By Retail Hero on 10/6/2014
Are you looking for "outside the box" ways to improve your customer loyalty and retention? If so, you may want to consider spending some time better engaging your team in order to help them build a positive emotional bond with your business and brand. In today's blog post we'll take a look at a few reasons why employee engagement plays a major role in customer loyalty through higher morale, better customer service and lower turnover.

An Engaged Employee is Your Best Brand Advocate Whether you operate online, offline or both, you're likely aware of the power of social media and how quickly a positive or negative sentiment can affect a brand. Engaging your employees is an excellent way to transform them into brand advocates who will be quick to share news, sales and other relevant information in order to draw in new business and increase the loyalty of your current customers. Engaged employees take the initiative to tout just how great your products and brand are because they feel like stakeholders in your...
By Retail Hero on 9/28/2014
Earlier this year the 2014 FIFA World Cup was won by Germany and bah. Let's take a look at some of the customer loyalty lessons that we can extract from the enormous amount of advertising that took place during the World Cup and see why passion is one emotion that you need to fuel as often as possible.

Customers Are Loyal to Brands That Show Support If you watched the World Cup – or if you watch any other televised sporting events – you've likely seen the same major brands advertising repeatedly with various marketing campaigns including the sponsorship of popular athletes. These brands know that their customers are loyal to them due to their support for the sport, the teams and the players, and this loyalty is worth continuously cultivating. In a survey conducted with just over 1,200 U.S. World Cup viewers in June, about 72 percent indicated that they would purchase the products of the brands that had shown support for their favourite players or teams. Interestingly enough, Gatorade – a brand that is an official sponsor of US Soccer but not the FIFA World Cup – was the top brand identified by the study's participants.

By Retail Hero on 9/21/2014
Whether you've been focused on improving your customer loyalty metrics for many years or you're just starting to look at how you engage with your clientele, one of the most important steps in improving your loyalty is to test out new strategies to see how your customers respond. In part four of our series Customer Loyalty and the Humble Yo-Yo we'll take a look at how trying out new 'tricks' – outside-the-box strategies for building customer loyalty – can have a major impact on your branding and customer engagement.

Using Mobile Apps to Engage Your Customers on the Go Given that about 70 percent of mobile subscribers now own a smartphone, if you have been holding off of investing in a mobile app for your business you may want to get the process started. Having an iPhone or Android app allows you to engage with your customers on a 24/7 basis, anywhere in the world. Conversely, your customers will be able to browse through or purchase your products or ask questions without having to set foot in your stores,...
By Retail Hero on 9/14/2014
If you're in business, there's a good chance that at some point you've decided to offer a discount or incentive in order to attract new revenue or to encourage your past clients to make a repeat visit. Like the level of spin on a yo-yo, the amount you reward your loyal customers has a major impact on the success of the program and how valuable it is to your business.

In part three of our series Customer Loyalty and the Humble Yo-Yo we'll discuss why you need to ensure the loyalty rewards that you offer are rich enough to reward your best customers without being so high that they have a significant impact on your bottom line.

Ensuring Your Loyalty Reward Level is Rewarding Enough Have you played with a yo-yo before? If so, you've likely noticed that the amount of spin added to the yo-yo is vital to ensuring that it returns up the string instead of falling flat. The reward levels on your customer loyalty program are similar, in that they must be enticing to your loyal customers in order for them to be taken seriously. For example, compare the difference between discounts of 5 and 10 percent. The 10 percent discount is not just double the 5 percent figure, but it also makes the discount a two-digit number which creates the perception of a much higher discount in a customer's mind. Take some time to look around at other shops or businesses in your industry to see what kind of discounts they are offering their customers. You'll likely find single-digit percentage discounts to be very rare.

By Retail Hero on 9/7/2014
The humble yo-yo has very few parts, and none are more important than the string. Having the string attached to the wooden or plastic body of the yo-yo creates the entire experience; without the string, there would be no swinging of the yo-yo and no ability so spool it out, return it or perform tricks. In this regard your customer loyalty is similar, as without the "string" of purchasing products attached to receiving loyalty rewards the program couldn't exist at all.

