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7 Best Examples Of SMB Loyalty Programs [Retail & Hospitality]

This article dives into seven of the best SMB loyalty programs, showcasing innovative strategies that will inspire your own loyalty and rewards program.

Francesca Nicasio

Content Strategy Manager

When set up correctly, loyalty programs are one of the best tools for customer retention. 

Every business owner knows that bringing in new customers is more expensive than encouraging repeat business from existing customers. That’s why customer loyalty programs are particularly beneficial for smaller businesses, where money is tight and building a loyal customer base is crucial. 

Successful loyalty programs spark an emotional connection that brings in repeat customers — which translates to greater revenue. 

While bigger companies tend to steal the limelight for their membership programs (e.g., Sephora’s Beauty Insider program), SMBs have cool strategies too!

This article dives into seven of the best SMB loyalty programs, showcasing innovative strategies that would hopefully inspire your initiatives. 

Whether an award-winning, family-owned bakery or a homegrown fashion label — these businesses demonstrate the power of personalized loyalty rewards, community engagement, and seamless digital experiences in cultivating brand loyalty. 

Let’s dive in.



1. Pinjarra Bakery

Pinjarra Bakery, led by the Pantaleo family, is renowned for Australia's top meat pie. It has garnered over 700 state and national accolades, making it one of WA's most decorated bakeries. With over 25 years of satisfying customers, locals and tourists equally flock to enjoy its delectable treats.


Program purpose:

The company used to have an outdated point-of-sale system when it recognized the need for a more efficient sales and marketing approach. It wanted a cloud-based solution to streamline its operations and decided that Lightspeed was the perfect choice.

The bakery also wanted to integrate its loyalty and marketing with its chosen POS. So it partnered with Marsello to integrate its rewards program seamlessly into its existing tech stack consisting of WooCommerce, Bopple, and Lightspeed (O-Series).

With the loyalty program, it hoped to gather customer feedback and purchase data to enhance the customer experience and tailor offers. It also wanted to use the data for automated marketing, such as sending $10 vouchers to encourage repeat visits from inactive customers.

Program style:

Pinjarra decided on a points-based loyalty program where customers receive 1 reward point for every dollar spent. Bonus points could be earned through referrals and by sharing on social media. Members can then redeem their accumulated points for free products, exclusive benefits, and member-only special offers.

pinjarra bakery loyalty program

Here’s why its loyalty program succeeds:

  • Pinjarra Bakery recognizes the importance of cultivating a robust database of loyal customers. A point system is simple enough for program members to understand — earn certain points and get rewards. This encourages more customers to sign up.
  • It simplifies customer engagement by offering effortless QR code-based sign-ups at its locations.
  • The loyalty rewards program cleverly doubles as a referral program. It’s also a useful strategy for social media marketing.
  • One of the program’s main aims is to harness data from an active database. This helps to drive revenue during campaign launches.
  • The program offers a delightful user experience as well. Check out the fun names of its rewards — “Magic brew to kickstart your day. Caffeine hit!” or “Pop it like it’s hot with PB pop socket - phone grip & stand.” 

Program results:

Pinjarra attained a 66% repeat purchase rate and increased revenue significantly via targeted marketing campaigns and automation, generating $100k from a single automation.


2. Scotty's Makeup & Beauty

Over four decades, Scotty’s Makeup & Beauty has been a cornerstone of the Aussie beauty industry. Established in 1980 by founder Scott Lattimer, the company introduced global makeup brands to Australia, becoming integral to various sectors including beauty salons, film, TV, and theatre.


Program purpose:

Initially, Scotty’s was searching for an effective email marketing solution. When the team learned about Marsello, they decided to set up a loyalty program as well. It aimed to establish a vibrant, involved customer database. Like Pinjarra Bakery, it also wanted to implement targeted marketing tactics tailored to customer buying behaviors and preferences.

scottys makeup and beauty program

Program style:

Currently, the Marsello app works smoothly with Scotty’s Shopify and Lightspeed (X-series) setup. The brand has chosen a tier-based or tiered loyalty program where certain loyal customers (Artistry Insiders) get exclusive access to better discounts. 

Program results:

63% of Scotty’s marketing-driven revenue originates from email campaigns. Its loyalty program efforts have also enhanced customer lifetime value and purchase frequency. Best of all — it has doubled its end-of-financial-year revenue.


3. Pace Athletic

Pace Athletic was founded by fitness enthusiasts, Will and Stu. They loved the welcoming atmosphere in surf stores and wanted to introduce the same to running stores which felt more exclusive.

Program purpose:

The co-founders knew they needed to build a loyal customer base to make running feel more inclusive. This is where Marsello came in. With its help, Pace Athletic created — what easily qualifies as — one of the best customer loyalty program examples on our list. 

Competing in a market overshadowed by major chains posed a significant challenge for the brand. Nevertheless, it cultivated a loyal customer base by prioritizing the overall experience.

pace athletic loyalty program and running club

Program style:

Pace Athletic implemented a simple points-based loyalty system that worked wonders. Customers earn points corresponding to the amount they spend. They can earn more points from social media engagement, referrals, etc., and redeem them for exclusive products and discounts. 

The loyalty program aims to seamlessly merge online and in-store sales data, providing a comprehensive overview of customer shopping habits. This integrated approach paves the way for personalized marketing messages and promotions based on customer data. That way, Pace Athletic can enhance customer engagement and drive more sales.

Program results:

Pace Athletic’s loyalty program account helped drive 28% of its total revenue. Because customers are highly engaged, its marketing emails yield impressive conversion rates. In fact, its email marketing campaigns contributed over 40% of its revenue, underscoring the program's impact on sales.


download free loyalty program roi calculator


4. ALPHA60

Founded in 2005 by enterprising siblings Alex and Georgie Cleary, ALPHA60 has created a unique narrative since the very beginning. With a solid focus on customer happiness and an unwavering creative vision, the brand has shown that you can find success by traveling the unbeaten path.

