Best Shopify Loyalty App for Retention Marketing

The fast development of technology and increased demand for online shopping bring new businesses and several existing businesses online. These days, e-commerce is a growing force in the modern economy. That’s why so many people prefer online business as their main job. Shopify is the perfect platform to help you start your own Shopify business from scratch and build your own store. Not only that, it contains a ton of essential tools that support the achievement of your business goals.

The number of online shops keeps rising every year with an estimated 12-14 million ecommerce sites across the globe.

Given that, starting an eCommerce business is much easier than opening a physical one. That's why so many people are interested in it. While quick and less costly, it also means that the competition is high.

Most of the time it might get hard for small business owners to stay competitive in today’s constantly evolving digital world. To be successful you need to always keep your customers in mind. That’s why most entrepreneurs understand the importance of customer satisfaction and focus on the same goal: to keep their clients loyal and satisfied. Having a satisfied and loyal customer is important because it can significantly affect revenue growth and retaining that happy customer is equally important in today’s highly-competitive eCommerce world that’s formed by digital transformation and customer demand. Even though it is not an easy job it is totally doable. How can you do it?

Loyalty programs app is the answer.

You might be surprised because adding a loyalty app to your Shopify store doesn’t seem like a novel idea but the truth is it can really make a difference. It can help you expand your brand, keep your customers returning and get people talking about your company and you can build a community.  

There are tons of good apps on the market today but how can you win the marathon for customer loyalty in eCommerce? We’ve made this article for you to help you answer this question and choose the right app for your Shopify store.

Here’s what we are going to cover:

  • What is Customer Loyalty in Simple Terms?
  • What are Loyalty Programs? Why are They Important?
  • How to Choose the Best Type of Ecommerce Loyalty Program for your Business?
  • What is the Best Shopify Loyalty App?

What is Customer Loyalty in Simple Terms?

So, what is loyalty? Any relationship, whether it be a romantic one, a friendship, or a business one, depends on loyalty. It is NUMBER ONE and what’s more, it’s RARE.

“Loyalty is the strongest glue - which makes a relationship last a lifetime”

Mario Puzo

So, loyalty is basically the ability to maintain a solid friendship or show support for someone and it has no time expiration.  

Now let’s talk about customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is something you shouldn’t undervalue as an e-commerce business owner. It is the Holy Grail of Marketing and Sales. It is when customers keep coming back to you to buy your products and services over and over again because they like you and trust you. The reason why it is so important is pretty obvious as the primary goal of any business is to make money.

When companies consider marketing in general, they often concentrate on initiatives meant to draw in new clients. However, retaining current clients is less expensive than acquiring new ones.

To attract a new client, you need to spend five times more.

Keep improving your customer service and the quality of your products and services and your customers will always be loyal to you. They will always choose you instead of your competitors even when one of them decides to lower the price. As long as they receive the same quality products or services they are used to and adore, they are willing to spend more. What’s more, they are likely to recommend your store to others. The more loyal your customers are, the greater your chances of winning over your competitors.

The likelihood that your customer will do business with you is measured by the level of customer loyalty. It illustrates customer satisfaction, great customer experience, and the overall value of the products and services a client receives from your online business. Without satisfied customers who keep making purchases from you, your company won’t last long. Keeping customers coming back for more is crucial to your company’s success. It’s a long-term strategy that works perfectly and is extremely beneficial.

For example, if you refuse to drive anything other than Lexus then you’re a loyal customer. The reason why so many people choose Lexus is that it has a reputation for being one of the most reliable manufacturers. Their reliable vehicles offer a high level of comfort while being cheaper than Mercedes-Benz or BMW. Their customer service never fails to amaze their most devoted fans as they are always eager to go above and beyond to give the best possible service ever. Within each Lexus Centre, there is a relaxing area. You can wait there, while your car is being serviced. Visitors can take advantage of free Wi-Fi and beverage while reading the magazines. There's also a workstation with charging points. The lounge seats with giant wingbacks won't leave you disappointed.

Customer Loyalty is the cornerstone of your retention marketing strategy and it's a vital component that all businesses must prioritize. Focus on giving back to your customers because they are more likely to continue buying your products or services for themselves, relatives, friends, and neighbors. Marketing without retention is like throwing money out of the window.

What are Loyalty Programs? Why are They Important?

Loyalty program illustration

There’s no shortage of great loyalty apps on the Shopify app store and those companies that add custom ecommerce loyalty programs to their store have an advantage over their competitors. They can give their customers rewards like points, free samples, discount codes, exclusive products, member-only prices, and free delivery they can use when they make a purchase online. The main goal of loyalty programs is to make customers stay with your company. They must value an ecommerce loyalty program for it to be successful. While customer acquisition is an expensive and time-consuming process, it makes more sense to retain current customers. An effective loyalty program is a great way to do it.

