As I was reading my Sunday Trib last weekend, I came across a story in the business section about customer loyalty programs. Here is the article.
A new comic book shop in Andersonville (north side of Chicago) came up with an outstanding way to encourage people to shop there frequently. After 50 purchases, the customer gets to punch the owner in the stomach. BRILLIANT! Or is it?
It got me thinking about whether retail strategies have any place in our commercial world. You may remember several months ago I wrote a blog post about whether the Groupon model had any place in our business
. It received a mixed response—some thought it would just dilute our profits and probably not generate any real new customers, while some said anything was worth a try. I wonder if any of you have tried something like that? Anyone care to share?
So what ABOUT customer loyalty programs? Do they work in our business? And what would they look like? I usually end up on the side of, “You should try ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING to get new customers.”
Here are some ideas you could try:
• Frequent/repeat buyer rewards—for every 10 orders a customer gets something free or discounted.
• Drawings – every order enters you in a drawing to win something (an iPad?).
• Discounts/rebates—spend $XXX,XXX and get XX% off or $$ back.
• GET WACKY— You could invite your most frequent customer to be “Pressman for a Day,” or dedicate a day in your shop to celebrating your most frequent customers with an event.
As I always say, Creativity is king! And I also say, What have you got to lose?
What have you tried? What has worked? What hasn’t? I’d love to hear some success or failure stories from all three of my loyal readers out there!