As any business owner will tell you, acquiring new customers isn’t always as easy as we’d like to think. It’s not as simple as designing and optimising a website, making a handful of phone calls, attending trade events and then waiting for the enquiries to come rolling in.

In truth, winning new customers requires effort, tenacity, dedication and persistence. Business owners often find that this act alone takes up a significant part of their time, with little time left to complete the mountain of tasks that seemingly pile up on their desk.

The success of any business is entirely dependent on the loyalty of its customers. Whilst expanding your client base is paramount, you don’t have to labour for hours at a time, schmoozing potential customers (though the act of getting your face out there shouldn’t be neglected!)

There are other ways to grow your business. Interested in learning how? It’s easy: customer loyalty programs. Research has found that repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers. The importance of customer loyalty programs and having a strong technological infrastructure by employing cloud computing or receipt scanning OCR, cannot be overstated.

If you want to win and keep more customers and create brand loyalists, read on to discover three examples of how you can apply customer loyalty programs to e-commerce clients.

The Point System

Employed by big brands, the point system is one customer loyalty program that cultivates client retention. Simply and effective, point systems are rooted in one principle: spend more to get more.

Try setting up a system whereby every time a customer makes a purchase or purchases on your website, they receive a certain amount of points – based on the value of that purchase. Points can then be redeemed to receive discounts on future purchases.

Point systems incentivise customers because they offer benefits that can be easily understood and calculated. For example, you could offer customers ten points for every point they spend. Keep it simple and customers will know right away how many points they need to accumulate to receive significant savings – it’s really that simple.

The Value-Based Program

Perfect for e-commerce businesses that focus a significant part of their operations on charitable endeavours – and have a large charitable customer base, the value-based program can benefit businesses as much as employing receipt OCR technology will.

This is clear for one, simple reason – by structuring a loyalty programme around customer values, you bolster the chance for one-time customers to become brand loyalists.

How do you reward customers? Well, you start by clearly defining your values. Let’s say you supply marine products. Every time customers make a purchase, you could pledge a percentage of the transaction value to charities dedicated to preserving the world’s oceans and marine life.

You could even keep customers updated with a newsletter that outlines how much money has been donated and what the money has been used for.

A value-based program offers a unique opportunity for you to connect with customers on a deeper level and develop a stronger relationship with them. As with utilising the latest technology, such as receipt scanning OCR, this will boost customer retention rates.

The Game Program

Who doesn’t like playing games? Why not gamify your business to engage, entertain and keep customers?

Turn your loyalty program into a game app and watch customers flock to the value you have offered them. Something different and engaging, game apps are a great way to get customers engaged in your business, allowing them to have fun, whilst spending money.

Mastercard has put this into action to great effect. They have created a rewards-based program, tailored around a game. Called ‘Scan, Spin and Win’, the concept is simple. Each time a customer makes a purchase with their Mastercard, they can use receipt OCR software to scan their receipt, spin the wheel and win prizes.

Customers can win discounts on movie tickets, magazine subscriptions or even a golden ticket that allows them to enter a competition to win large prizes, including travel gift certificates worth thousands!

The primary benefit of Mastercards’ game program is that it encourages repeat purchases as you never know, you could be in with a chance of winning big!

This model can be applied to a wealth of different sectors. You could offer customers an all-expenses-paid week abroad, an iPad, or even a 50% discount on all major purchases for 30 days. The choice is yours!

These are just three examples of how customer loyalty rewards can really benefit e-commerce businesses. If you wish to create loyal customers, can you afford not to try one of these customer loyalty programs?