6 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching Your Ecommerce Loyalty Program


The key to B2B and B2C customer loyalty begins with the right loyalty solution and a human-centric approach

A B2B or B2C customer loyalty program can be one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. But with so many options on who and how to target and what to offer, it can be challenging to stay on track towards the ultimate goal: increasing customer retention and lifetime customer value. Here are a few of the most common mistakes—and strategic ways to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Overwhelming your audience
Internally, your team is energized by brainstorming various tiers, program currencies, benefits, vouchers, and promotions. It’s fun and exciting. But for a first-time member on your site—or even a seasoned one—too many options can make them close a window or quit an app.

What to do instead: Start small and simple. It’s far more effective to have focused offerings personalized to specific audiences—increasing engagement every step of the way.

Mistake #2: Overcomplicating the sign-up process
In a similar vein, it can be tempting to harvest lots of demographic data on the first interaction with a customer. But put yourself in front of your prospect’s keyboard: You haven’t yet established a two-way trusting relationship, and extensive requests can be a turnoff before a customer understands what’s in it for them.

What to do instead: Make it easy for people to enroll in your loyalty program, and don’t try to collect every possible piece of information in your first interaction. As the relationship builds, you can ask for new data when it makes sense—while reassuring your customers that it will benefit them by personalizing their experience. For example, consider offering a reward for eventually completing their profile.

Mistake #3: Too many restrictions
We’ve all experienced this mistake ourselves as consumers: A loyalty program that sounds wonderful until you realize that the rewards are inconvenient to accrue or impossible to attain.

What to do instead: Always design with the user in mind. What motivates them? Map out what rewards your members can achieve and the steps they need to take to get there. Study other successful brands’ methodologies.

Mistake #4: Siloing your loyalty programs
For organizations that have added loyalty initiatives over time, it’s not uncommon to develop programs in parallel under different systems. Not only can this siloed effect cause usability challenges for your program members due to other interfaces, it inevitably results in IT issues, data conflicts, and difficulty in measuring results.

What to do instead: Integrate multiple loyalty solutions into one platform to provide what’s known as a single source of truth. The result? A better, more cohesive brand experience for your users and the ability for your organization to measure and strengthen loyalty across all customer interactions.

Mistake #5: Focusing exclusively on transactions
For decades, rewards programs have revolved around transactions: Buy Product X or Service Y, and you’ll get Benefit Z. While this may be the foundation for your strategy, you’re inadvertently restricting how you can interact with your members and how you can attract new ones.

What to do instead: Shift your mindset from a transactional one to a human-centric approach. That might include implementing loyalty facets that encourage other ways to interact with your brand, such as surveys or product reviews, and including rewards that include benefits such as early access or exclusive experiences.

Mistake #6: Failing to experiment
With all the time and resources you put into brainstorming and launching your program’s benefits and promotions, it can be tempting to maintain everything you’ve created—even those elements that didn’t turn out to be as popular as projected.

What to do instead: Recognize that even the most well-planned loyalty solution isn’t going to be perfect right out of the box. A/B testing is a simple, measurable method of pre-launch assessments validating new ideas or pointing out aspects to improve your existing loyalty program. The numbers might surprise you.

Make No Mistake: Ecommerce Loyalty Programs Are About Evolution

What do all of these ecommerce loyalty program mistakes have in common? They’re 100% under your control, and therefore they’re avoidable. In many cases, they result from a good problem: tons of enthusiasm and innovative concepts generated by your team! By thinking long-term, measuring what works and doesn’t, and pacing yourself through the steps of evolution in your loyalty program, you’ll drive better customer retention.

No matter what industry you are in, building engagement and trust is essential for all B2B and B2C companies. While loyalty programs can help businesses develop long-term relationships with customers to drive growth, many rely on outdated, fragmented technology missing the mark to provide an integrated experience. Some cannot evolve with industry trends, such as shifting from traditional point-based reward programs to exclusive experiences and products. The last thing you need is to work hard to create a loyalty program that offers little value and lowers trust instead of increasing it.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching Your Ecommerce Loyalty Program

To address the rising demand, Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, launched Salesforce Loyalty Management to help drive more meaningful customer loyalty experiences. To increase customer trust and engagement, Salesforce Loyalty Management offers industries, including retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, travel, and hospitality, a new way to launch right. Built on the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform, Salesforce Loyalty Management allows companies to make intelligent loyalty programs for both B2B and B2C customers with a flexible, configurable, and quickly deployable solution to fit their specific needs.

Get Started the Right Way

OSF Digital is a leading global commerce and digital transformation company with expertise in enterprise-connected commerce, order management solutions, storefront management services, commerce consulting, and cloud application development.

OSF Digital is a trusted Salesforce Consulting Partner since 2010, being awarded by Salesforce numerous times for advancing the commerce industry. As a global company with a local presence in North America, Latin America, APAC, and EMEA, the company ensures efficient delivery in all time zones and markets.

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Oana Dereli

Author: Oana Dereli, Executive Director, UKI

Helped by a strong mix of technical and marketing background, Oana has been advising companies from different sectors on their digital transformation journeys for over a decade. With a passion for Retail, Oana focused in the past years on bringing Loyalty into the Connected Commerce journeys to help companies maximise their technology investment while delivering meaningful experiences for their customers. In her Executive Director - UKI role, Oana leads our new business teams for all industries in the region, and tries to make a positive impact for all women working at OSF in her co-chair role for our Women’s Network.