Alpha60 rewards

Program purpose:

The company was determined to follow a customer-first approach and wanted the brand experience to be consistent for all shoppers. It started using Marsello along with Lightspeed (X-Series), Shopify, Wrapped, and Klaviyo to help with its loyalty program strategies.

On brand with its customer-first approach, ALPHA60 wanted to make its sales, marketing, and rewards programs more efficient. It also wanted to streamline its gift card usage across platforms and synchronize customer data between its online and in-store channels.

Alpha60 rewards program

Program style:

The rewards program is simple. Customers earn points based on how much they spend and for engaging with the brand on social media. For every 1000 points earn, they get a $50 voucher. 

The purpose of this loyalty program is twofold. First, it excites customers at the point of sale but rewarding them for every purchase. Secondly, the program enables the brand to utilize data for segmenting customers, which then makes it easy to launch targeted campaigns.

Program results:

Every aspect of ALPHA60's business revolves around the customer and the results of its strategies speak for themselves. With a customer-centric approach, it maintains a repeat purchase rate of around 70%, surpassing the typical range of 20% to 40% considered good for retail enterprises.


5. Brandini Toffee

Brandini Toffee is a family-operated company that excels in crafting artisanal toffee through time-honored techniques and top-notch ingredients. It wanted a loyalty program compatible with its tech infrastructure and operational model, requiring seamless integration, in-store and online.

Program purpose:

The loyalty program was meant to capture purchase behaviors and preferences, grow the database, and enable tailored rewards to enhance customer retention rates. This involves integrating data across all channels to ensure a seamless omnichannel experience for Brandini’s customers.

brandini toffee rewards and loyalty program

Program style:

Using Marsello, the company set up a simple, yet effective loyalty program system. Like certain brands on this list, Brandini Toffee offers customers 1 Brandini Point for every dollar spent. Bonus points can be earned on birthdays or by completing certain actions, such as sharing on social media.

Program results:

Brandini’s revenue doubled within the first eight months of implementing Marsello. Since then, it has experienced nearly triple revenue growth from 2019 to 2023.


6. TennisGear

Started by accountant and avid tennis player Mark, TennisGear is a tennis center that offers coaching, four tennis courts, and an attached retail store. The company needed the right tech for its multi-channel businesses and wanted to make shopping easier in stores and online. With Lightspeed POS and Marsello, it manages all its data in one spot, helping create customer groups.


Program purpose:

The loyalty program serves multiple purposes. It centralizes sales data from all channels into one platform, aligns transactions with customer profiles, and fosters a seamless omnichannel experience. 

Plus, it facilitates database growth and utilizes customer interaction data to enhance product offerings and marketing strategies.

TennisGear rewards

Program style:

Tennis Gear created a points-based loyalty program. Every $1 spent earns customers 1 point. Reviews, social shares, and other actions earn bonus points. All are redeemable for discounts.

Program result:

TennisGear gains full sales visibility across all channels via multi-site reports and dashboards. On implementing Marsello’s prompts for Lightspeed POS, it saw a 2.5% increase in its customer database. Additionally, Marsello's automation tools efficiently recover abandoned carts and entice lost customers to return, alongside other effective campaigns.


7. HobbyTech Toys

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Hobbytech Toys specializes in radio control products. The brand has recently broadened its inventory to encompass toys, games, Lego sets, model kits, model trains, and more. It has also prioritized improving its online presence.

hobbytech toys rewards

Program purpose:

Year after year, the business experienced rapid growth. About two years ago, they transitioned to a new ERP, leading to a new point-of-sale system. This prompted integration with Marcello to link Lightspeed and Shopify, enhancing the omnichannel experience.

Program style:

The store recently introduced a $5 discount voucher reward system, replacing the previous 1000-point threshold for a $10 voucher. See, many regular customers weren't reaching this threshold within 12 months due to their frequent but lower-spending visits.

Program results:

The $5 reward significantly boosted redemption rates, enhancing customer satisfaction and the store's reputation. The brand has also used its omnichannel data to improve its email marketing campaigns.


Customer loyalty webinar (1)

Final words

All the examples mentioned above demonstrate a crucial point — customer reward programs that fit the unique needs of small businesses can work wonders. 

Special loyalty programs, easy omnichannel shopping, and automation can help grow your business and keep customers happy. That’s why if you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to launch a loyalty program that helps you reach your marketing goals. 

To learn how Marsello can help, talk to one of our experts today.



Get advice from a loyalty expert and start driving repeat sales.

Book a demo



Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

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    How to develop a retail email marketing strategy – 7 do’s & don’ts

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    Navigate retail email marketing for yourself with our 7 dos and don't to combat simple mistakes that often occur in email marketing strategies.



    It’s common knowledge that your retail email marketing strategy should help to grow your business by helping you maintain regular contact with your customers. Rather than waiting for them to come to you, you can reach out to them to encourage a wide variety of interactions, from making a purchase to referring other customers to your store.  


    Your marketing strategy should include a collection of one-off, automated, and follow-up emails. As you begin to build out these strategies, it’s important to be aware of some of the essential ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of email marketing. This will help ensure you create email content that drives customers back to your store, converts them, and keeps them coming back time and time again.


    Quick links:

    1. What is retail email marketing
    2. Why is a retail email marketing strategy a must for business growth
    3. 7 Do’s for a successful email marketing strategy
    4. 7 Don’ts for a successful email marketing strategy


    What is retail email marketing


    Retail email marketing begins with gathering email addresses from both current customers and leads, be that at the checkout or through initiatives like advertising campaigns. From here, you can start fleshing out captivating campaigns designed to excite and entice email recipients whilst also driving the goal you initially set for the campaign


    Think of email marketing as a singular channel that can be used to contact customers in a variety of different ways with unlimited success criteria. Emails are flexible too. They can be produced on a schedule, such as monthly or weekly, or just whenever you have new content to share with customers. Or they may be produced on an ad-hoc basis when there is news to share, like a product launch. They can be tied to other campaigns, like SMS or social media. But there are a few things to consider when developing your email strategy.