Why loyalty programs are necessary? There are several reasons for that.

1. They help you collect valuable customer data. When a client becomes a member of your loyalty program, you can collect important information such as customers’ purchasing habits, interests, and demographic data. You can determine who your brand attracts the most by demographics using the information on name, age, gender, location, and a myriad of other factors. In some cases, you can even gain some valuable data like income, and home market value. Those key customer insights can help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Once you get the right data, you can focus on your current customers that are enthusiastic about your brand. It’s easier and more effective than spending money on brand-new eyeballs.

In comparison to customers that are new to your business, loyal customers spend 67% more.

2. They can help you boost sales. Loyalty programs do increase sales and revenue because loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and share their positive shopping experiences with their friends, relatives, colleagues, and neighbors.

Great loyalty programs can increase your chances of getting your business recommended by 70%.

Your loyal ecommerce customers will be more than eager to try new offers. A good ecommerce loyalty/rewards program motivates them to spend more when they get an opportunity to earn rewards right away.

3. They develop emotional connections. We, humans, are emotional creatures by nature. We are activated by emotions and we feel deeply. With loyalty programs, you can trigger a wide range of emotions – excitement about getting an exclusive product, a sense of satisfaction when you are working towards the next VIP tier with every completed trip, or a feeling of being a part of a wider community.

Those customers that have an emotional connection to your brand have a 306% higher lifetime value.

Customers purchase products and services from brands that they identify with. They are looking for products that elicit a certain emotion. They respond better to emotional rewards.

Your loyalty programs must focus on customers and they must align with your brand. The reason why they work is that they make your clients feel valued. They encourage customer retention, increase referrals, and boost revenue.

How to Choose the Best Type of Ecommerce Loyalty Program for your Business?

There are several different types of loyalty programs for eCommerce and it’s not always easy to choose the right one for your Shopify business. What works for one business doesn't mean it will work for yours.

How do you choose the right type of eCommerce loyalty program for your business?

Let’s take a look at 4 types of ecommerce loyalty programs:

  1. The Point-based Loyalty Program. It is the most common loyalty program that one can think of. It’s based on a simple principle: spend more to get more. In addition to that, it is totally suitable for any kind of business. For example, if you own a clothing store, you can award your customer every time he places an order. 10 dollars could be one point or every 20 dollars could be one point. Those points can be redeemed for either free shipping or a fixed-amount discount. This point system is easy to understand.
  2. The Tiered Loyalty Program. This system is perfect for those who want to increase customer spending. Levels of loyalty form the basis of the tier system. The larger the reward, the more devoted to your brand your customers are. Your clients start on the lowest tier receiving small awards. As they move up the loyalty ladder they receive bigger awards. They receive more benefits the more they spend their money on your products and services.
  3. The Paid Loyalty Program. This one is pretty simple. To join your VIP club, your customers pay a monthly or yearly fee. But it is only efficient if you have a big customer base. This program can be used when you want to keep your current customers. Your paid program must offer member-only perks. Otherwise, it won’t work.
  4. The Referral Program. We live in an increasingly connected world, where we love to share our good customer experiences, and referral programs are based on word-of-mouth marketing. With this program, you can track not only new conversions but also consumers who are happy enough to recommend it to others by measuring referrals. It is also a great way to attract new customers.  

Always keep your customer in mind and make sure that your ecommerce loyalty program is as simple as possible. The easier it is for the customer to understand, the better. Plus, knowing your customer can be quite beneficial. You should know how to provide value to them.

What is The Best Shopify Loyalty App?

Once you’ve got your Shopify business up and running, finding the right loyalty program app might be hard. There are many apps to choose from but you need to pick the one that suits your needs the most to keep the customer returning. To save you time and simplify your work, we've chosen the best loyalty apps that create the ideal conversion-driven loyalty plan for your Shopify store.

We will review 3 best loyalty apps for retention marketing:

Growave.io

Growave's homepage

Growave is a great multifunctional marketing solution for Shopify store owners who want to reach, engage and convert leads into paying customers as it has all the features that are essential to your business. This highly-recommended Shopify loyalty app is designed to meet a variety of needs. The ability to manage loyalty and rewards, wishlist, reviews, and shoppable Instagram galleries in one place makes so much sense. These features work hand-in-hand to deliver a better customer experience. The combination of 4 different apps into 1 is something you wouldn’t normally get from a single app. It’s a complete package ecommerce marketing app. So, it’s no surprise why Growave is so popular amongst new or growing businesses.

