottom and I always notice it. I think we all know as marketers we send so many emails and we can become really, really blind to what’s working and what’s not working. And then as you mentioned earlier, it can hit the wrong tone very easily. I think everyone is very sick of the “message from our CEO – Covid 19”.
Everyone’s like, yep, got it. Thanks. We expected you to be hygienic before, but thank you. Yeah, no it’s, it’s, it’s definitely been interesting I think. Um, it’s interesting to hear you say actually that you, you always open them. Wonderful. Alrighty. So we get into the tail end of questions.
These are the questions we ask everyone and these are about you personally, less about LoyaltyLion, but do you have any secret strategies, routines, or habits that you follow on a day to day basis to help you stay on track?
I mean my daily habits and routines are a little bit up in the air at the moment. Well, I imagine the same for everyone, but I think actually having said that, a lot of the same things still apply. I think for me the most important thing to never lose as a habit is time away from your computer. I think for me, my best ideas are the biggest moments of clarity or come when I’m doing something completely different. I think it’s amazing what your subconscious can do and how your subconscious can work through problems when you don’t even know it’s doing it. And so whether I’m outside playing with my nieces or at the grocery store, whatever it is, that’s when I tend to find the answers. So yeah, making sure, and especially when you’re working from home a lot, it’s very easy to just not leave your computer and that’s probably the most dangerous thing you can do. I think so, yeah. My most important habit is just making sure that you, and you can kind of subconsciously put something in a box and say that’s in a box to think about later and it’s amazing your mind would normally do that without prompting. I was at a marketing conference the other day and they were talking about just that. They said, your brain literally does its best thinking when it’s not thinking. Give it space to not think. And that means if you’re going for a walk on the beach, no headphones in with a podcast. Like it has to be like silence where you’re just processing and thinking and that’s when you do your best thinking. So that makes a lot of sense. I think you’ve hit on a new concept that maybe it’s mindful marketing, maybe, maybe. I like it. We will explore this. And I think the other thing, so I was reading some of the other day that most e-commerce store owners wear three to five hats as a minimum. Always jumping from always jumping from different tasks, different things, and one thing to another. So what helps me and I don’t know, may help other people. If I have any of your overall to do list, this is everything that needs to be done, but then I tend to break it down into at the beginning of the day, sit down and make a list of what needs to happen that day. And invariably new things will come up and creep on to that list. If that happens, it’s really important to say, okay, what comes off this list? Then something has to move to tomorrow. So I always start building tomorrow’s to do this the day before with anything that sort of has to move off today’s, if that makes sense. Because it’s no use just having a list that grows and grows and grows and grows. If something goes on, something has to come off. And it’s not always possible. You know, there are some fires that have to be put out and then there are some things that just have to keep going. But for the most part if you can, if you can make sure that every time you add something to that daily list, something else comes off, then they think you’re in a good place. Yep. I love that.
Do you have a favourite business book?
To be honest, I’ve been a bit lax in terms of reading books lately just cause there’s so many other ways to consume content. I think my favourite marketing books, I’ve always been Seth Godin ones – he gives you such an insight into digital marketing and consumer thinking. Definitely. Yeah, I’d definitely recommend any of that for them. There’s a few things online that I’m absolutely hooked on. At the moment there’s Drift is a sort of an intercom-equivalent bot for websites and they have this insider community and it’s just full of content and it’s full of kind of classes or things like how to avoid distraction at anything to do with marketing really. But they’ve also got some really cool interviews with CMOs. They’ve got some quite famous people on there and they just really candid interviews. I’ve been really enjoying listening to, so I definitely recommend that. I think the other thing I spend a lot of time reading just because they’re so detailed is the stuff that gets put out by sort of WordStream and Search Engine Land because they’ve got kind of through their platforms, they’ve got a inside tracking to Google. They can tell you what the real trends are and I find that really interesting because they break it down by vertical as well. I can get lost in their articles for quite a long time. I love that. I love that.
Do you listen to podcasts?
I do. I do. I’m a bit addicted to Harry Potter’s audio books right now! There’s, there’s a lot of good Shopify, any commerce related ones, but I really like, there’s a guy called Steve Huts who is a merchant success manager at Shopify and he’s got a podcast called the eCommerce Fast Lane. He’s got a lot of really good guests on there and some really good insight. Wonderful, wonderful.
And if people wanted to get in touch, what’s the best way for people to do that? And I hear you’ve got a special tool for our listeners.
Yeah absolutely. So if you head to LoyaltyLion.com you can have a look around. You can, if you want to speak to one of the team, then that’s where you can either watch a demo video or demo call. Or as you said, we do have a bit of a tool. So if you wanted to put together a case for loyalty, if you thought it was a good idea for your business but you still needed to convince a few other people, you can fill in a form, enter your details, things like how many, what do you do, what platform, what tools you use. And when we’re saying deliver a personalised business case, that shows exactly what loyalty could deliver for your brand.
If we’ve got a special one for Bright Red Marketing. So if you LoyaltyLion.com/brightredmarketing, you can create your own business case.
They’re amazing. I think that’d be a really good tool for people to kind of work out how you can really kind of help their business and convince the business partners and the shareholders if you’re at that stage. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for joining us. It’s been very, very, very interesting. Lots of really great tips for everyone, so thank you very much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you for listening to the 10th episode of the Bright Minds of eCommerce Podcast. Don’t forget we load all of the links, show notes, full transcripts onto our website. You can find everything at www.brightredmarketing.com.au/shownotes/episode10. The link will also be in the episode description. We’ve also got a very exciting announcement next week. If you’ve been running your Facebook ads for a while and wish you had an expert in your back pocket, ask why something isn’t working, what ads you should run next, or how to grow your ads, but you’re not quite ready to outsource yet, You’re definitely gonna want to tune in next week to hear what we have planned.
Thanks so much for listening.