Achieving customer loyalty means just about the same thing for every business: getting more customers buying more often at higher values and lower acquisition costs.
On the other hand, the methods to drive customer loyalty are different for every business. There is no “loyalty cookie cutter” to apply. For some, building brand loyalty means offering exclusive access to limited events, or it could mean sending birthday rewards in the mail. For others, it means serving up quality content during a long buying cycle.
Many businesses choose to build long-term relationships with consumers by running an ongoing loyalty program.
When Innovasport decided to launch an all-new loyalty program, they turned to Emarsys for the tools to make it possible.
Innovasport is the leading sporting goods retailer for men and women in Mexico. The company first opened its doors in 1999 in Monterray, Nuevo León. Since then, the company achieved impressive growth 一 eventually opening 100+ stores throughout the Mexican Republic, including the largest sports store in Latin America. To serve the modern consumer, Innovasport has continued evolving both its brand and marketing strategy, expanding its online presence and communications.
Challenges and Opportunities: Why Launch a New Loyalty Program?
For Innovasport to meet their ongoing goals and keep expanding, they needed to make changes. Innovasport’s discounts and other communications were indiscriminate and impersonal, making it difficult to stand out from competitors. They lacked the ability to generate personalized customer engagement strategies based on spending habits and behaviors. Furthermore, the buyer journeys across different channels (in-store, online, and mobile) were disconnected experiences with no common thread tying them together.
To create better experiences and get more visibility into the customer lifecycle, Innovasport needed more customer data, such as info on trends, preferences, and behaviors. This data would then allow them to deliver personalized communication and services.
Innovasport’s solution to these issues was to launch an all-new loyalty program called Legends. The program would allow greater insights and tracking, plus enable them to create a true omnichannel journey. The marketing team would be able to integrate both online and in-store experiences into the program.
Hear from Danielle Ríos about Innovasport’s objectives for the program:
“So we are trying to build a 360-[degree] view of our customers by having e-commerce and POS integrated to loyalty. I guess that was a key factor, to connect all these dots. So when we have e-commerce and the POS integrated to our loyalty platform, that way those sales and the marketing strategies and also inventory can be connected. It’s like a virtuous circle. So when we have this 360-[degree] view of the customer, we can interact at the right time with the right segment. That way we are increasing sales, we are applying marketing strategies, we track the inventory, and we offer that inventory to the right segment.”
Tools and Strategies: What Made the Program a Success?
When it came time to choose the technology that would support the Legends loyalty program, Innovasport didn’t need to look farther than their existing tech stack. They had been partnering with Emarsys since 2013. “Our customer database was already integrated with Emarsys,” said Ríos. “So when we decided to launch the loyalty strategy, [we were] halfway there with Emarsys.”
Innovasport employed various strategies:
- The tiered program segments customers into low, medium, and high spenders so that the marketing team can offer personalized discounts based on behavior.
- Innovasport uses the Emarsys Wallet to display an individual’s loyalty benefits and points. It also enables them to redeem points in exchange for access to events and other special benefits, such as paying a race fee or entering a raffle.
- To drive customer engagement with the Legends program, the brand gives customers real-time loyalty updates by showing benefits at check out.
- The program leverages the mobile application to have customers register, review and redeem rewards, and use QR codes to get credit for purchases made in stores.
- Loyalty campaigns include welcome communication, second purchase, and real-time communications.
- The brand could finally attribute marketing effort and campaigns to customer behaviors.
With this program, Innovasport is taking greater measures to drive purchase frequency and increase the average order value (AOV).
Results: What Changed?
The program launched in January, 2021. With this program, Innovasport is able to attribute their marketing efforts to customer behaviors. The new, reliable stream of customer data is causing a ripple effect of benefits. The Legends loyalty program has positively impacted customer behavior across channels. Email open rates have increased, and conversion rates have increased for first purchase, second purchase, purchase frequency, and the number of orders.
Not only that, but within the first two months of launching the program, the Legends loyalty program drove 350,000 new members. Yes, that’s right: 350K! In just 2 months!
Listen to the quick summary:
“Before Legends, my team used to communicate some promotions, and we used to get like, well, because they used to send it to the general database. That was a couple of years ago. And they used to send these communication[s] to all the users. They weren’t used to micro segment[s]. So they used to get, I don’t know, maybe 8% open rate. And after we start targeting all [these] communications through Legends, we have achieved 35% open rate, 40% open rate, which is huge. […] We have right now 350,000 members in our database. Actually, in exactly two months, we have achieved 350K members.”
Final Thoughts: The Meaning of Customer Loyalty
At the start of this article, we already established what kind of results loyalty can drive for businesses. The successful outcome is (and will always be) this: getting more customers to buy more often at higher values and lower acquisition costs.
To drive those outcomes, loyalty has to mean something 一 value for the customers.
“For Innovasport, loyalty means to know our customers through every interaction, to track every purchase, every interaction with our digital and in-store channels. For Innovasport, loyalty is how you leverage data. […] The way that you manage data and how you leverage data is how you will get customers to engage with your program, and that way you can offer them something of real value in return for their purchases, so that way you can build a loyal community.”
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