In the second part of our series Customer Loyalty and the Humble Yo-Yo we'll explain why trying to promote a "no strings attached" message to your loyal customers is a mistake and why you should embrace the social contract created when a customer joins your loyalty program.

Embrace the Fact That You're Not Fooling Anyone Regardless of your industry or customer demographics you can rest assured that when it comes to your loyalty program, your customers are well aware that it is a marketing program designed to drive additional sales....
By Retail Hero on 9/1/2014
If you think back to your childhood – regardless of how long ago it was – you will likely recall playing with a yo-yo toy at some point. The humble yo-yo is a simple toy that can be used to perform incredible tricks if one commits themselves to learning how to best use it. Perhaps you picked one up and tried to get good with it only to quit for something more exciting a short while later, or maybe you got good enough to perform a number of tricks such as "Around the World", "Walk the Dog", or "The Sleeper". Whatever the case, it's likely that you gained some enjoyment out of the time you spent playing with a yo-yo.

Here at Retail Hero we believe that the humble yo-yo makes for a useful analogy to explain the many facets of a great customer loyalty program. This post is the first in a four-part series in which we'll explore how a yo-yo toy is representative of a how a loyalty program operates. In part one we'll provide an overview of the analogy and how it applies to your customer loyalty program, and...
By Retail Hero on 7/11/2014
While some shoppers love nothing more than digging through boxes and looking for items on cluttered and crowded shelves, most customers will take one look at those retail stores and head in the opposite direction. A good and clean store gives shoppers a great first impression and make them more likely to come back in the future. Designing a fun and interactive space can also build a strong and loyal customer base that will lead to additional future sales.

Make Shoppers Feel More Comfortable When it comes to shopping in retail stores, shoppers want to feel comfortable walking through the space without feeling clothing and merchandise brushing against their butts or rubbing up against them. Retail designers refer to this problem as the 'brushed butt effect', which tends to occur in tightly-packed areas. While it's important to have an interactive space, it's also important to give customers the area that they need to wander through the aisles, look over the racks and examine the merchandise.

An excellent...
By Retail Hero on 7/4/2014
In this modern era, social media is one of the most dominant forms of communication as virtually everyone is connected through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms. With the vast majority of the population carrying an internet-connected mobile device, social networks allow retail businesses a unique opportunity to engage consumers on a more personal level. Let's take a quick look at why engaging your customers – both current and future – via social media networks is critical to the success of your loyalty program.

Going Above and Beyond Loyalty Programs As you already know, retailers face two significant challenges: attracting individuals to enter the shop to make a purchase, and then retaining those customers to ensure they return to the store on a regular basis. A loyalty program is a great first step in ensuring that you build repeat business, as these customers will be encouraged to shop to build points, earn rewards and leverage loyalty discounts. However, once you have these...
By Retail Hero on 6/25/2014
In today's modern world, individuals can shop for anything they need online, from the comfort of their homes. In most major cities, one can have everything from movies and clothing to health products and food delivered right to their doors – sometimes within the same day. As the owner of a brick and mortar store, you need to find a way to compete with those online businesses and get customers through the doors.

Despite the popularity of online shopping, the majority of people still turn to local neighborhood shops for their everyday necessities making customer loyalty critical to your success. Below we'll share a few tactics to help build loyalty and repeat business.

Use a Low Annual Fee While it might seem a little crazy, some businesses have found success in charging their clientele a membership or annual fee in order to receive discounts. GameStop is a retail business that found success through a paid loyalty program. For less than $20 a year, customers received discounts on products and other...
By Retail Hero on 6/20/2014
When it comes to retail, one of the biggest challenges a store owner or manager faces is bringing in business on a consistent basis. You want your regulars to stay loyal, coming back for more again and again. You also want your customer base to expand to introduce new business, and one of the best ways to do this is via the power of referrals.

When satisfied customers spread the word about their positive experience with a particular business, they tend to draw more people in the doors, whether close friends or just those who read a Tweet or Facebook post. Target the power of word of mouth and recommendations through a referral program and you'll really see a difference. More business will be coming to you and your profits will be moving in the upward direction. Let's take a look at referral programs and why they are seen as an investment in your business that will provide excellent returns.

Why Leave It to Chance? Use a Program That Works One of the best ways to build your customer base is by offering...