Growave ensures the perfect balance of functionality and adaptability to manage 3 types of ecommerce loyalty programs successfully, namely:

  • Points
  • VIP Tiers
  • Referral Program

With Growave’s Loyalty Rewards app, your customers can earn points and they can redeem them via free shipping, a percentage discount, fixed-amount discount, gift cards, etc. You can also customize what the points are called.  You can entice clients to accumulate more points in a tier-based program so they can advance to the next tier and receive better rewards and offers. What’s more, you can establish as many VIP tiers as you like. By introducing VIP tiers you can really boost customer experience. Growave’s referral program gives you an opportunity to improve customer engagement on your Shopify store and build trust and loyalty by encouraging your customers to recommend your products and services to your friends and family members. This referral program lets you reward both the sender and the receiver.

With so many features, this multipurpose app is easy to install. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to understand how it works. When you start a loyalty program with Growave, you can significantly improve your retention marketing strategy, increase repeat purchases and drive traffic to your website.

Their friendly customer support team is knowledgeable and ready to answer your questions 24/7. Plus, they have a great knowledge base where you can find all the necessary information about their products and how to use them.

Pricing

Here’s the breakdown of each plan –

  • Basic plan starts at $9/month, allowing up to 75 orders/month
  • Starter plan starts at $19/month, allowing up to 150 orders/month
  • Medium plan starts at $49/month, allowing up to 500 orders/month
  • Growth plan starts at $99/month, allowing up to 1000 orders/month
  • Enterprise plan starts at $299/month, allowing up to 3500 orders/month

Smile.io

Smile's homepage

Smile.io is another great top-rated loyalty app that deserves your attention. It can help your business strengthen the existing customer base by offering the same 3 types of loyalty programs:

  • Points
  • VIP tiers
  • Referrals

You can create a successful VIP program, give points to customers and reward those who actively promote and refer others to your brand.

You can reward your customers for a variety of actions, from signing up for your loyalty program to leaving a message on social media. In addition to that, on the birthday of your customers, you can send out special offers. You have full control over how you deliver rewards.

This powerful loyalty management solution helps you create effective rewards systems and loyalty programs with ease. They are fully customizable and you can make changes in real-time. The user interface is easy to navigate. No technical expertise is required. Customer support is efficient and responsive.

Smile’s loyalty program can help you engage your customers and improve customer loyalty and it also has a free plan that allows you to start points and referral programs. It is worth giving it a try.

Pricing

  • Starter plan starts at $49/month. For entrepreneurs who want to build a professionally-branded program.
  • Growth plan starts at $199/month. For mid-sized businesses who want to build a program to drive engagement.
  • Pro plan starts at $599/month. For scaling businesses who want to grow the profitability of their community.

Stamped.io

Stamped's homepage

Stamped.io is another well-known ecommerce marketing platform for Shopify store owners. Even though it’s a great loyalty app, it’s also one of the best platforms to manage customer reviews and ratings. Just like Growave.io and Smile.io, the Stamped Loyalty app gives you an opportunity to run various loyalty programs. They are:

  • Points and Rewards
  • VIP tiers
  • Referral Programs

You can create customized rewards and referral programs to engage current customers and attract new ones. You can build your own VIP tiers to match your business niche. When your customer buys something from you, follows you on social media platforms, or sends someone to your online shop you can deliver points to them. This can help you engage with your customers better and increase your store traffic. When points are close to expiring, the mobile-optimized widget will automatically send your clients emails and SMS notifications.

Stamped loyalty program gives you full freedom in selecting reward options for various engagement activities. You can design an appealing loyalty reward program.

Pricing

  • Basic plan starts at $19/month, allowing up to 200 orders/month
  • Premium plan starts at $49/month, allowing up to 500 orders/month
  • Business plan starts at 119$/month, allowing up to 1500 orders/month
  • Professional plan starts at 249$ month, allowing up to 3500 orders/month

Conclusion

All the loyalty programs that we shared are good but as we’ve said before you need to choose the one that will help you offer promising rewards to your loyal customers, encourage repeat purchases, improve customer engagement, increase sales and improve website traffic. Beyond that, you need to pay attention to the flexibility and usability of the app and the features it provides, and don’t forget about the pricing. Once you consider all these factors, you can be sure you have found the right loyalty app for retention marketing.

One of the things that makes Growave.io such a compelling choice for business owners is how flexible, cost-effective, and multifunctional it is. And it has a great team behind it that truly cares about their customers.