    Why is a retail email marketing strategy a must for business growth


    A retail marketing strategy can help you achieve multiple goals. With your existing customers, you can:

    • Stay front-of-mind with reminders, which is especially important if there is a long time between purchases,
    • Communicate and build excitement for promotions with teases, early-access and exclusive offers,
    • Strengthen customer relationships by maintaining customer engagement,
    • Send timely reminders to encourage repeat purchases, based on past purchase details,
    • Encourage customer referrals through incentives and reminders.


    With potential customers, you can: 

    • Promote your brand story and build trust by sharing more about your business,
    • Help leads understand the variety of products you offer and what solutions you can offer them,
    • Nurture new customers as they move through awareness, consideration, and onto decision,
    • Offer updates such as product releases or new menus that could excite them.

    Consistent communication is especially important for products that require some research or a long lead time.



    7 Do’s for a successful email marketing strategy


    A mac laptop sits open with gmail loading on the screen


    When building email into your retail marketing strategy, there are several actions you can take to ensure it’s a success. The first for these begins with how you grab your audience’s attention. Then, ensure your content is action-driven, concise, and easily digestible. Finally, make sure you’re reaching the right people, and creating an outstanding customer experience ensures ongoing engagement.


    1. Have a great subject line

    Subject lines can make or break the impact of your email marketing campaign. Those few words have to convey to your audience enough to make them want to open your email and read more. A great way to improve your open rate is to use personalization. Adding a customer’s name to your retail email subject line makes them 26% more likely to be opened. This can easily be achieved by adding a merge tag to your subject line or email content.


    Once you’ve decided on a few different options to use for your subject line, it’s a great idea to use A/B testing. This allows you to get back real data on what your audience responds positively to.


    2. Use an official email ID 

    You’re a professional business and want to come across as such to your customers. Using a generic, free email address that ends in something like @gmail.com or @outlook.com will not tell your customers that you are an established business. Instead, using an email address that ends in your business name will convey to your customers that you are legitimate.


    For example, we use xxx@marsello.com for our email marketing; this means when our customers see it in their inbox, they’ll know exactly who it’s from and what it’s about and helps to build trust in emails from ‘@marsello.com’ accounts.. You can use services like Google, Outlook or Squarespace to get official email addresses for your business.


    3. Experiment with different CTA’s



    Your call-to-action is another place where using A/B testing will help you to manage your content and improve your results. Your audience may like buttons that prompt them to “Buy Now!”, or they may need more information first and prefer an invitation to “Learn More Here”. A/B testing gives you data on what is going to drive the best results with your specific audience.


    You can also test out different creative options. Alternate featured products, imagery, color themes, and button placement can all provide valuable data. You can then review click-through rates if you’re looking to raise brand awareness. Or, if you’re looking to drive purchases, look to see which emails resulted in the most purchases to further refine future emails.


    4. Keep your message concise and to the point

    Your audience is busy. They want you to get to the point. Whatever you’re emailing about, whether it’s a new product or a sale, let them know upfront. In journalism, this approach is about not burying the lead. Think in the same way. Tell your audience what you want them to know in the opening of your email.


    One way to do this, especially relevant for newsletter-style retail emails, is to give an overview at the top. Let them know what’s further down the email so they can skip to the parts that are interesting to them. This means they won’t miss out on important information and you’re also respecting their time.


    5. Create content aligned to your content marketing strategy


    3 people work from an open laptop, selecting colour images

    Email marketing for retailers is more than just creating emails. You need to also consider where you’re sending your customers and what other information will support them on their purchase journey. Creating content provides more ways for your customers to interact with your business and products.


    There are various types of content you can create. You can undertake photoshoots, create video content, start a podcast or write blog posts. This content can then be shared across social media, your website, and in your emails. It can show your customers more ways to use or wear your products, care instructions, or behind the scenes of the production.

    6. Create a targeted email list


    Using targeted marketing lists ensures you are getting the right messages to the right customers, at the right time. Personalization goes beyond just adding a customer’s name. It also means sending relevant information. This could be abandoned cart notifications, when new products are launched or when specific products go on sale. Whatever is right for each customer segment.


    Segmenting your list leads to an increase in your open rate. Your audience will know that when they receive an email from you, it’s relevant and worth opening. This makes them more likely to click on links and to complete purchases. Marketers have found segmenting your audience can increase your email revenue by 760%.


    7. Create a great user experience

    Your overall retail user experience needs to extend to your email marketing. Begin by not overloading your recipients with information or options. Trying to take on board too much will only overwhelm your customers and lead to them not taking any action at all. You have 11 seconds to convey your story to your customers. Use it wisely.


    Also, take into account Hick’s Way. It states that the more options there are, the slower we are to make a decision. And the more likely we are to not decide at all. Think about which choice you’d make faster: between chocolate or vanilla ice cream or between 100 flavors. Using only a single call-to-action throughout your email will help keep your customers focused and not lose them to decision fatigue.



    7 Don’ts for a successful email marketing strategy


    A phone with a mostly blank screen with just inbox in the top left corner


    Now that we’ve covered what you need to make sure you have done, let’s cover off what you need to make sure you’re not doing. Negative customer experiences can quickly undo any good work you’ve done. 


    1. Send overly promotional emails

    The overly hard sell rarely works. Your customers, and potential customers, don’t want to feel like you’re constantly in their inbox pushing your products. Instead, you want to show up, offer advice, provide information, and ensure your customers think of you when they’re ready to purchase.


    When writing your emails, check and see that there is value for your customers in each one. It could be information on expiring loyalty points, new season launches, or upcoming events. It could also include discounts but the value of the email doesn’t have a monetary value. Find various ways to provide value to your customers to ensure they continue to open your emails.


