9 rewards you should offer in your customer loyalty program

How do you keep customers engaged and enthusiastic about your loyalty program? With a diverse catalog of rewards.

February 2, 2024

How do you keep customers engaged and enthusiastic about your loyalty program? With a diverse catalog of rewards.

With the right mix of fresh, relevant rewards, you can ensure that your program remains irresistible and keeps your customers engaged and coming back for more.

Here are the 9 most effective types of rewards for your loyalty program : 

  1. Personalized surprise gifts
  2. Product discounts
  3. Free shipping & express delivery
  4. Tiered rewards
  5. Bonus points event
  6. Free points
  7. Birthday experience
  8. Partner perks
  9. Charitable rewards.

1. Personalized surprise gifts

Personalized surprise gifts can be a powerful idea in the rewards catalog of your loyalty program. 

To take it a step further, try as far as possible to tailor gifts to each customer's preferences and interests. 

This will create a memorable and engaging experience for them. 

Then, the element of surprise will add an extra touch of excitement, leaving a lasting impression on your customers.

Be sure to maintain a balance between surprise and relevance. 

So consider implementing a system that collects data on your customers' buying habits, preferences and demographics. 

And use this information to create thoughtful gifts that match their personal tastes. 

For example, if a customer frequently buys skincare products, surprising them with a set of luxury samples of new arrivals can show that you appreciate their loyalty.

Such gestures can foster a sense of attachment and loyalty to your brand. 

Customers are more likely to remember and appreciate the effort.

It increases the likelihood of repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth.

2. Product discounts

Classic but still effective! 

There's something undeniably seductive about the prospect of a good deal.

And offering exclusive discounts and deals to members of your loyalty program is a sure-fire way to pique your customers' interest and keep them coming back.

You create a sense of urgency and excitement. 

These discounts can be used strategically, depending on the type of customer.

For example, you can offer a discount for the first purchase to convert visitors into loyal customers. 

But you can also reward frequent buyers with tiered discounts based on their purchase history to encourage them to reach higher spending thresholds.

We'll come back to this in a moment.

To add a personal touch, consider personalizing discounts according to customers' preferences. Use data from their previous purchases to recommend discounts on related products.

This will show that you know them and value their individual needs.

However, don't overdo it.

If you offer discounts too often, your customers may become dependent on them, and the perceived value of your products will be diminished. 

On the other hand, occasional, well-targeted discounts can be a powerful motivator, encouraging customer engagement and loyalty.

3. Free shipping & express delivery

According to Statista, free delivery is the most effective incentive for 53% of consumers to make a purchase. 

Leading reasons among internet users for purchasing a product when shopping online worldwide in 2020

What's more, Shopify points out that 49% of shoppers abandon their carts because of extra charges at checkout (including delivery).

So it's clear that integrating free delivery and express shipping options into your e-commerce loyalty program can be extremely effective. 

You remove a major barrier to purchase, making customers more likely to complete their transactions. 

It builds trust and transparency into the buying process, as customers know the final price right from the start.

And fast shipping options inevitably improve customer experience and satisfaction. 

It can be a key differentiator, encouraging customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

It's a practical way to reduce cart abandonment and improve the overall shopping experience.

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4. Tiered rewards

The concept of tiered rewards is simple yet powerful. 

Customers start at the basic level and earn points, discounts or rewards based on their purchases, referrals or other selected actions. 

As they accumulate points, they move up to higher levels, where they can enjoy even more exclusive benefits and incentives.

For example, at the first level, customers can enjoy benefits such as access to members-only sales or premiere product launches. 

As they move up the ladder, they may receive personalized offers, birthday surprises or even dedicated customer support.

Read this article to discover 11 reward ideas for yourtop tier program members

Tiered rewards are not just about offering better rewards, but also and above all about tapping into the innate human desire for recognition and achievement. 

Customers feel recognized and valued as they progress through the levels.

This creates a sense of pride and loyalty to your brand.

To maximize the impact of tiered rewards, keep your program transparent and simple. 

Clearly communicate the benefits and conditions of each tier.

An intuitive, user-friendly loyalty program improves the overall experience and encourages engagement and participation.

Uber's tiered loyalty program

5. Bonus points event

A "Bonus Points" event is a time-limited operation during which customers can earn extra rewards or loyalty points for specific actions or purchases. 

The sense of urgency and excitement it creates motivates customers to actively participate.

