How to create a loyalty program that actually works


Everyone has that one friend who loves a good deal.

They can’t resist a sale, and they’re obsessed with their loyalty programs.

In fact, they usually go out of their way to shop on sites that have them, and often won’t make a purchase if there isn’t an added “bonus” in it for them.

I even have a friend who bought a plane ticket with the airline they have a points card with, even though it was more money than it was on other sites, just so they could get the bonus points!

THIS is the group of customers you need to focus on when you’re creating your loyalty program.

These customers will end up spending 67% more than new customers, and will build an insanely loyal customer base for you to market to.

But in order to build a loyalty program that actually works, you’ll have to get a few basics down first.

Make it easy to earn reward points

The key here is to keep it simple!

The most common loyalty program models allow customers to accumulate points through sales or straightforward actions on your store.

Customers earn points on every purchase they make, which can then be redeemed for a reward to encourage them to make a repeat purchase.

Here are some easy ways your customers can earn points on your store:

  • Get your customers started by awarding points to customers for registering for your rewards program, or their first purchase.
  • Everyone wants to feel important! Award every customer bonus points on the anniversary of their first order, or even on their birthday.
  • Reward your customers for promoting your store by offering bonus points for sharing their purchases on social media.

earn reward points

You can even take it a step further and offer bonus points the entirety of your customers birth month like totalhealth does!

Offer rewards your customers actually want

Reward programs tailored to your customers wants and needs are 58% more likely to entice shoppers to complete their checkout.

It’s key to getting those recurring orders going through!

And the simplest way to do that is to offer your customers rewards they actually want.

That can include:

  • Existing items from your store
  • Exclusive items that aren’t available for purchase
  • Discounts off future purchases
  • Coupon codes
  • Free shipping

If you're looking for inspiration, check out this post on the top ten highest-converting custom rewards for your loyalty program.

Cineplex scene program: rewards

Cineplex gives its Scene members exactly what they want: free movies and discounts on concession!

To find out what rewards will motivate your customers to not only buy more, but to actually redeem their points, take a look at your best selling products or upsells to determine what they’re interested in.

Simplify the redemption process

Un-redeemed points can be a huge liability to your store, so you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to redeem points.

This can take the form of letting customers use only points to purchase an item, or letting them check-out using both points AND another form of payment (perfect if they don’t have the full amount of points.)

And I know I might be a little biased, but Bold Loyalty Points makes this process really easy. Plus, if you installed Bold Cashier before 2020, you can let members pay with points right in your checkout.

This can create a seamless redemption process for your customers.

Redeem loyalty points

 Plus, your customers can redeem points and use a coupon code at the same time!

Keep members engaged with bonus points

Remember that friend I was talking about before? The one that paid MORE for their flight just to get bonus points?

That is the perfect example on how you can run a sale on your store without having to discount any of your prices!

Not only that, but it’s a great way to get rid of slower moving items by offering a higher point value to entice customers to purchase.

Here are a few of our favourite sale ideas using points:

  • Get your customers into your store on low traffic days: Offer every customer a flat number of bonus points (ex. 50 free points) every Tuesday on your store by selecting a specific date and point amount when setting up your sale.
  • Slow time of the month? Offer bonus points store wide the first week of January using a specific date range.
  • The perfect way to run a Black Friday sale: Offer triple the points for one day only. You can choose to offer a flat number of points, or offer points based on a percentage of their total purchase price.
  • Throw a surprise sale: Instead of offering your usual earning ratio (ex. get 1 point for every $1 spent) offer your clients a higher ratio. Maybe offer 4 points for every $0.40 spent during the Fourth of July weekend? Or keep it running for a whole week like Sephora did below.

    sephora loyalty program

Do loyalty programs work?


If run correctly, your loyalty program will start increasing repeat purchases, customer retention, and create a loyal following of brand advocates.

Even if you just increase your retention rate a tiny bit, your profits will see a big increase. Bain & Company found that by increasing customer retention even by 5% can lead to an increase in profits of 25% – 95%.

If you have a Shopify store and are thinking about starting a loyalty program, take a look at Bold Loyalty Points.

Your customers will love how clean and simple it is.

And the new version of the app (Version 2) only takes two minutes to install, and has a completely redesigned interface that will make your loyalty program easier than ever to use.

Plus it's fully customizable, schedules point-multiplier sales with the click of a button, and lets you offer any rewards you want!

Do you offer a loyalty program on your store? Make sure to include a link in the comments below!

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John Bruce

Written by John Bruce

John is a full-time copywriter, part-time boxing coach, and former cable-access host.

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