    2. Not optimizing emails for all devices


    A hand scrolls between using a tablet and iphone. A cup of coffee also sits at the top of the frame


    When you are designing your emails, you’re likely to be doing it on a desktop. However, when your customers read them it’s likely to be on mobile. Ensuring each email is optimized for mobile devices ensures your customers can read them easily and that the design is intact.


    The key elements to look for when optimizing your emails are images and layout. Large images can be slow to load on mobile devices. Some people will also have images turned off to reduce data usage. Ensure your images are small and that your email still makes sense without them. This can mean making sure they don’t contain essential text. Also, review your layout on a smaller screen to see how it is adjusted. Make sure images and text are in the right order and text isn’t cut off.


    3. Purchasing an email list

    Privacy and personal data should always be taken seriously. It might seem like a good idea to purchase an email list. You can reach additional people you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. You can grow your audience and turn more people into customers. However, there are severe downsides to purchasing an email list.


    Because these people have not given you permission to email them, they may mark your emails as junk or spam. Then email providers are likely to start marking all future emails as spam. This can prevent you from emailing customers who have signed up to hear from you. If you’re considering purchasing a list, our advice is don’t.


    4. Not adding an option to unsubscribe

    Customers want to feel in control of their email inboxes. Being able to pick who they are receiving emails from is an important part of this. Just because someone no longer wants to receive your emails doesn’t mean that they are no longer a customer. They may be closing an email account or prefer to get updates on another platform.


    By creating an enjoyable, simple unsubscribe process you’re more likely to keep the customer. The button or link to unsubscribe should be easy to find within your email. Once clicked, take them to a branded page with options. It might be certain content that they don’t want to receive. Or you may be emailing them too often. Providing them with the ability to adjust their email settings may mean that they stay subscribed. 


    5. Not personalizing your email campaigns


    a woman uses a video conferencing software at an open-plan office space

    Adding personalizations to your emails is a great way to make them more engaging and relevant to each customer. This can be done at the level of market segments. If you sell a range, contact customers with specific products. This will increase the relevance of the emails and improve the customer experience. 


    Personalizations are also relevant at the customer level. Including the customer’s name in the subject line increases the likelihood of it being opened. Also sending abandoned cart or loyalty point expiry emails that are customer-specific helps to nurture your customer relationships.


    6. Manually creating every email

    You only have so much time to create and send emails. But you need to be using them to stay in regular contact with your customers. How to make this whole process more efficient? Templates and automation. First, work out what sort of emails you frequently send, then build simple templates that you can use for each type.


    Using a system like Marsello that allows you to automate your emails will save you time. You can build emails that will be sent based on certain triggers, ensuring that all messages get sent when they’re relevant. This can help encourage sales by prompting customers when they’re most likely to purchase.


    7. Overusing images in emails

    Images might make your email look pretty on a desktop, but what about on mobile? The majority of emails are opened on mobile devices. So two of the key ways to make your email campaign successful is to ensure your email makes sense without the images and loads quickly. 


    Data usage caps mean that some people will have images turned off on their emails. If there is key information in your image, your customers might not be able to understand your email without it. So make sure the email makes sense without any images. Also, ensure that any included are an appropriate size to decrease loading time. 



    Final Words


    When designing your retail email marketing strategy, there are a few simple tricks to ensure it is a success. Using an automation system like Marsello can help speed up the setup process. It will also ensure you are reaching your customers at the right time, which means not missing out on potential sales.


    Are you interested in building a successful email marketing strategy for your retail or eCommerce business? Request a demo from the Marsello team to see how you can create tailored, personalized emails to drive traffic and sales.

    ent here…

    Top 8 Omnichannel retail trends to look out for in 2021

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    Learn which omnichannel retail trends will continue to shape the online and in-store retail landscape in 2021 and beyond. Have you mastered these trends?



    Omnichannel retail trends will continue to shape the retail landscape in 2021. Consumers are continuing to demand exceptional customer experience, both online and in-store. It also includes the transition between the two. If there’s friction, you risk losing customers. Omnichannel marketing provides a seamless transition for your customers.

    So what do you need to be implementing in your business? After helping hundreds of businesses build successful omnichannel marketing plans, we can see the trends emerging. We know what is going to turn visitors into customers, increase customer loyalty and improve revenue. Here are the important trends to watch and how to implement them.


    Quick links:

    What is omnichannel retailing
    8 Omnichannel retail trends to follow in 2021
    Increased digital transformation
    Shopping-enabled social media experience
    Bridging the gap between the online and offline experience
    Contactless customer experience
    Increase in personalized shopping experience
    Wide use of digital payments
    Driving store traffic via mobile promotions and loyalty programs
    Increased use of AI and Machine learning
    Final words



    What is omnichannel retailing?

    Omnichannel retailing is a retail strategy that integrates all of your offline and digital channels. By taking a customer-centric approach, high-touch shopping experiences take place across multiple channels.


    For example, when retailers integrate these channels, customers can check inventory online before heading in-store to complete their purchases. This creates a positive customer experience which drives customer loyalty. And the more loyal your customers are, the more likely they are to become brand advocates.


    Omnichannel marketing ensures that customers receive a cohesive shopping experience. By creating a seamless experience between sales and marketing channels, you can build trust and brand engagement.



    8 Omnichannel retail trends to follow in 2021

    The major retail omnichannel trends that we are seeing are an increase in the rate and amount of change. Customers want to purchase in new places and in new ways, especially contactless methods. Personalization and loyalty are creating better customer experiences. These can be driven by machine learning and AI technologies. Here are the key trends to follow and embrace:



    1. Increased digital transformation


    A person writes in a notebook while working from a desktop computer


    Retail digital transformation has accelerated in the last year. Those that didn’t have a digital presence suddenly found that they needed to set up a website, ordering platform, or digital communications strategy. This trend will continue as businesses see benefits and customers continue to expect digital offerings.

