Loyalty programs motivate your customers, but not like a scary gym-class teacher. They draw from psychology and human behaviour to build a connection between your customers and your brand.
Building trust and customer engagement in your brand’s community is the golden ticket. It’s how you get repeat customers. You’ll also cut on marketing costs through word-of-mouth business.
Customer loyalty is a valuable asset and using the Smile app, you can drive profits and improve the customer journey.
What are customer loyalty programs and why are they so important?
With an online store, you often find yourself spending a lot of time creating and retaining loyalty. Customers have options - lots of options. They can buy what they’re looking for from so many different online stores. All it takes is a few clicks. So...
What else can you do to incentivise customers to purchase from you?
Customer loyalty programs can help you to answer this question.
A customer loyalty program is a system that allows you to reward customers for behaviour that has a positive impact on your business. This could be a purchase, signing up for your newsletter or referring a friend to your store.
When created with long-term success in mind, these aren’t just schemes to scam customers into purchasing more than they need. Instead, the focus is on rewarding customers for interacting with your brand and helping you to build your store’s community. Loyalty programs help to increase customer retention by offering tailored incentives to encourage the customer to return and purchase more. They can also decrease marketing costs that would otherwise would have been spent on retargeting.
What is Smile and what features does the app offer?
Smile is an app that allows you to set up and manage your own rewards program. It is Shopify’s most popular rewards app, with 7,000 live stores currently availing of this package to grow and retain their customer base.
Smile have plans available for stores with up to 25,000 customers, along with an enterprise option for larger merchants. You can view more pricing info here.
We can break Smile down into three main components: points, referrals and VIPs. Here’s what they do and how they can accelerate your brand’s performance. Vroom!
There are quite a few ways that you can tailor your program using points.
- Store actions
- Make an order
- Product review
- Signup (create an account)
- Celebrate a birthday
- Make a POS order
- Facebook Like
- Facebook Share
- Twitter Share
- Twitter Follow
- Instagram Follow
Smile’s signup points, also known as welcome points, are a great incentive to drive leads. Rewarding your customer early on for taking the first steps in engaging with your brand is a smart move.
Create excitement and exclusivity by issuing currency that only works in your store. Your customer will be thrilled to get hold of free credit!
Attaining customers is often a major bottleneck in the sales funnel and, you can recoup this investment over time.
Manage your customer loyalty using Smile.io
With same day set up, you’ve got a loyalty program in an instant that can often take weeks to get going. The intuitive layout and design of this app mean you don’t need a developer to create a stunning customer loyalty program.
Once you set up your own Smile account, it’s time to make a few decisions. It’s good to make a list of exactly what customer behaviour you want to reward.
A top tip from Elkfox is to give your loyalty programs a name. You’ve got an opportunity here to create an exclusive experience, so you might as well use it! You can also customise the currency of your reward points.
Using Smile with Shopify
Your branding gets a good polish after uptaking a unique loyalty scheme, not to mention the fact that you can develop a rewards program that syncs up with your Shopify store.
You can apply rewards to the checkout from the POS app, and there’s a lot of room for customisation. There are also options for different programs which means Smile slots easily into Shopify stores.
Setting up earning and reward conditions within your Shopify store using Smile is as quick as it is effective in establishing customer rapport. There’s a limitless combination of points, referrals and reward options to create the sweet spot that keeps your customers coming back for more!
Think of this as supercharged word-of-mouth. Here, you can reward your customers for inviting their friends and family to check out your store. Both sides of the interaction can be rewarded with loads of different options from points and discounts to free products. Let your customers do the marketing for you. It’s a win-win-win!
Smile.io’s referral system had an overhaul late last year. You can now create a fully branded referral message in a flash. Engaging referral messages make all the difference in capturing real conversions instead of an indifferent ‘like’ or ‘share’.
You’ve also got the option to direct to traffic to any page you wish. Your home page is not always the best landing strip for customers to engage with your store. It’s often better to direct them to a page that is proven to convert.
If your brand has an ethos that will connect with leads, then you also have the option to direct them to a page that lets them see inside your company’s process and values.
Whatever you choose, Smile makes it quick and easy to awaken social media user’s interest and beckon them to your store! It’s also optimized for mobile and you can use referrals on Messenger and Whatsapp.
Want to learn more about referral marketing? Check out this article.
Last but not least, you’ve got the red carpet treatment for your top customers. You can create tiers of benefits to thank customers for their continued loyalty. Smile knows which rewards work at varying stages of the customer journey and help you to implement these.
Free shipping and complementary products, as well as coupons, help to close orders with repeat customers. However, you’ve also got the ability to reward customers with experiences and birthday gifts. The scope for creativity in the VIP section pulls you out from the crowd of competitors.
Using Smile.io with Shopify Plus
A cool feature is the option for customers to redeem rewards at the checkout page using their loyalty points. You can also sync customers’ VIP tags to Shopify. Now, you can more easily manage the rewards program and see each customer’s status on Shopify.
Shopify Plus store owners can also connect Smile with other apps. You know what this means... a streamlined experience! Woo-hoo!
Managing an online store gets complicated when third-party extensions force you to jump in and out of different accounts to make changes and make sure all aspects align.
By having all your marketing tools in one place, you free up a lot of time.
Shopify Flow is a Plus-only feature that can also be integrated with Smile. This loyalty points system is constructed as a three-part plan to create triggers that incentivise customer engagement.
- Create a Flow Action in Smile - to connect with Shopify Flow
- Build a Flow in Shopify - this defines criteria
- Design a new earning Rule - now Shopify and Smile communicate seamlessly and award points automatically once customers complete desired actions.
Say, for example, you’re looking to improve checkout rates. One solution is to create a Flow trigger that releases points once an order is paid. The action could be that the customer receives 200 points for spending a certain amount of money.
If you have any questions about Smile, you can head to their help page. We also have more helpful articles on our blog to assist you in running a kick-ass Shopify store and keeping your customers smiling! To get in touch with us, click here.
* Images via Smile.io