Social media reveals hidden loyalty trend

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 7, 2014

Social media reveals hidden loyalty trend

When cloud-based customer engagement software firm NextBee went to the world-famous shopping destination Rodeo Drive in L.A. to survey the sharing behaviours of elite shoppers and trend setters, the company found that it is becoming normal and even expected for consumers to post pictures of their day's purchases to Pinterest, suggesting that brands no longer need to focus on encouraging customers to share but instead reward them for doing so.

Known for its luxury brands, Rodeo Drive often serves as a bellwether for the emerging trends that quickly make their way to main streets everywhere. NextBee's discoveries during this survey clearly indicate that opinions on style and taste, and those brands believed to have it, are already being influenced by social media sharing to a degree not yet fully appreciated by the wider market.

Before social media, the only way a brand could really understand its customer's opinions was by offering surveys and providing incentives for completing them, . The standard of success was whether or not the survey was responded to within 7 days. In today's world, that's a lifetime. Now, be it a broadcast text message to their closest friends, or a selfie from the dressing room posted to Facebook, customers regularly share the brands they love before even making a purchase.

As this social media driven word-of-mouth marketing increasingly takes hold, growing a loyal base of repeat customers now requires an engagement strategy that recognises the new behaviour patterns. NextBee is responding in three important ways: With branded mobile apps, NextBee makes it easy for consumers to quickly be rewarded by doing what they already love, immediately sharing their experiences with friends and family.

Tight integration with CRM and POS software solutions allows NextBee to ensure a customer's activities can be tracked and rewarded across multiple databases with ease.

Branded currency points that integrate seamlessly into your current shopping cart, creating a simple exchange for a variety of loyalty rewards NextBee's survey results are backed up by other engagement research conducted across the industry. The loyalty industry trade magazine Colloquy recently found that active membership in loyalty programmes is growing at a pace of over 20%. Already, 36% of American participate in at least one loyalty rewards programme and 69% of American consumers say the base their choice on where to shop in part on the loyalty rewards available.

"It is incredible how quickly we see loyalty spread this way," said NextBee's senior programme manager, William Rockwell. "It's not at all uncommon to see a particular email address from a school or a company enter the system, and within a month there can be a dozen more. People trust their friends. Loyalty programmes do more than generate repeat customers, they create quality leads through referrals."

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