    Your business needs to be set up for digital experiences. This way as shoppers transition across your different channels, their customer experience can be continually refined and improved. Processes that were once hastily set up can now be rethought and improved. By using data from existing customer experiences, you can tailor these processes to become exceptional.



    2. Shopping-enabled social media experience

    Social media has become a great way to show off your products, grow your audience, provide customer support and drive traffic to your website. While it’s still a powerful tool for enabling all of these things, it's also developed into so much more. Increasingly, businesses and ensure their social media channels are shopping enabled, meaning their customers don’t need to leave the platform they're browsing from to make a purchase.

    Social media retail is more seamless than taking them onto your website to complete the transaction. The more friction you can remove, the higher your conversion rate will be. You can even go one step further and, if it's in your marketing strategy, make the most of influencers by making their posts shoppable. All of this provides you with more data on which posts are driving the most sales while also improving the customer experience.

    Let's see this in action.


    Sustainable Tomorrow is an innovator of environmentally-friendly bamboo electric toothbrushes based in Ireland. They maximize the impact of their eCommerce store by making use of Shopify's Facebook integration, giving shoppers the ability to make a purchase straight from the company's Facebook page. 


    A women brushes her teeth with Sustainable Tomorrows toothbrush. A linked product tag floats overtop.


    By removing steps from the shopping process, Sustainable Tomorrow is able to elevate its customers' experience with the brand and hit the ground running with positive customer relationships. From here, it's much easier for the brand to nurture customer loyalty and maximize their customer lifetime value. We can't wait to see Sustainable Tomorrow's growth with their bamboo electric toothbrushes and other sustainability-focused products.



    3. Bridging the gap between the online and offline experience

    Augmented reality is a great way to blend online and offline experiences. It allows customers to view products to see how they’ll look in real life. You can use this for virtually trying on make-up, clothing, or shoes. Or allow customers to see how home furnishings or televisions will look in their space.

    Integrating mobile experiences into your retail store can help make the shopping process faster for customers. Large format or big-box retailers can help guide customers to the exact aisle where the product they’re looking for is located. Or utilize click-and-collect to speed up check-out processes.

    Let’s look at an example from a big player.


    AllBirds took the world by storm with their revolutionary wool sneakers – but for a long time, they were solely an eCommerce store. Even now, their brick-and-mortar stores aren’t available in every country that they ship to. So how can their customers get an idea of the product in action? How will it look on them and does it suit their style or needs? Recently, AllBirds released their own app which allows customers to try the sneakers on with AR technology.


    A phone rests on a green background with AllBird's AR technology in use on the screen.Source: AllBirds


    What did the multinational retailer have to say about the exceptional addition to their customers’ shopping experience?

    Shopify continues to be a very important partner, but as a vertical retailer, we understand the importance of providing unique, brand-aligned experiences for our customers,” an Allbirds rep told Retail Brew.


    4. Contactless customer experience

    The COVID-19 experience for many retailers has been tough. However, it has encouraged the adoption of some technological advances. Especially around contactless shopping and omnichannel retailing. This can range from paying via an app for in-store purchases to curbside pick-up.


    Setting up digital customer loyalty programs is a great way to implement a contactless customer experience in your business. Reducing the need for loyalty or stamp cards means one less physical interaction. It also allows you to improve your loyalty system with better tracking, segmentation, and data collection. This can help you with targeted marketing campaigns in the future.



    5. Increase in personalized shopping experience

    Understanding your customers and providing them with tailored messaging is becoming increasingly important. It’s also easy to implement with the right omnichannel marketing platform. Utilizing the data you collect from customers online and in-store allows you to reach out with relevant, timely information.

    Creating tailored messaging can mean reaching out with specific offers that you know are likely to trigger a purchase. Automation allows you to use triggers such as unredeemed discounts or loyalty points to make contact with valuable information. This personalized shopping experience makes customers more likely to engage with your SMS and email marketing.


    Let’s look at another augmented reality example to understand how AR can be used to create a personalized shopping experience – particularly in these post-pandemic times where travel is largely inaccessible but personal interaction is craved so deeply.


    Vivant Wines have gone above and beyond to create a customer experience that will leave any shopper buzzing. At-home, personalized wine tasting through a dedicated Vivant-created platform!


    Michael Baum, owner and creator at Vivant, was motivated to “recreate the magic of wine experiences without the carbon footprint of physical travel.” On creating the immersive experience, he said, “We have brought together an international team of wine educators, product designers, software engineers, and media producers to create a new platform where people can meet responsible winemakers around the world and taste their wines alongside expert wine advisors, wherever they are.”



    Source: Vivant Wines


    Customers purchase an ‘experience kit’ through Vivant's website, selecting a variety of wine tasters such as 'Food and Wine Pairings'. Each listing includes a summary of each wine they'll receive and details on when the next online tasting session will occur. They’re then able to join the dedicated immersive tasting experience, offered through Vivant’s platform. In these sessions, customers are introduced to knowledgeable industry professionals and educated on the wines they’re tasting. 


    While this kind of example isn’t necessarily accessible to every retailer, it’s thinking outside the box and engaging customers in a new and enthralling way we love! It doesn’t get much more personalized than this. And with a clear customer funnel and purchase intent, it’s easy for Vivant to re-engage these customers and nurture their loyalty.



    6. Wide use of digital payments

    Digital payments were on the rise long before 2020. But it is one of the online retail trends that has picked up the pace. Many customers are using Apple Wallet or AliPay to be able to shop without their cards. Also, peer-to-peer platforms like Venmo and cryptocurrencies are becoming more widely accepted.


    Customer demand is driving up the use of cashless alternatives. In 2017, the industry was worth $3 trillion. By the end of 2021, it’s estimated to be up to $6.6 trillion. Allowing your customers to pay how and when they want will increase sales.



