‣ Gamified programs. Incorporating elements of game design and mechanics, such as points, leaderboards, and challenges, to encourage customer engagement and to make the rewards program more fun and engaging by creating create a sense of competition and accomplishment.
For example, a fast food restaurant might offer a gamified loyalty program where customers earn points for each purchase, and can then redeem those points for discounts or free menu items. Additionally, the program could include leaderboards that show how customers stack up against other participants and challenges that encourage customers to try new menu items or to visit the restaurant more frequently. The program can also have levels, achievements, badges and bonuses that add an extra layer of engagement.
‣ Community-building programs. A rewards program that focuses on creating a sense of community and connection among customers, and often includes elements such as social media, user-generated content, and in-person events to encourage customers to engage both with the brand and with each other. The program also may have an online community or forum, where customers can interact with each other, share tips and advice, or post pictures of their purchases.
This type of program is beneficial for customers because it provides a sense of belonging and allows them to share their experiences and interests with others, and for businesses, it can generate valuable customer insights, user-generated content and word-of-mouth marketing.
‣ Cashback programs. Customers earn a percentage of their purchase price back in the form of cash or other incentives. This type of program is often used by businesses such as credit card companies, banks, retailers, and other merchants to encourage purchases using their own products or services.
For example, a credit card company might offer a cashback loyalty program where cardholders earn a certain percentage of cashback on all purchases made with the card. The rewards can be in the form of statement credits, direct deposits to a savings or checking account or even gift cards.
‣ Coalition programs. This type of rewards program that involves a group of businesses coming together to offer customers a single rewards program that they can participate in. In a coalition program, customers can earn points or rewards by making purchases or engaging with any of the participating businesses, and then redeem those rewards for discounts or other incentives at any of the participating businesses.
For example, a group of restaurants in a local shopping district might come together to create a coalition loyalty program. Customers who shop at any of the participating venues can earn points that can be used for discounts or free products at any of the participating businesses.
Many businesses select one main loyalty mechanics, i.e. points, coupons, or cashback, to structure their rewards program around. However, it's also possible to use a combination of different mechanics, creating a hybrid program that can be tailored to your brand's unique offerings and target customers.
‣ Hybrid programs. A hybrid loyalty program can provide a more diverse and engaging experience for customers, it can also help to match the brand image and create a concept that is unique and memorable.
For example, a restaurant can combine a tiered rewards program, where customers move up different levels based on their spending, with a cashback program that rewards customers for reaching certain milestones. This creates a program that rewards customers for both repeat business and larger purchases, providing a balance between immediate and long-term rewards.