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Best Buy share their lessons learnt on loyalty

Last week I attended the “What’s hot in Rewards” webinar hosted by Loyalty 360 & Best Buy¹.   

Best Buy shared their thoughts on how to leverage loyalty points for the merchandise that’s in high demand by their customers.  
One of the key topics discussed in this webinar was Best Buy’s view on their lessons learnt while creating a successful loyalty programme.²
A common message coming out of any loyalty discussion these days is that loyalty is no longer just about points but it’s about that mutually beneficial dialogue between a brand & the consumer.
This dialogue needs to withdraw information from the consumer about their wants & needs and in turn brands need to provide insight to the consumer on how they will deliver these wants & needs.
Companies are realising the important role of loyalty and list it as one of their number one facets when determining their marketing strategy & budget. In the US, the average consumer has over 18 loyalty cards and it’s therefore no surprise that loyalty is becoming (or forced to become) the forefront of all marketing decisions.
Best Buy’s lesson one says, that when developing a loyalty programme or revising your current one, brands should always offer a broad assortment of services, such as various redemption options and reward options. A survey by Best Buy and Affinion Loyalty Group in a webinar earlier this year showed that the attendees felt that loyalty programmes that are not unique and are too restrictive & unattainable are the main reason they are no longer attractive to the consumer. Others say that the lack of options available when redeeming points also plays a major role. It seems marketers are falling short by providing a seamless loyalty programme that has all the right elements to it (simplistic, transparent & engaging) but when it comes to wanting to redeem your points you are faced with minimal or simply unappealing. 
This leads to lesson two & three: focusing on convenience and flexibility & therefore increasing the need to shift to mobile as one of your loyalty platforms. Shoppers want everything in real time. The digital & mobile worlds have customers expecting to be able to shop when they want, how they want and where they want. What once was seen as a benefit, like free shipping & tailored offers is now the norm. Mobile enables the customer to easily & more quickly redeem points, check points balances & special offers on the go. Brands failing to meet these expectations will soon lose relevancy. 
Lesson four: customers are becoming street wise about the value of points they earn and what this value means to them. It is vital that brands are informative & transparent about the value of their points’ currency and show their customers the extent of the value and how it can positively impact their day to day lives. 
Always innovate is lesson five. Innovation goes beyond what is expected. Understand what your customers expect from you and blow them away with something remarkable.
With your customers being bombarded by everyone else’s loyalty programmes you need to ensure you create an unique experience from start to finish (lessons 1 – 5) noting that a positive redemption experience, that offers your customers choice on how to redeem points, is key to meeting the current needs of your customers.  
                                                                      Ros Siddle, Marketing & Loyalty Research Manager, Truth

 ¹Best Buy is the no.4 US retail brand & the world’s largest consumer electronic brand with annual revenue of $50 Billion (2010).   
² The loyalty programme Reward Zone launched in 2003, now has over 30 million members making them one of the largest loyalty programmes out there.

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Lisa Reid

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