Can apps keep customers coming back for more?
Salford Quays, Manchester
About the event
This event showcased the findings from our exclusive 2024 Digital Customer Loyalty Report. We had an evening of insight and opinions from loyalty experts from Tecsa, Asda and Poundland. Keep reading to catch a summary of the event highlights.
At our loyalty event on Wednesday 28th February, we brought together leading experts to launch the report and explore the insights first hand. The panellists included:
Anthony Morris, CEO, The Tecsa Group
Emma Collins, Head of Digital Loyalty and Engagement, Poundland and Dealz
Katherine Jackson, Senior Product Manager, Asda Rewards
Chaired by, Jake Sargent, Group Content Director, Apadmi
Loyalty is more important than ever and digital experiences have changed the way customers want and expect to interact with the brands they buy from. But are businesses taking full advantage of everything digital loyalty has to offer?
Apadmi has conducted an exclusive survey canvassing opinion from leaders in loyalty across some of Europe’s leading brands to investigate further which is showcased in our 2024 Digital Customer Loyalty Report.
The panel discussed topics including how digital products are supporting personalisation, how different audiences are being targeted and responding and where the future focus should be.
The power of superapps, personalisation and customer dialogue
In more mature loyalty markets, superapps are aggregating programmes and rewards from multiple brands in one place, enabling customers to have a set of offers that are really personalised. Superapps and multi-partner apps are great at unlocking value for customers, but also providing crossover and exposure to other audiences for businesses too.
For Asda, Kat Jackson explained: “Rewards have become the missing piece in the puzzle as to how we understand our customers. It starts to build up a single customer view - you can start to use that personalisation to drive trade. Realistically, not everyone wants to spend time going around Asda, and food shopping is a necessity, so the easier and simpler you can make that for a customer in terms of journey the better.
"We want to attract them to Asda to do everything in one place and make it completely accessible to them - that’s just going to add an extra layer of appeal. It’s about making it as easy as possible and removing the barriers.”
However, loyalty has to work both ways. Having an app creates great access for customers, but the right structure needs to be in place to support that.
"If you’re going to start a loyalty programme," continued Kat. "It is a two-way relationship - being ready to have that dialogue with your customers, and listening is important.”
This was echoed by Poundland’s Emma Collins: “It’s important to empower the customer, and allow them to say what they want from us. It’s a working relationship between you and your customer base. We’re building loyalty and this is one of the huge building blocks of that. Our loyalty programme is bridging the gap between our clicks and our bricks.”
Setting KPIs and being clear about what you want to achieve
With 97.8% of of brand owners believing loyalty has either always been important, or is more important now than ever before, the desire to get programmes right is in no doubt. But setting clear KPIs at the very beginning around what you want to achieve is key to success.
“Setting KPIs up front is important," said Poundland’s Emma Collins. "For us, frequency is a significant KPI, which means being able to prove an extra visit, as well as an increase in ATV (Average Transaction Value) size. By setting and monitoring this goal, we’ve been able to track the ATV of a member in our app pilot as over 50% more than non-app members."
With goals and measures set, the next step is considering the methods needed to reach them and which levers you can pull to drive certain behaviours.
Kat Jackson explained: “Asking someone to drive retention, engagement, acquisition with just one thing is not realistic. You need to know which behaviour is a priority for your business and pull the relevant lever first.”
Gamification - a tool to support your KPIs, but not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution
According to the Apadmi Digital Customer Loyalty Report, 36% of businesses would like to use more gamification. It was also a hot topic among the panellists.
Poundland’s Emma Collins shared the brand’s recent experience with gamification in their pilot app: “Engagement levels are through the roof when we use gamification - it keeps customers coming back to the app for more. But you have to remember why and how gamification supports your wider KPIs. For us it’s driving frequency and engagement which are two massive focusses.”
It can be easy to get preoccupied with the idea of gamifying everything to be interesting, but it's important to remember why people are coming to your app and how gamification fits into that.
Tecsa works with a number of leading brands globally, and gamification is a growing trend, but CEO Anthony Morris warned: “It can’t be a substitute for a weak value proposition. You need that fundamental strength in the value proposition first, then you can layer it with gamification.”
What’s the bigger picture?
For many businesses, the number of loyalty tactics is growing all the time, with technology a big facilitator of that. However, a key theme is the need to not be too zoomed in on one area and keep an eye on the big picture. Knowing your brand and where you sit in the market, and staying true to that is crucial
Emma Collins said: "For us - the proposition and the app itself had to be simple as we are a simple brand, so it’s about staying true to your brand values and making sure the tech you’re delivering replicates those values. It can be all too easy to deviate away from that bigger picture and get distracted by what others are doing, or what you think you should be doing."
Anthony reiterated the need to ask vital questions such as: “What’s the value of the rewards we’re creating? What levels of offers should we be pushing out? Are we stretching existing baskets? Are we adding new baskets in there as well? You have to keep that end goal in sight.”
Explore all our loyalty findings in the full Digital Customer Loyalty Report, available to download below. If you need help exploring which loyalty strategies will unlock value for your business, and your customers in 2024, reach out to our friendly team of mobile experts today.