    7. Driving store traffic via mobile promotions and loyalty programs 

    Omnichannel marketing also needs to include triggers to encourage purchase. Customer loyalty programs are a simple way to drive customers back in-store or online to repurchase. Automated triggers, rewards, and reminders put your program on autopilot so that you know you are reaching your customers at the right time.




    Using loyalty programs can help create buzz. bCODE, a brick-and-mortar destination for Skechers and Havaianas in Nigeria, did just this when they launched theirs. Utilizing a ‘double points’ campaign, they achieved a 20% open rate and a 94% increase in customer’s average loyalty points spent.



    8. Increased use of AI and Machine learning

    Machine learning and AI are allowing retailers to provide better personalization. By better understanding your customers, what they like, and what they need, you can provide them with tailored marketing. This enhances the overall customer experience, which leads to higher customer lifetime value.




    Yuccs, a sustainable and ultra-comfortable shoe brand, uses this approach to create powerful email marketing campaigns designed to engage different customer segments and increase conversions. For example, in 2019 they segmented clients based on multiple factors - lead origin as well as their existing interactions and purchases. This level of customer understanding and personalization saw a 38% revenue boost.



    Final words

    Omnichannel retail trends will continue to have an impact across the sector in 2021. Adopting these in your business can drive more traffic to your store or website. They can initiate sales, improve loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.


    Understanding which of these options will work best for your business can be challenging. The team at Marsello can help you design and implement an omnichannel marketing strategy that is right for you. Get in touch with the team today to request a free demo.

    What is marketing automation & how can retailers take advantage of it?

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    Marketing automation is arguably one of the most essential secret weapons in an omnichannel retailer's arsenal... but how do you know you're doing it well?

    Birds-eye shot of feminine hands holding a tablet and scrolling through images. House plants sit on the table around the hands.



    With marketing automation, you can reach the right customers at the right time with the right information to drive sales. Whether you have retail stores, an eCommerce site, or both, automated marketing can help build and maintain effective marketing systems.

    Once turned set up, automated marketing systems can help you stay in regular contact with your customers while building customer loyalty with data-driven content such as product recommendations. With frequent contact designed to foster customer loyalty, retailers can actively drive customers back in-store or online (known as customer retention) with minimal ongoing effort.


    Essentially, automated marketing is the curated combination of strategic marketing and software, and a good automation system will allow you to stay front of mind with your customers while improving your relationship with them. And once it’s all set up, marketing automation software keeps running in the background as always-on marketing.


    Quick links

    1. What is marketing automation?
    2. How does marketing automation software work?
    3. The advantages of marketing automation for eCommerce businesses
    4. The advantages of marketing automation for brick-and-mortar stores
    5. Final words


    What is marketing automation


    Automation software allows you to send timely emails and SMS campaigns based on your customers’ behavior. ’Triggers’ are linked to specific behaviors or actions, like an initial purchase or an abandoned shopping cart– in turn, this automates a communication (email or SMS campaign) that includes targeted and action-relevant information designs to encourage a purchase.

    By understanding your customers and their ‘journey’ with your store from lead to loyal customer, you can set up automated campaigns that engage shoppers at any number of key moments. This could be when they are most likely to re-purchase or even recapturing them before they churn. With automated systems, this all happens automatically with the help of triggers, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to engage with your audience.



    How does marketing automation software work?


    Marketing automation works by following your customers through their journey and engaging with them at set key moments (triggers). The first key moment is after the customer’s initial purchase. Once completing their first purchase, shoppers have established a positive view of your business and are likely to buy additional items. You can use this information to reach out to these high-value customers and encourage them to shop with you again. Another effective time is when customers have placed items in an online cart but have not completed the purchase.

    The second phase of automation is the follow-up to these emails. If the emails have not encouraged your customers to initiate a purchase, you can send reminders and limited-time discounts to further prompt them to shop.

    Other key moments could include birthdays or anniversaries. Automated marketing doesn’t stop at obvious triggers too. With customer segmentation, the options for customer retention see massive expansion. For example, you could create an automated campaign that triggers when customers from your ‘best’ customer segment make a purchase, thanking them for making a purchase, encouraging them to share their experience on social media or in a review, and offering them an exclusive VIP discount for their ongoing loyalty. Or you could tailor your automated birthday flows so your best customers feel a little extra love on their special day by curating a birthday automation specific to that segment.





    The advantages of marketing automation for eCommerce businesses


    1. Saves time while nurturing customer relationships

    eCommerce marketing automation will save your business so much time. Rather than using valuable and limited resources to build countless campaigns, you’re able to implement personalized, perfectly timed marketing that feels authentically engaging but also requires minimal upkeep.


    Personalization is an easy addition too. Most campaign builders use drag-and-drop modules or blocks to make building campaigns as straightforward as possible. Easily include personal details like merge tags (which automatically include the customer’s name) or recommended products (based on previous purchases) to improve the relevance and effectiveness of your marketing.


    Automated marketing also ensures your messages are timely; special offers for birthdays or follow-ups for unredeemed discounts send personalized campaigns as soon as the customer ‘enters the flow’ by completing the set trigger action. With eCommerce automated marketing, spending time checking on client data and then sending relevant emails is a thing of the past.


    2. Provides personalized experience

    Customers don’t want to receive marketing materials that aren’t relevant to them. It’s frustrating and may even decrease your open rates as customers lose interest or feel spammed. Instead, creating personalized marketing means that your customers are more likely to open your emails time and time again, engage with the content and complete a purchase (thereby increasing their loyalty).

    Simple examples include using your customers’ names in the subject line of your emails. You can also insert recent purchase information if asking for feedback or suggested products based on previous buying behavior.

