Our questions started with gathering some essential knowledge about the concept. What is Premium Loyalty? Is it a Paid or Membership loyalty program, or are there nuances to be identified? The discussion was wide-ranging and Brian Carl, Senior Director of Marketing at Clarus Commerce gave us a grand tour of Premium Loyalty. If you missed the webinar, I’d recommend that you download the eBook from Clarus Commerce titled “Premium Loyalty – Answers to the questions you should be asking” at the end of this article.
The 2018 Delphi Report published by the Wise Marketer found that fee-based programs were among the top 10 trends that Delphi panelists reported. Most of the Delphi panelists indicated that fee-based loyalty programs would become more prevalent in the future. As the report shared, “The Amazon Prime effect is given credit for the resurgence of interest in fee-based loyalty programs, but the reality of the situation is that fee-based programs have always been there …. adding further that “the fee drives share of customer and generates increased yield.”
The growth of fee-based programs over the past two years is remarkable, with offers from Lululemon, Restoration Hardware, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Cinemark among those we discussed with Brian Carl. Maybe the longest running program of its type is hosted by Barnes & Noble, so yes, Amazon was not the first to market.
One of the most important elements of the conversation took us beyond the “what” of Premium Loyalty to discuss “how” brands should rationalize whether Premium Loyalty can work for them. In the webinar, Brian covered some of the analytical steps that a brand should follow and Clarus Commerce has now followed up with a nifty synopsis of 9 Premium Loyalty Stats that Every Retailer Needs to Know.
A few statistics that caught our eye might also interest you as you navigate the paid program waters:
- More than half of all premium loyalty participants shop with that program’s retailer at least once a week
- 87% of consumers who are satisfied with the special benefits offered by a retailer’s paid loyalty program will likely choose that retailer over a competitor that is offering a lower price
- 80% of millennials said they would be willing to join a paid loyalty program if their favorite retailers offered it and the benefits were valuable to them
The future of customer loyalty will be expressed in new models, some that use traditional points currency and some without any transparent measuring system. Other models may not look like a “loyalty program” at all. With the change present in today’s market, it’s wise to consider the entire range of possibilities that serve your brand best. Premium Loyalty is an approach that should be in the consideration set.
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