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Loyalty Programs: A Perspective on How to Really Make Them Work for Your Small Business

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[5-minute read]

This month, we’re exploring ways in which you, as a small business owner, can keep your customers coming back. One of the most talked-about customer retention strategies is a loyalty program. A report by Accenture suggests that “57% of consumers spend more on brands to which they are loyal.” Even more telling is this statistic by Bond: “79% of consumers say loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with brands.”

The bottom line is that a tactical loyalty program can be a powerful tool for small businesses across the board. We’ve been chatting with Neeta Dhorajiwala, the CEO of Oiyaa – a new-generation circular loyalty program that operates in the UK. It is “circular” in a sense that it closes the loop; connecting loyal customers to their favourite and most trusted retailers using technology.

On a mission to make shopping great again

During lockdown, Oiyaa joined the campaign to #savethehighstreet – an initiative that started in 2016 and grew during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Oiyaa joined forces with this movement to encourage shoppers to support their local community with a particular focus on small businesses that operate within the UK High Street economy. A key way in which Oiyaa contributed to this drive was by using loyalty programs to encourage customers to keep coming back by incentivising positive shopping behaviour and saving customers money while they spend. As Neeta explains: “An established FinTech initiative, Oiyaa is launching the first-ever local coalition loyalty programme for the High Street. We are a massive supporter of the ‘shop out to help out’ motto for all businesses, not just the restaurant sector. Oiyaa will be the driving force nationwide to arm local retailers with a bundled digital coalition loyalty, online ordering, and booking platform all in real time.”

We sat down with Neeta for a chat about why loyalty programs can revolutionise your customer retention strategy as a small business owner and the ways in which she is harnessing this potential through the Oiyaa app, available on the App Store or Google Play

In your opinion, are loyalty programs an effective customer retention strategy?
“Loyalty programs can be highly effective in maximising the lifetime value of a customer, by offering incentives to spend more and buy more often. At Oiyaa, for example, we’ve tailored our solution for retailers to entice the consumer to engage with businesses that offer discounts, rather than the ones that don’t. Today’s consumer is more aware and attracted by good value than anything else.

When loyalty programs are done right, they can be incredibly powerful and can add tremendous value. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. Amazon Prime is a good example of a loyalty program. Their Prime membership encourages consumers to return again and again. What they get in return is speedy delivery.”

In which industries have you seen loyalty programs being used most effectively?
“Loyalty programs tend to dominate the retail and airline industries. However, loyalty programs have become more and more relevant in hospitality and are being used to enhance data capture capabilities for a variety of industries. Ultimately, an effective loyalty program is one that captures transactional information that can offer valuable insight to any type of business delivering big data for small businesses.”

What are the elements of a good loyalty program?

– The real-time collection and redemption of offers
– The use of simple and cost effective hardware and software (mobile-based) that is accessible to the masses
Analytics tools to optimise your engagement with the customer and keep track of your results
– Adaptability to evolve with the times

Oiyaa’s goal is to “disrupt the current loyalty market and online food ordering giants with an offering focused on enhancing UK businesses, small business retailers and restaurateurs.”

Essentially, as Neeta explains, “Oiyaa provides a bespoke and proven, state-of-the-art, real-time loyalty transaction processing platform that integrates itself with booking and online ordering systems. The idea of multiple brands coming together to form a shared loyalty program – that’s Oiyaa.”

One of the ways we at Truevo are looking to add value to the payments space is by integrating our technology with partners who can enhance the customer experience. For example, the Oiyaa app integrates with the card machines we offer, the sleek and powerful PAX A920. This all-in-one device offers the option for merchants to run loyalty programs directly from the machine, meaning that Truevo merchants with a PAX A920 can add even more value to their customer experience.

In the coming months, we’ll be sharing news about how we’re improving the customer experience using FinTech technology. Exciting developments are underway, so watch this space.

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P.S. Want a payment solution that does what it says it will do? Get Truevo. We can’t wait to connect with you.