To say that consumer behavior has been impacted since COVID-19 began more than a year ago would be an understatement.
Consider that nearly two-thirds of consumers say their loyalty is more difficult for retailers to maintain than ever before. And that was BEFORE the pandemic.
It’s more important than ever to retain your best customers.
Brands always want to know the most important KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) to track to ensure a successful loyalty program over time.
These loyalty metrics are always predictive of future consumer behavior, so having a firm handle on which ones are most important is critical.
Now that COVID-19 has dramatically changed consumer behavior, maybe forever, what are the most important KPIs you should focus on moving forward?
Here are the three most important loyalty program KPIs to focus on post-pandemic.
The Most Important Loyalty Program KPI: Retention
Loyalty member retention is defined as the percentage of members who stick with your loyalty program.
For example, if a program has 10 new members join on a given day and two of them cancel their memberships, the retention rate on those members is 80%.
Retention is always a critical metric because it displays the health of your loyalty program in real-time.
Retention, however, will be an even more crucial KPI to track post-pandemic because every dollar your members spend is more important.
According to McKinsey, 35% of U.S. consumers have tried a new brand since COVID-19 began while 77% demonstrated new shopping behaviors, including new channels, stores, and brands.
The value of premium loyalty members is clear.
- Consider that premium loyalty members are 4x more valuable than non-premium loyalty members.
- Ninety-four percent of premium loyalty members shop at that retailer at least once a month
- Enhanced benefits in these programs are so attractive that 88% of consumers are likely to choose a retailer whose program they belong to over a competitor offering a lower price.
With the unemployment rate still hovering above 6%, and with many consumers worse off financially post-pandemic, consumers will be more discerning with every dollar they spend.
If your loyalty program’s retention rate is low, it shows your members are not deriving enough value from the program.
In that case, you need to consider offering more or different benefits that better engage and resonate with your members.
The only thing more important than converting customers into members is retaining them in your program.
Your No. 1 goal is to maintain long retention rates because this means the program is truly adding value to your members’ lives.
Use Your Net Promoter Score to Measure Customer Loyalty
Qualtrics.com defines Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a score which “measures the loyalty of customers to a company.”
NPS scores are measured with a single-question survey and reported with a number from -100 to +100. The higher the score, the better.
Generally, the score is calculated by looking at the values for a question like: “What is your likelihood to recommend the site (or program)?”
NPS is pivotal because it gives you a direct line of communication with your members.
If your program’s NPS is high, you can feel confident members enjoy using your program and retention will be at acceptable levels. If your NPS is low, it tells you that members are unsatisfied and may cancel.
High NPS helps you measure customer satisfaction, evaluate your program, create more brand advocates, and reduce churn.
If your NPS is low, evaluate your program benefits. Find out what benefits members use and don’t use. Make sure your value proposition is strong because, if it isn’t, you’ll lose members if you don’t tweak your offerings to improve them.
NPS will be even more critical post-pandemic because it is the first signal you can gain about membership satisfaction.
If your members are more discerning post-pandemic, keeping an eye on NPS will allow you to be proactive, instead of reactive.
Evaluate Your Product Usage
Product usage is the amount members use the benefits in your loyalty program.
NPS is a good leading indicator that shows satisfaction with the program, but product usage is the truest indicator of customer satisfaction.
If members are not using your loyalty program, they either do not enjoy the benefits offered or find the process to use them confusing.
If your loyalty program’s product usage is low, you may need to consider offering new benefits or offering member education about current benefits. Or simplify the program.
This year, and beyond, it’s more critical because with every dollar being more important to consumers, low product usage will lead to more members trying different brands.
Product usage shows which program benefits your members are using.
A high product usage figure shows that members are enjoying the program’s benefits thoroughly. Also, your Marketing and Product teams can view which benefits are most popular.
If certain benefits are more popular with your members than others, the teams may market more prominently the higher usage benefits.
Consumers, more than ever, want value and convenience. They’re going to shop with brands that give them those things.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your program offers enough value and convenience to keep members engaged.
It’s Time to Be Proactive About Your Loyalty Program
Just as 2020 was a “reactive” year for most people, personally and professionally, this year is all about being proactive.
Retailers reacted to the massive changes in consumer behavior that began last year and still exist.
Focusing on your loyalty program should be a priority this year. With the infinite number of choices for consumers and the desire for convenience, retaining loyal customers may never have been more important than this year.
Due to changed consumer behavior, the three KPIs outlined above should serve your brand and customers well.
Retention because it’s paramount that members stay with your brand and program.
NPS because it is, literally, your members telling you whether they will recommend your program.
Product usage because it is a real-time KPI that shows what program benefits are being used the most by your members.
If you prioritize these three KPIs, your loyalty program will flourish in 2021.
Learn more about loyalty program KPIs here.