4 Ways Loyalty Can Help Retailers Succeed at Customer Identification

According to a recent Forbes article, 70% of retailers indicate customer identification as their top customer engagement priority. Retailers are struggling to identify customers as they enter their stores and continue to rely on customers providing information at point of checkout. Customers are wary of giving up their contact details as they consider the subsequent generic email blasts and other engagements they’ll have to ignore and delete. In order to motivate consumers to identify themselves, retailers need to offer something in return. Keep reading to learn how loyalty can help retailers succeed at customer identification.


Making your loyalty program mobile enables brands to collect valuable first-party data on their customers–data that in-turn can be used to inform how to deepen your relationship with an individual customer to increase purchase frequency and brand advocacy.

Mobile closes the gap between offline and online behaviors, enabling a cohesive experience for customers. Retailers can identify locational data (as well as other key attributes) to append to customer profiles the moment they happen and set rules for any of those attributes to trigger a personalized experience. For example, when a customer trips a geofence upon entering a brick-and-mortar store, send them a push notification to say welcome and that items they were browsing online are also available in-store.

Nordstrom has started to leverage customers’ location data to take exceptional experiences from in-app to in-store. Luxury Daily reported that the Seattle-based retailer is testing a program that will notify store employees when a customer who has reserved an item through the retailer’s app arrives in-store, which will then enable employees to arrange a dressing room with the customer’s items.

Simple & easy to understand

Keep the onboarding process simple and easy–starting with registration. Only ask new users for the most essential information, making sure to specify why you’re asking and what they’ll get in return.

In order to convince prospective loyalty program members to sign up, it’s also important that you clearly show the value of your brand’s program. As a reminder, a transparent model delivers value to consumers in the form of cash back, points, or a similar token (i.e. get $1 back for every $10 spent), whereas with an opaque model, the value back to the consumer is rendered in the form of surprise & delight, status, levels, tiers, badges and other methods that combine qualifying activity to determine eligibility for value back. Whether you’re working with a transparent or opaque loyalty model, making the program’s rules and guidelines simple to understand is crucial to acquiring new members.

customer-identification.jpgProvide instant gratification

When consumers know that they’re going to be rewarded immediately, it’s an incentive to move quicker to make a decision or execute a purchase — especially when it comes to something that’s low risk. Retailers can tap into customers’ intrinsic desire for instant gratification to encourage more loyalty program signups and deepen brand engagement.

By offering new members a certain percentage off their next purchase for joining, you’ll not only increase acquisition, but also initiate active membership since consumers will re-engage when they redeem their sign up perk. You can then learn more about them and what they like in order to personalize your engagement to keep them a happy, active member.


Customers don’t want to be treated as the masses. Customers should be treated as individuals across all touchpoints. In return, they will reward you with loyalty. According to research from ICLP, staggering 74% of consumers would buy more “if rewards were better/more tailored to them.” And 63.3% of consumers would be more likely to shop at a retailer if they received relevant deals and offers as personalized engagements such as push notifications and messages while they were shopping.

Personalization goes beyond marketing and content; loyalty programs need to be specialized based on customers’ preferences, frequency and spend. People prefer to shop with retailers that have loyalty programs as a means to provide benefits (points) for shopping and interacting in-store and online. Forrester Research shows that making customers feel valued and appreciated is most likely to lead to loyalty. And 77% of members that actively participate in programs deem special treatment to be important.

In order to motivate consumers to self-identify, retailers must provide something in return. A loyalty program is a great way to do this, but the old school key card or mass, generic discounts are not going to cut it.  Retailers need to upgrade from Loyalty 1.0 to Next Generation Loyalty to drive cross-channel engagement, rather than just transactions. Are you ready to deliver?