If you think a loyalty and reward app is only for restaurants or coffee shops, think again. A host of other industries can benefit from a loyalty and rewards app. The biggest advantage it provides you is the engagement value and loyalty of your customers. If you’re able to provide your customers with a seamless user experience driven by reward benefits, you’re the first brand they think of whenever they need anything related to your business.
If you’re thinking about having a loyalty and reward app for your business, and are still on the fence about it, read on as we answer all your questions.
Market Size and Stats of Loyalty Apps
The global loyalty management market has been on a steady rise for years now. It was valued at $ 3.65 billion in 2021 and $ 4.54 billion in 2021. According to Statista, the market is expected to grow to 24.44 billion by 2029 with a CAGR of 23.5 percent during this period.
Other than this here are some other mind-blowing stats on loyalty programs:
- You have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer as compared to 5-20% for a new customer.
- 77% of customers have relationships of 10 years or more with their favorite brands.
- The US alone has 3.8 billion loyalty program memberships.
If you study these stats carefully, you’ll realize that loyalty programs have a formidable market share and this share is only going to increase in the next few years. This is why businesses of all sizes need to think about reward software development.
How can a Mobile App Boost Your Loyalty Program?
Even if your business has an existing loyalty program, an app is an excellent way to take it online. A mobile app can be a game-changing addition to your loyalty programs in the following ways;
No one likes to get automated messages that sound like a machine talking to them.
Equipped with the unlimited data provided by your app, you can personalize the whole experience of your customer. Everything from the push notification to rewards points can be customized to provide a better user experience to the customer. This will increase your chance of retaining the customer and promote brand loyalty.
Native apps are at the pinnacle of user experience. They provide the best user experience. Why does that matter? Because a good user experience tells the customer that you care about them and you can be trusted with repeat buying. As a native app can be an expensive affair since you need to hire an iOS app development company and an Android app development company, you can also opt for hybrid apps. They cost only a fraction of native apps and still provide a better user experience than web apps and websites. When you opt for a mobile app, your customers get a better user experience.
As your customers browse your app, you get real-time feedback. You can use this feedback to improve, iterate and grow your loyalty program. You don’t need to conduct a massive survey to find what’s working and what’s not. You get all of that information with the user data. Studying analytics will give you an easy way to see what’s working and what’s not.
Customers love when a brand doesn’t abandon them after their purchase. This is why more and more brands focus on the after-sale experience and try to provide support to them. A reward app will make it easier for you to provide 24*7 support to your customers. Be it in the form of a simple chatbot or a dedicated helpline, customer support will go a long way in winning the trust of your customers.
How Does Loyalty App Work?
The working of a loyalty app is quite simple. You make a purchase from the brand. The brand gives you points as a reward. You can redeem these points to make another purchase from the brand or from one of the partner brands. Some brands put a minimum number of tokens or points that you must accumulate to get this reward.
The main objective behind this reward system is to entice customers to keep coming back to the brand and keep making purchases from them. This can be anything, from a cup of coffee to a free delivery.
How Does a Reward App Make Money?
Loyalty programs are not freebies. Their main purpose might be brand loyalty but they do also make money for the brands. There are many ways in which loyalty programs make money. Here we are listing some of the most common ways to make money from them;
Increase in Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Customer Lifetime Value or CLV is the amount of money a customer is going to spend in their life with you. Your loyalty program entices your customers to buy more from you. This in turn increases the CLV of any particular customer. In short, if a customer is buying more frequently from you, you are more likely to make money from them in the long run. Or you’re less likely to end in a loss.
Brands like Amazon take a one-time yearly or monthly fee from their subscribers for their loyalty programs. This is also a way to make money for them. Firstly by asking customers to pay for such programs companies get cash flow before even anything is purchased. So, that’s one way to make money. Secondly, not all of the customers paying for membership will buy from the company. That is, while some customers will pay $100 for membership programs, they won’t buy enough products or services from them to be in profit.
This is probably the least popular way to make money from a loyalty program. Some brands allow customers to redeem their points or tokens to buy products from other brands. These brands pay a certain amount for these collaborations. This is a win-win for the partner brand as well as they get a purchase made banking on the other more popular brand.
How to Build a Loyalty App?
