Quando são aconselháveis os programas de fidelização

Escreve Don Peppers na Fast Company:
A loyalty program can directly increase customer loyalty when a business’s customer base had two characteristics:

1. Just a few high-value customers do the vast majority of business; and

2. Customers’ needs are fairly uniform, meaning there isn’t much product differentiation in the category.
E acrescenta:
The long and the short of it is that paying customers for their loyalty is more likely to generate a direct profit when your customers have similar needs but highly different values. The airline industry is a great example. At an airline, the top 1% or so of flyers generate a substantial majority of the profits, and yet customers are fairly uniform in terms of what they actually need. Aside from seat or meal preferences, customers all want the same basic thing--to get safely and reliably from Point A to Point B--and pretty much any airline that flies a route can do the trick.

So airlines can profit by purchasing customer loyalty directly, but if your business is not characterized by a similar kind of customer base, with a small minority of extremely high-value consumers who have relatively undifferentiated needs, then it might not make as much sense for you.
Alternativamente, um programa de pontos pode também ser a forma mais eficiente de recolher informação sobre os padrões de compra de clientes individuais. É isso que a Tesco tem feito sistematicamente há mais de uma década:
There are about 40,000 different products on the shelves of a typical U.S. supermarket, but the average household will stock less than 1% of them, and every shopper buys a different assortment, with different brand preferences, types, and sizes. Moreover, unless shoppers somehow identify themselves at the cash register, the grocer has no practical way to keep a record of any individual shopper’s purchases. By using a loyalty program to identify individual customers and track each customer’s transactions, however, a grocer can compile enough data to make personally relevant offers.

Tesco is a U.K.-based grocery retailer that does exactly that, for instance. One of the world’s most sophisticated users of customer data, Tesco launched its Clubcard loyalty program in 1995, and it now sends a quarterly newsletter to 16 million U.K. Clubcard members in 9 million different versions! Every Clubcard member gets a highly customized set of discounts and offers, and the company claims a response rate on the newsletter of some 25%. Analysts have estimated that the program could be generating more than £100 million in incremental revenue for the company every year.

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