Rewards Program Best Practices

One of the key challenges facing commerce proprietors is keeping a cadre of repeat customers engaged. This is particularly important when you consider 80 percent of a retail establishment’s revenue is derived from 20 percent of its customer base. If you want your ecommerce site to thrive, you have to find a way to demonstrate your appreciation of your best customers’ patronage,


These rewards program best practices are a good place to start.

Ditch the Fee—Make It Free

Yes, Amazon has had incredible success with its Prime loyalty program. Perks include a streaming video service, free two-day shipping and a number of other useful rewards. However, you also need to keep in mind, Prime is as much revenue stream as loyalty scheme for Amazon.

The company doesn’t care if it makes a profit on the goods it sells—in fact, it’d rather not. Amazon makes its money selling services—like Prime.

You won’t have that luxury.

You need to make a profit on the goods you sell. Charging shoppers a fee to join your rewards program is a good way to get them to bypass it. Make it fee-free.

Keep It Simple

Let’s say you come up with a scheme with the following parameters. When customers make their 100th purchase on a day of the week with an “E” in it, they’ll be entitled to 10 percent off of 50 percent of the sale price under $40 on the third item they purchase for which they pay for overnight shipping.

How many people do you think will even bother to try to keep up with that? Make gaining membership simple, make earning rewards simple and most of all; make getting the reward simple.

The success of your program will speak for itself.

Give Them Something They’d Want

What’s the use of offering a rewards program if the reward is something nobody wants? The carrot needs to be enticing if you want to keep the rabbits hoping along as you dangle it over their heads.

To accomplish this, take the time to get to know your target customer and what they consider valuable. This is the same approach you should have taken when you built your site in the first place. Even if you did it inexpensively with one of the best ecommerce website builders like Shopify.

Once you know what they like, it becomes easy to create a reward they’ll value.

Tout It Loudly and Proudly

While it’s true there is an inherent value to exclusivity, your club becomes useless if it’s too exclusive. Tout the existence of your program on your site, in your email newsletter and in your social media feeds.

Get permission from the people who earn your rewards to feature them in your marketing messages. Look for every viable opportunity to tell the world you’re down with hooking your loyal customers up—and you follow through on your promises.

Run a Sweepstakes

A great way to build your email list is to offer a sweepstakes package for people who sign up for your loyalty program. This builds excitement around your brand and draws new people into the fold.

Meanwhile, you can still use it as a reward for your existing customer base by allowing them to enter as well. Keep in mind, in most states, you cannot require people to make a purchase as a condition for entering.

Be very careful to keep everything on the right side of the law.

Reward Customer Testimonials

It is however perfectly legal to offer members of your loyalty program perks in exchange for referring new customers and posting product reviews to your site.

This gives them their 15 seconds of fame, while you get the benefit of the endorsement of a satisfied repeat customer—what could be better?

These rewards program best practices will help you attract repeat business, reward your best customers and increase your conversion rate—all at the same time.

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