How successful are loyalty programs for different industries?

Loyalty programs, when done right, are a brilliant way to increase customer retention and give your sales a boost. You can use them to keep your business busy at quiet times, or you can use them to say thank you to the customers who give you their patronage to your store day-in, day-out. Sometimes, businesses from certain industries worry that a loyalty program might not work for them. We’re here to bust that myth; We think they can be an awesome tool for just about any business, ever. From airlines to tiny little coffee stands, loyalty programs can work for everyone. And 59% of the British public think every business should have one. So, why not?

Here’s our take on how successful loyalty programs can be for some of the top industries with local businesses in the UK.


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What do All Bar One and KFC have in common? They both have loyalty programs. Despite being utterly different in terms of size and food service, these restaurants believe in the power of loyalty. And they’re not the only ones. Restaurants want loyal customers just as much as the next business, but it might not always be about frequency, so a paper stamp card with a free meal on your tenth visit might not actually work. For a restaurant, you’re better to reward on spend (like Swipii does), to make the most of your customers while they’re in your business. They might go the extra mile so that when they next visit, they might get a free reward. For restaurants, it’s usually about playing the long game. 



Although cafes and restaurants have a lot in common, when it comes to loyalty programs, they need to be treated differently in order to be successful. Cafes have a much higher frequency of customers and are more likely to get the benefit of spontaneous visits from new customers than perhaps a restaurant might be. So, this is why so many of them rely on the paper stamp card rewarding customers with a freebie after their nth visit. However, this doesn’t always work. Customers are always losing, forgetting or just can’t be bothered with getting their card punched every time. With Swipii, it’s completely seamless for customers once they’ve linked their payment card with the Swipii app. So there’s no doubt in them getting the benefit of your loyalty program every time they come!


Starbucks successful loyalty programs



So many loyalty programs are about giving something away for free. However, with retail businesses, this doesn’t always work. Successful loyalty programs in retail, such as in clothing stores, are more often to be “spend X and we’ll give you 20% off”. For major companies like Asos, they can run this kind of promotion all the time. It can be difficult, however, for small businesses to achieve if the customer does spend X but over a few visits, and you still want to reward them. In order to emulate this kind of promotion, you can use the Swipii card linking loyalty program to give them points based on their spend and reward them with the discount when they reach enough points. Perfecto!


Services (e.g. Garages, Dog Walking)

We just wanted to confirm that yes, loyalty programs will work for any business. Garages? Yep. Pet-related services? Why, yes. If you want your customers to come back to your business again and again, then a loyalty program is perfect. For garages, your customers will be hoping they don’t have to come in tooooo often. When they do, give them a good experience. Great service, and if you spend X today, the next time you come in you can get a free car wash or 10% off your new tyres. Same with other services, just sub in whatever your business provides. You can see how repeat visits could be very tempting for your customers. It works!


Salon un successful loyalty programs cards


Hair and Beauty Salons

As with restaurants, hair and beauty salons’ loyalty programs are often about rewarding over longer periods of time. But there are other ways you can use them successfully to increase customer frequency as well as spend and loyalty. For example, when a customer comes in and spends X on a cut and colour hairstyle, give them a free eyebrow wax. Or after 5 visits, give them a bottle of the shampoo you use in the salon for them to take home a little bit of your business. We’ve heard of so many salons using stamp cards based on visits, but this means the customer who pops in for a 5-minute treatment is getting the same stamp as the customer who comes in for 4 different treatments across a whole day. We can help you with making sure your rewards and fair for all your customers!


If you’d like to join the swathes of small businesses running a loyalty program, choose one which will work for you! Swipii’s loyalty program for small businesses is free and it is a completely seamless experience for you and your customers. No hardware, no integration, no scanning, no contract. Incredible! 

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