Blog author

By Georgina Astley
Marketing & Rewards Coordinator

It’s not me, it’s you. Keeping it personal with your customers.

We all like to feel appreciated from time to time don’t we? A few years ago, I discovered I was in possession of over 50 loyalty cards. I don’t know what is more shocking, the fact I had so many or the fact my purse could accommodate them all. When I ask myself why so many the answer is simple – it’s nice to feel appreciated. The interesting thing is, even though I had every card under the sun I don’t think I was ever truly loyal until I had a product that thanked me for being a customer.

Each card I had then and the ones still in my purse now, all offer something for my brand loyalty. Vouchers, discounts, points and special birthday offers are great, but are they rewarding our loyalty or bribing us for our loyalty? A lot of customers shop because they know what offer/reward they will get and when they will receive it but I don’t think this instils loyalty. Instead it may encourage customers to only shop when they know they are due a reward – is this the kind of loyalty brands want?

In the UK, we are joint second in the world for populations most likely to have a loyalty card with 89% of us holding at least one; however holding a card doesn’t necessarily impact where we shop. We all have loyalty cards but almost half of the UK population (49%) aren’t actually driven by them despite holding them*. Are we all now bored of receiving the same 10% off voucher for our birthday or the double rewards we may receive when doing our holiday shop? These rewards are nice, but are they enough?

Customers now have a choice, so we need to give them compelling reasons to shop with our brands and spend with our products. The retail world is fast evolving; it feels like everyone now “rewards” their customers but it’s now important to be different and give our customers something more. Customers know and trust the offers currently available so they do play an important part in loyalty however with the rise of data driven marketing and understanding customers’ behaviours, it’s time to bring more personalised and meaningful offers to the table.

The same goes for retail finance. There are so many credit offers out there from cash back to point schemes. The challenge is to engage with customers and reward them for using our products and spending with our retail partners. In a world of savvy shoppers we must think about how we not only differentiate ourselves as a bank, but also support our retailers in offering their customers something more. In partnership, we can offer exclusive benefits to customers to make their shopping more enjoyable whilst making them feel valued. Our customers can wear now and pay later, receive free delivery, be part of exciting monthly promotions and even win holidays and VIP experiences. Our aim is to surprise customers and create a positive and memorable experience. It’s about simply saying, “thank you” for being a customer and making sure they feel appreciated for using our products.

At Ikano Bank, we help our retail partners understand customers and their behaviours. In turn, we can reward customers and thank them in personal way that makes them feel special and valued. We keep customers at the heart of everything we do and make them feel special because if we don’t, there will be others who will.




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