Why is a comprehensive loyalty program important for a small to mid-sized business?

Perhaps the biggest struggle of small to mid-sized business today is how to effectively compete, on a limited budged, with big box retail and major brands. A comprehensive loyalty program is today’s answer to this dilemma.

How can a loyalty/rewards program help a small business grow?

An effective loyalty program is an invaluable tool for the small business, as it allows the business to keep their customers engaged, both in-store as well as at home and work. It combines various incentives, whether they be small discounts or, often more desirable, special perks, to create a sense of privilege. It also provides mechanisms to communicate with customers, through several touch points, with low overhead and little out-of-pocket expense.  It's an affordable system focused on retaining customers and growing business through engagement and incentives.

"An effective loyalty program is an invaluable tool for the small business, as it allows the business to keep their customers engaged, both in-store as well as at home and work."

What is the top customer engagement trend that small businesses should be aware of for the future?

Today’s engagement trend spans multiple touch points, including interactive mobile apps, email, sms and social media. Achieving engagement, both in-store and out-of -store, is key to success and achieving it is near impossible without the support found in today’s loyalty program technology.  To be successful requires a system to manage these engagement touch points, otherwise businesses are faced with the real danger of over saturation; a pitfall that results from hitting customers too often and from every direction.  A proper loyalty program avoids this issue by managing which customers to reach out to, when to reach out and how often.

How has customer loyalty programs changed for small to mid-sized businesses in the past ten years?

Loyalty programs, in concept, are nothing new, but they have evolved over recent years.  The paper punch card of a decade past is no longer appealing to today’s techno-savvy consumers.  The advent of mobile applications combined with enhanced levels of software automation have become mainstream and the cost for this technology has come down to a point where even the smallest of small businesses can acquire these solutions.