To build your loyalty app you need to hire a reward app development company. The company will have a thorough discussion with you about the various features and requirements from your side. This will ensure they are on the right track right from the start. After this, your app development will take place in three steps.
Step 1: Prototype
A prototype is necessary as it lines up all the user flows. It gives a detailed description of what a customer is supposed to do once they come on board. This will provide the mockups that will eventually lead the wireframe to its shape and design.
This interactive prototype can then be used to test with real users using services like usertesting.com. This will help the reward app development company to reach your target audience and get invaluable feedback for improvement.
Step 2: MVP
As the prototype takes its final form, the coding stage is next. An MVP or Minimum Viable Product is developed. This is where your developers and architects will give the final form to your designed screens. This step includes creating the back end and developing a web app. Web app solutions allow a company to manage the app and the content on the app.
This web application will allow you or your team to define the reward systems, new offers, bonuses, and everything. Basically, everything will be controlled by you using this web app.
Step 3: Launch the App
When you are done with the prototype and MVP, your reward app is now in its final stage. The only thing remaining now is launching the app. If your development team has experience deploying the app in the Play Store and Apple store, that’s a bonus. Both these companies have their own set of guidelines which has a learning curve when you do it on your own. It will increase your time to market.
After launching your app, you can track and check its analytics around customer engagement, customer loyalty points, customer retention, referral, and other campaign performance parameters and value metrics. This will help you find out the recurring issue and resolve it. This will also help you improve features and customize future reward systems.
How to choose the right Reward Mobile App Development Company?
To choose the right mobile app development company for your reward app, you’ll need to look out for certain qualities in the team. This will help you assess if the company is the right fit for you and your business or not.
Skill and Experience
When you are hiring an app development company you must see that they are competent enough to include all your required features in the app. That is, you need to hire dedicated developers to build your app. Not only that, but if they have the requisite experience in creating a similar app, they can also help you validate your ideas. You can run your ideas through them to check the practicality of the suggestion. A good team will be able to offer solutions in all major technology entities and platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows, to be deployed on different implementation bases and formats of customer loyalty software.
Clear communication will help you assess that the mobile app development company and you are on the same page. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to completely build your reward app. Clear communication will help you be updated with progress and ensure that the team is in the right direction. You can inform the company before beginning the project how often you would like to get an update. Most of these companies would already have a policy in place for updating you. Ensure that you’re happy with it or need modifications.
Depending on your location and the experience of the talent, your budget can vary a lot. If you’re hiring a team from India, the average hourly rates are $30 while the same is $110 in Australia. Most companies would be happy to hop on a call and give you an estimate of the budget after a thorough discussion. This estimate would help you get an idea of the spending.
Features of Reward App
When creating your loyalty and reward app some features are unmissable. In fact, the whole purpose of having custom loyalty app development is to get tailor-made features. While there are some other features that aren’t mandatory but if you choose to include them, they will provide an edge to you over your competitors.
Smooth onboarding of customers
No one and absolutely no one likes to go through a scanning process to onboard an app. This is why most apps have a smooth onboarding process for their customers. How can you do the same? Provide them with multiple sign-in options. Allow them to sign up in the following ways:
- Mobile number
- Social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.)
- Loyalty membership
If you already have a loyalty card, you must include it as an option to onboard clients. This will help existing clients to shift to your app in a hassle-free manner and will ensure they don’t lose their rewards in the process.
A user profile is a great way to collect information about your customer without being too intrusive. You can get valuable information from this feature if you ask them to fill this out. The key is to not overdo it. Keep this to a bare minimum when they come on board. Name, gender, and date of birth are some must-have information but adding more fields can dissuade your customer from filling in this information.
You can expand on this information about your customer by creating a fun survey or an interactive game to get that. Additionally, provide a few points for completing this survey or playing the game. This will further entice your customer to fill in the information.
Customized Push Notifications
This is why getting information about your customer was so important. Once you have information about them, you can now target them with customized push notifications. This will increase your chances of them buying from you as the notifications are specifically targeted to them considering their buying habits. Also, you get to notify them about specific rewards and bonuses that are in line with their purchase history.
Gamification is an excellent way to engage users. It can increase the in-app time. This in turn can mean increased sales when used appropriately. You can design simple and fun games that your users will love to engage with. As a reward for playing the game, you can provide them with points or internal currency which can be used to make further purchases.