    Another great example is including abandoned cart information to people to encourage customers to finalize their purchases. Ozzie Collectables do precisely this by using automated email flows to remind customers about the contents of their abandoned cart. Ozzie Collectable sends a total of three emails within this flow (if the customer hasn’t already gone back and finalized their purchase).



    Ozzie Collectables' cart recovery automated email flow with time delays shown.


    Ozzie Collectables have seen outstanding benefits from making the most of automated marketing. While seeing 214x ROI with their Marsello marketing, it’s automated email flows that have generated 38% of their total revenue. Read their success story and others like them.


    3. Advanced reporting helps decision making

    When do your customers want to hear from you? What kinds of emails drive a higher sales volume? Are there segments of your audience that just need a reminder, not a discount, to encourage purchases? Are your customers reading your emails and then heading in-store to purchase?

    Advanced reporting of your marketing automation can answer all these questions and more. It can help you better understand which pieces of content your audience is responding to. This can help you further refine and improve your marketing.


    4. Helps improve revenue

    Marketing and eCommerce automation is an easy way to increase average customer revenue with fast results. As well as improved loyalty, staying front-of-mind with your customers will also help increase the revenue you generate from each customer (also known as customer lifetime value).

    One way to do this is through discounts to price-sensitive customers. Discounts work best when they’re curated and not offered with a blanket approach – basically, you don’t want to offer all your customers a discount because some will buy your products at full price with just a simple nudge in that direction. Automation can be used to offer exclusive, limited-time discounts to customers who might need this extra incentive, and you can best find this customer data with the advanced reporting we mentioned above.

    Automated follow-ups and reminders can also drive purchases and revenue. These can be related to sales, loyalty points, or special offers. By excluding customers from your automated flows as soon as they complete a purchase or utilize an offer, you’re ensuring that customers only receive relevant marketing and that you don’t accidentally lose revenue with single customers receiving multiple discounts. But the best part? You’ll be able to build this exclusion into your email flow, making your reporting accurate and ongoing management of recipient lists hands-free.


    5. Improves customer experience and lifetime value

    Acquiring new customers can be expensive. In fact, it’s around 5x more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep existing customers. So rather than investing all your marketing spend into building new customer relationships, you are better off spending money to improve customer experience. This increases the customer lifetime value as their loyalty grows and customers stay with you, spending more over an extended timeframe.


    Marketing automation can provide a better experience for your customers by ensuring they are informed and engaged at every touchpoint. Whether it's an update to their loyalty point status or special offers, any information that will improve their interactions with your business are valuable assets to an automated marketing strategy.


    6. It helps marketing across multiple channels 

    Your customers are moving across the internet, from email to social to websites. Being able to automatically reach them across all these platforms can help reinforce messaging.

    Your audience will need to hear from you multiple times before taking action. Reaching them on different channels means that this doesn’t have to be done all in their email inbox and gives you the freedom to be a little creative with your different campaign touchpoints. Syncing the audiences you use for Facebook advertising with your marketing lists ensures coherent and consistent messaging across platforms. Just make sure that all of your marketing efforts feel seamless and recognizable, thereby adding to their customer experience.



    A woman sits in front of a bright window while editing images on her laptop.



    The advantages of marketing automation for brick-and-mortar stores

    1. It builds an effective workflow 

    Retail marketing automation can help you nurture your customers. With good segmentation and data, you can understand the warm leads that need a little prompting to come in-store, and you can create campaigns that update loyal customers who just want to know about new products that have landed so they can be first in line at your door.

    With automation, you can also learn which incentives and reminders help to bring customers in-store and which communications or content doesn’t work as well as expected. Results-focused experimentation will also help you tailor your automated promotions, time-sensitive emails, and directive prompts to best suit your audience. It's these insights that you can use to build workflows that are guaranteed to see the results that you’re hoping for – whether that's increased sales, improved loyalty, or just brand awareness.


    2. Helps build interaction with customers

    Building loyalty can be a crucial driver in retail success. You want to ensure your customers think of your store as the first port of call for your product offering. Customer loyalty can decide the fate of a retail store.

    Retail marketing automation combined with loyalty marketing, sales, customer experience, and data-driven triggers will help you develop your customer relationships. By keeping the conversation going throughout all channels (emails, SMS, social media, etc.) and touchpoints, you’re able to strengthen the customer’s connection to your business and improve their confidence that your store is the answer to their needs.

    Whether you’re creating complicated automations based on customer segments, their needs, and specific behavioral triggers, or you’re simply automating an “It’s on its way” shipping email, it’s the curated communication and dedication to improved customer experience that’s going to see results.


    3. It helps provide an incentive to loyal customers

    Incentivizes offer a powerful opportunity to draw customers in and increase engagement. It's simple really. By offering loyalty points, special products or events, or limited-time discounts, you encourage actions like purchases or the creation of loyalty profiles, which are trackable events and easy to follow up with more incentive-driven communications. It’s about ensuring your automations offer the right encouragement to the right customers at the right time, driving their behavior with perfectly planned messaging and CTAs.

    By using customer data you can track who your most loyal customers are and reward them. But improving customer loyalty isn’t just restricted to those customers who already love your brand. Don’t forget your at-risk or inactive customers. By analyzing your customer data, you can track those that need an incentive to repurchase to help develop their loyalty. Win-back campaigns are a powerful tool for encouraging customers back to your store when they haven’t shopped with you for a specific amount of time. If you know your average customer purchase frequency is around 10 days, you could set up an automated win-back email that triggers when customers haven’t shopped for 30 days, offering them a discount or reminding them of your fantastic product offering.

    Our Bralette Club does just that!



    A GIF-filled automated email flow from Our Bralette Club with product offerings and baby-pink themes



    With eye-catching graphics animated into scroll-stopping GIFs, data-driven product recommendations, undeniable discounts, and beautiful, recognizable branding, OBC has been able to re-engage at-risk customers, see open rates sky-rocket, and generate revenue that could have potentially been lost had they not made contact. 


