Most garden retailers are proud about their loyalty schemes: thousands of people are using them and they have been a very successful method to build a loyal customer base. However, most garden centres are giving away as much as 10% of their margins, which is making it a very expensive marketing method. How can we get the most out of a loyalty scheme in a digital & connected world?
The main reasons for the retailer to initiate a loyalty scheme is to get loyal customers. The main reason why consumers join loyalty schemes is a direct discount on their purchases (57.4%) or a reward/credit after buying them (37.5%).
To get some more insights into loyalty schemes, we did a survey of 38 garden centres and analysed their data. On average, only a small 37% of the loyalty cards issued were used during the last 365 days. The other 63% weren’t used for over a year by their owners! So, imagine if you are sending good old letters by post to 10,000 of your loyalty customers, you are wasting 60% of your budget. This is expensive and ineffective You should also ask yourself the question whether a credit or discount is future proof. Adapting modern technologies can help garden centres to create a specific mix of communication tools to laser target customers. At Garden Connect, we’ve been able to integrate smart tools into loyalty schemes, allowing centres to send out e-mails based on business rules. How does that work? Imagine you bought a barbecue at your local garden centre. Within 2 hours you receive an e-mail “How to barbecue safely!” with tips & tricks to barbecue in a safe way. On Thursday, before the bank holiday weekend in August, you receive an email “3 recipes from our garden centre!” with tips on how to use home-grown herbs on your barbecue plate on the upcoming weekend. One might
think these e-mails are overwhelming but we’ve experienced it isn’t.
Unsubscribe rates are far below regular newsletters. The main goal is to put your garden centre in the position of a knowledge hub rather than a discount-driven store. Don’t underestimate the sales-power you have with such an effective tool: we’ve got cases generating over £5,000 per e-mail sent out!
Another angle would be to integrate your loyalty scheme into an app and use it in combination
with iBeacons. You can offer multiple rewards if you link them together and, again, this has shown some very successful results already. 59% of the customers nowadays are more likely to join a loyalty scheme which is mobile driven. So where are you? Are you still sending out those old-fashioned letters 2 times a year? It’s time to get the most out of a loyalty scheme by adopting modern technologies!
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