Apps like Gamony, let you play your favorite games to earn rewards, points, cash, crypto, or gift cards. This makes the whole reward system much more immersive and engaging.
Easy access to info about rewards
Your customers should have easy access to any info about the rewards. This includes the redeemed points, total rewards balance, and products you can buy using those points. Also, transparency about the reward system would be great. If you could add info about rewards in push notifications, that would be even better. This could be used to remind them to redeem these points before a deadline.
Extra features to have
You can have some additional features which will help your customers. But they are not mandatory to have. Some of these features can be;
- Sharing of rewards with friends
- An easy switch to other apps if you have brand collaborations.
- Geolocation for finding the nearest stores (a must-have for restaurant chains and retail stores)
Examples of some popular loyalty program apps
Now that we have discussed everything related to loyalty program apps, let’s talk about some brands that are absolutely crushing it with their apps.
These brands show what’s possible when you have a successful loyalty program app.
A huge company like Nike would already have loyal customers, so why do they still need a loyalty program? Well, Nike was one of the first brands to embrace the world of applications. So, it seems only natural that it will feature on our list. In a way, Nike showed the path to other brands when it comes to loyalty programs. The footwear giant has a hugely successful reward and loyalty system in place. Their loyalty program allows customers early access to sales and new products in addition to several other benefits.
If you search for the best-performing reward system in the restaurant system, Starbucks will come out on top. The company was the first to identify and harness the true potential of the reward system. Some experts believe that the company’s reward system is a huge contributor to the brand loyalty that it enjoys from customers. It lets customers share their rewards with friends, and is an easy way to pay online. It also lets customers find the nearest store.
Amazon Prime by the e-commerce giant Amazon is also an extremely popular loyalty program. You can get same-day delivery, first access to sales and new products, and ad-free music when you subscribe to it. You have the option to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee. Due to the host of services and rewards the company can provide to its users, it is very popular among its consumers and it ensures the company is ahead of its rival.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Reward Application?
Many factors influence the cost of reward application development when a reward app development company is involved. These include features and customization extent, cost and experience of talent, and your location among others. Due to these factors, there’s no definite cost. For example, the average hourly charge to hire dedicated developers from India is $30-$50 whereas you’ll need to pay $70-$100 per hour for hiring a developer from Western Europe and the UK. Apart from this, you’ll also need to consider if you need an app for both iOS and Android. Because in such a case, you are essentially developing two different apps, two different teams would be working and hence the cost would also be approximately double.
However, if you need an estimate of the budget you can contact a mobile app development company of your choice and get on a call with them. After discussing all your requirements, they will be able to give you an estimate of the cost.
In the modern world, a customer is spoilt for choice. By enticing your customer to make purchases from you more often, you promote brand loyalty. The more they buy from the less likely they are to buy from your competitors (when you back it up with fantastic after-sale support).
Loyalty app development is a fantastic way to increase the Customer’s Lifetime Value. You can gamify the whole process of the reward and entice your customers. Also, you can get invaluable data that helps you improve and find the areas that need focus. A reward app development company can help you create a reward app that your customers will love and help you turn casual buyers into loyal customers. Irrespective of the size of your business, the benefits of having a reward app can never be overlooked.
Q. What is a loyalty program?
Ans. A loyalty program is a customer reward system that promotes brand loyalty and entices the customer to buy again and again from you. It is an excellent way to retain customers and increase their Lifetime Value
Q. What is a loyalty and reward app?
Ans. It is an app that has the sole purpose of making the reward system easy for your customer. Many brands have loyalty cards, an app is taking the whole thing online.
Q. How long does it take to build a loyalty and reward app?
Ans. It will depend on the amount of customization you want but do remember a lot of time goes into planning and researching before the actual building happens. So, always start in advance. But if you’re looking for an estimate, it will require close to two months.
Q. Do you need to create separate apps for Android and iOS?
Ans. It depends on your business model and what device your ideal customer is using. There’s no one answer that suits all.
Q. Should I outsource my loyalty and reward app development?
Ans. Yes, if you don’t have in-house developers you must outsource. Outsourcing to a mobile app development company is a great way to hire dedicated developers for your app.