Loyalty Programs – are you a part of it?

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The Indian retail market is leaving no stone unturned to lure their existing customers! From promoting loyalty programs to providing sms alerts to surprising you with greetings on those special occasions the retailers have only one thing to say – COME BACK SOON. But are you listening?

The next time you go shopping in the nearest mall, don’t be surprised the cashier of almost every showroom asking you a simple yet nagging question – Do you have a membership with us ? Would you like a membership with us? It gets worse when you’re in a hurry to catch a movie in the same mall in the next 5 minutes or you’ll miss the starting – which is not a very good thing to happen if your partner doesn’t like missing starts!

Folks, the loyalty fever is catching each and every retailer. Everyone wants a huge piece of retail pie which is expected to grow to 600 Bn USD* by 2015. And how better to get it – retain your consumers! But the big question is that are your consumers as loyal as you want them to be.

The first challenge in implementing loyalty programs is that currently, only about 25% of the retail industry is driven by the organized retail sector. Now that’s a number too less to get your consumers to stick to you, considering the options available in the un-organized sector especially in non metros. If you are looking at tapping the great Indian middle class – you’ll have to do much more than giving them loyalty points which silently make them purchase stuffs worth thousands to get benefit in less than hundreds.  There is only one thing that would make your customer keep getting back to you is the price! In many cases quality would come second ( if we are talking about the mass market).

Perhaps, if you are a super big multi brand retail conglomerate, you can woo your existing customers with unique pricing options and the quality may well not be top notch but would serve the purpose!

Secondly, almost all loyalty programs end up being positioned in the same manner. You pay first, get points and then pay again to make something good of those points! No doubt the intentions are right, however the Indian consumer wants more! We might wonder which retailer would start loyalty program revolution. Our guesses are that the moment is not too far!

It’s not just the retail sector, a lot many sectors including the airline industry, financial services and even the petroleum companies want their customers to continue coming back to them.  As a consumer would you like to be a part of a loyalty program or no… Let us know!

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