Re-Imagined Customer Loyalty Programs and How To Create Your Own

Customer loyalty programs are nothing new. However, as digitization and personalization come to the fore, customers’ expectations have changed. Loyalty is increasingly expected to be rewarded in a way that is flexible and in line with retailers’ often broad customer bases.

Data shows that when a brand runs a loyalty programme that’s in tune with its customer, client retention — and revenues — rise. Specifically, research shows that when businesses prioritize their customer service, revenues can rise by 4-8% above the market average. The right customer loyalty program is a great tool to enhance your customer service provision. Indeed, almost 90% of companies state that customer loyalty directly relates to commercial success.

How Whillet Can Help

Whillet is an embedded finance service provider offering loyalty programs, processing and working across different industries. We provide all the digital and technical support for your client marketing customisation requirements, including delivering cashback rewards instead of points, miles or other non-cash bonuses, in any currency you need. This allows businesses to make payments between different suppliers of goods and services.

As a client with a digital Wallet created by Whillet under your brand, you might choose to reward your customers’ loyalty with ‘bonuses’. These bonuses are paid into their account as a cash bonus. However, not only can that bonus be used in store to pay for a product or service you provide, it can also be used to pay for something else useful that still relates to your business, such as parking that’s local to your location. Whillet facilitates that transaction, satisfying all parties and helping your business provide its clients with flexible options for their earned rewards.

As you can see, we know the importance of implementing the right loyalty programme for your business. Big companies are doing it and by adding personalisation to suit their customers, they are reaping the rewards. Businesses who are getting it right include Sephora, Starbucks, The North Face and Canon. We’re going to take a look at Walgreens’ updated myWalgreen’s program, to learn lessons from a big firm that understands the importance of fostering customer loyalty.

The US pharmacy chain has revamped its loyalty program, creating a system that is easy to join, use and personalize. While we take a closer look at the drugstore giant’s refreshed loyalty offerings we will also show you how to secure the same or similar benefits for your rewards program ambitions.

New Benefits and Charitable Donations

In 2020, Walgreens realized changes were needed to support their customers and ensure they all got what they wanted and needed. Among the changes it introduced was the introduction of its updated customer loyalty program. The fresh rewards on offer are wide-ranging. With the right technology, much of what the pharmacy leader has done can be achieved by smaller businesses too.

One key change to the new myWalgreens program was to replace points with cashback. This gives program members 1% cashback straight into their account on purchases of non-branded goods over $20 and 5% on Walgreen branded items. The cash is deposited into the customer’s loyalty account and available for use for up to 12 months. 

In addition, the introduction of challenges provides an alternative way to add to your cashback total. Walgreens has linked additional bonuses to healthy activities:

  • Walking 10,000 steps or more for seven straight days.
  • Sticking to a certain daily calorie intake for a full week.
  • Receiving an additional cash bonus deposit for completing all available challenges.  

By focusing on healthy living and lifestyle improvements for bonus rewards, the retailer is tapping into the values held by many of its customers who are reaping dual rewards from completing them. Of course, different companies align with different values – you get to choose how to incentivize your customers.

But that’s not all. By listening to its customers, Walgreens understood that there was a real desire for supporting the wider community. This has resulted in enabling customers to donate their loyalty cashback rewards to different charities, rather than to use those rewards for their personal purchases, with local and national charities benefitting. Walgreens also selects a specific charity during the month of December to support. In December 2020 it was fighting child poverty in partnership with the Full Plate Project, with Mental Health America the company’s chosen charity for December 2021.

Adding a charitable donation option to your loyalty program is possible with Whillet and can easily be included as part of the suite of rewards you offer your customers.

A Faster Shopping Experience

While the ability to secure cashback and claim additional cash rewards through suitable challenges is already an improvement on many older programs, an updated rewards model doesn’t have to stop there.

For Walgreens, a medicine reminder and delivery/pickup service was its no-brainer enhancement. This allows myWalgreens users to receive a reminder for when a new pack of drugs are required or to have them on repeat order for collection or delivery; yet another tangible reward benefitting the customer and the retailer. Again, this is something that can be integrated into your new loyalty program to encourage more engagement with your customers, not to mention future purchases.

However, that’s not the only way in which the drugstore has helped speed up transactions. Reward program customers can set up an eWallet in their MyWalgreens app. This supports in-app purchase payments, without the need to input additional details. Or, if they’re in store and want to use their rewards, the app generates a barcode which the cashier scans before accepting contactless payment — quick and simple. 

The creation of an eWallet and app that shows cash rewards and the real-time status of an ongoing challenge, reminds customers of when medicines will run out or even when a doctor’s appointment is due, sounds impressive. Even better, this and even more, is all within your grasp with our help, no matter what type or size of business you are. 

Show Customers They Can Trust Your Business

Following the launch of its new customer rewards app, Walgreens Group Vice President of Customer Marketing, Alyssa Raine, states that the company’s customers are engaging more with the new program and showing their increased trust in the brand, which has facilitated an increase in revenues in 2020. 

“We’re committed to meeting the needs of our customers and remain optimistic that our evolving offerings including myWalgreens … will continue to grow and meet the changing needs of our customers,” Raine said.

While building customer loyalty starts with the right product or service, a good rewards program can help drive engagement and gain customer insights, including into what’s important to them and encourage them to remain loyal to you.

At Whillet, we can provide your business with the embedded finance options you’ve been searching for. Not only that, but we can help power your customer loyalty rewards program with the kind of options on offer by Walgreens and other major retailers like it. 

We can help you deliver so much to your customers including:

  • Bonus rewards.
  • Cashback. 
  • Rewards for specific actions. 
  • Charitable donations.
  • Product updates and re-orders.
  • Offer services from partnerships.
  • A built-in eWallet for fast reward account reviews, discount vouchers and quick payment.

If you are interested in offering best-in-class loyalty rewards to your customers, then look no further than Whillet. 

Other articles
Signicat: Organisations Are Still Unprepared to Fight AI-Driven Fraud
Bowhead Specialty and Kalepa Improve AI-Driven Underwriting
Retail: Adopting POS Systems, Digital Wallets, BNPL
Swift Is Testing AI to Fight Fraud
How Should Financial Institutions Transform Their Operations Using Gen AI
Business-to-Business Innovation: Leverage, Artificial Intelligence, and Embedded Experiences
Emerging Trends in Insurance and Financial Technology
Simplifying Cross-Border Payments: Fuse Technology’s Impact in the GCC
Thredd’s CEO Jim McCarthy on the Future of FinTech
Revolut Expands Mobile Wallet Partnerships in Africa for Faster International Transfers
Alibaba Cloud Expands Global Footprint and AI Talent Development Initiatives
BBVA Improves Productivity via Strategic Open AI Cooperation
New Era of Payments: Pay-by-Bank Solutions
Banks Must Adapt to an Evolving Open Banking Landscape
Fintech Innovation Needs to be «Mass Produced»