During the operation, customers are encouraged to make purchases, refer friends, leave reviews or engage with your brand on social media - all with the aim of earning those coveted bonus points. 

This not only boosts sales, but also improves customer retention and brand loyalty.

To make your "Bonus Points" event a success, be sure to promote it well in advance to get your customers excited and enthusiastic. 

Use all your marketing channels (email, social media, website banners...) to get the message across.

Next, make sure the event is easily accessible and simple to participate in. 

Customers need to quickly understand how to earn bonus points, what actions are eligible and how long the event will last.

And remember, the key to the success of such an operation is to make it special, something that customers wouldn't want to miss for the world.

Oatapia's bonus points event

6. Free points

Free points are rewards generally offered for a limited time and during strategic periods of the year to stimulate demand and re-engage inactive customers. 

For example, if your brand sells clothes online, consider topping up your customers' points balances at the launch of your new Spring/Summer collection. 

This not only stimulates demand for your new products, but also serves as a reminder to inactive customers.

The well-known brand Gap uses this technique.

At the beginning of each quarter, Silver members of its loyalty program receive free points equivalent to 20% of the points earned in the previous quarter.

This creates a feeling of appreciation and recognition that strengthens the bond between the brand and its customers.

Gap's loyalty program cover

And free points have a dual benefit.

On the one hand, they encourage customers to buy from you at strategic times of the year, by aligning their purchases with your brand's offers. 

On the other, they encourage customers to spend more to take full advantage of the free points they receive. 

And the result? A powerful incentive that boosts customer engagement and sales!

7. Birthday experience

Celebrating your customers' birthdays goes beyond a generic "Happy Birthday" email.

It's about creating a memorable and unique experience for each customer. 

Imagine receiving a heartfelt message on your birthday, accompanied by an exclusive discount or free gift.

It's like having your own virtual party organized by your favorite brand!

It leaves a lasting impact on your customers, who feel valued and pampered.

It's a small, meaningful gesture that goes a long way to fostering loyalty and turning one-off buyers into brand ambassadors.

Of course, be sure to collect customers' date of birth when they sign up for your loyalty program.

You can also automate reminders to encourage them to update their profile with this information. 

And here more than ever, personalization is key!

In your birthday wishes, address customers by name, acknowledge their loyalty, show them love and sincerely thank them for their support. 

You'll create an emotional connection and highlight the human side of your brand.

And don't stop there. Offer a birthday gift or special discount based on the customer's preferences and purchase history. 

Your customers need to feel special and loved on their birthday.

Sephora's email for birthday's customers

8. Partner perks

The idea here is to collaborate with a partner brand to create a new range of special rewards for your customers!

Imagine your clothing brand collaborating with a sunglasses brand to create the perfect look for this summer. Well, these sunglasses can be added to your rewards catalog for a limited time, generously offered to your loyal customers by your partner.

Collaborative gifts not only add a touch of excitement, they also enable you to reach a wider audience. 

By partnering with a complementary brand, you tap into its customer base, and expose your e-commerce brand to a new pool of potential customers.

The key to a successful partnership lies in choosing the right collaborator; a brand that shares similar values and resonates with your target audience. 

These collaborative gifts can take many forms, from physical products to digital experiences, and even joint events. 

The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination and your customers' preferences.

Take it a step further with a little storytelling.

Tell your customers the story of the collaboration and emphasize the shared vision and unique aspects of the gifts. 

This creates a sense of exclusivity and curiosity that encourages customers to engage with your brand and explore the collaboration.

9. Charitable rewards

Make your loyalty program more than just a consumer experience.

Offer your customers the opportunity to convert their loyalty points or rewards into donations for charitable causes close to their hearts.

Charitable rewards go beyond conventional loyalty programs by instilling a sense of purpose and social responsibility. 

You foster a sense of accomplishment and create a deeper connection with your brand.

To achieve this, collaborate with reputable charities that align with your brand's values and mission. 

Offer your customers a selection of causes to support, ensuring that each contribution is meaningful and personalized.

You could also consider matching a percentage of your customers' donations to double the impact and encourage greater participation. 

Also, share the stories and impact of your customers' charitable contributions in your newsletters or on your social media. 

Transparency and authenticity are key to building trust and credibility.

Charitable rewards not only create a positive brand image, they also foster a sense of belonging to a community. 

They unite your customers in a common purpose, creating a loyal and passionate customer base.

The Love Your Body brand offers its club members the chance to donate their rewards to one of its partner charities.

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