    4. Increases feelings of ownership for customers

    Humans enjoy feeling a part of something bigger than themselves. We also often identify with the places we shop or the brands we purchase. Using personalization and segmentation can help you craft emails that create a sense of belonging in your customers.

    Building this sense of belonging, or ownership builds customer loyalty to your business. And as we’ve said, loyal customers spend more over time and are more likely to become brand ambassadors, recommending your products to others.



    Smack Bang's website loyalty widget with options for points earning overlaid on a background image of a pug.


    Pet product specialists, Smack Bang, know all about this. They’ve seen increased loyalty indicators results such as a 100% loyalty engagement rate, and a reward redemption rate of 38% but the results don’t stop there! Smack Bang knows all about the importance of timing and, during Wellington, NZ’s COVID-19 lockdown, they took the time to update the design of their loyalty widget. With a fresh new look and added incentives, they were able to ensure they stood out to customers both in-store and online, encouraging more sales while also maintaining their world-class loyalty engagement rate.


    5. Improved sales in retail

    Email marketing can drive traffic in-store and online by utilizing relevance and value. By reaching out to your customers at the right time, you’re more likely to bring them to your retail store. This relevance can be related to loyalty point promotions, special offers, or new product launches. Think of it like this: only make contact with your different customer groups when there is something relevant to them. This will increase your email marketing success from open, click, and engagement rates, to directly attributable revenue.

    Retail sales increase when you provide value to your customers throughout your campaigns. Just make sure to tailor the messaging to provide what each market segment perceives as valuable.



    Final words


    Marketing automation can help both retail and eCommerce marketing teams achieve sales and traffic. With systems designed to maintain contact with your customers, you can build loyalty and increase ROI. Automating these systems frees up your time and ensures contact is made at the right time.

    At the end of the day, you want personalized, timely marketing that excites your customers and improves their experience – but you want this to happen automatically. It’s about using your customer data to create a curated and specific experience that feels intentional to your customer, with minimal upkeep required from you after the initial set-up. Thankfully, if your marketing service provider has your back, the basics of these automations will be largely set up for you, and easy to add your own branded, personal touch. Learn more about Marsello automated campaigns and all our other features, reach out to our team through the chatbot, or book a demo.

    8 omnichannel marketing strategy tips that will boost your ROI

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    True omnichannel experience leads to revenue increases and improved customer experience. Master your omnichannel marketing strategy with these 8 tips.

    When creating an effective marketing strategy for your business, consider all of the different customer touchpoints. Focus on learning how shoppers like to move between different engagement channels (for example, browsing on social media to shopping online) and what information they are looking for while interacting with your store and similar stores. 

    Building all of this into an omnichannel marketing strategy allows you to ensure that you’re providing your customers with a consistent customer experience. This is true for both retail and eCommerce businesses, as well as those omnichannel retailers.

    Some businesses get overwhelmed when planning and creating a cohesive marketing strategy, especially as they begin considering every single touchpoint and every single customer. Instead, use these tips to design a realistic strategy that will engage most customers, while ensuring your marketing is doing the hard work for your long-term and you’re not likely to become overwhelmed.


    Why should your business use omnichannel marketing?

    Consider the whole customer journey from awareness to consideration to purchase; your customers are likely to have multiple different touchpoints and interactions with your business. Research shows that more than half of customers engage with three to five channels during each journey, highlighting the importance of consistency across all of these channels.

    Omnichannel marketing enhances the customer experience you’re providing by creating consistency, which, in turn, increases sales and improves loyalty. Customers want fast, efficient transactions and solutions. Providing this can help reduce acquisition costs and grow your business faster. This means better value for your customers and you.

    A young woman uses a cellphone while sat at a table in front of a tablet.

    8 Omnichannel marketing strategy tips to boost ROI

    Below, we’re going to dive into the eight tips that will help you begin creating, rolling out, and analyzing your omnichannel marketing strategy. The primary goal is to increase your return on investment, so bringing all the data into one place allows you to compare tactics to ensure you’re creating the best strategy possible. Not sure if omnichannel marketing is right for you? Learn how omnichannel strategy is quickly becoming the future of retail.

    1) Identify the channels that your audience is interested in

    Working out who your customer is, beyond just demographics like age and gender, can help you better define which channels you need to prioritize. Omnichannel experiences don’t have to combine all potential touchpoints. Instead, knowing which channels your ideal customers spend the most time on will help you narrow your focus.

    Once you know which channels, understanding the device they use and what content they want is essential to a successful strategy. Some people watch videos on Facebook, others on YouTube. Are they watching television on a tablet or a TV? What device do they use to check their emails? Are your emails and website optimized for various screen sizes? And does all of this marketing clearly represent your brand and your product offering, and how you expect your customers to engage with them?

    A book titled 'Brand Identity' sits on a desk next to a keyboard

    2) Keep the brand consistent across platforms

    Building consistent branding across platforms ensures that your customers aren’t confused, and they can immediately know that it’s your brand they’ve scrolled across. When designing your omnichannel strategy, you need to find a balance between creating consistency and channel-specific content.

    One of the best ways to do this is to leverage existing content into other platform-specific pieces. For example, taking an infographic from a webinar to create a social media post or turning a blog post into quotes for Twitter. This not only builds consistency but also provides better returns from each content piece you create as you can use it more.

    3) Leverage new marketing channels and marketing automation

    Rather than being stuck in the past, look at how you can embrace new marketing channels and automation to improve the customer experience you’re providing. New omnichannel marketing solutions can help streamline your processes, save you money and increase sales. Marketing automation can help reach your customers at the right time, and also improve revenue.

    There can also be increased returns when using technology like augmented or virtual reality that allows customers to try before they buy. This can be for furniture, clothing, or make-up, where customers can see products in real situations or on themselves. In fact, we wrote about this over on Shopify’s blog when sharing our predictions for the future of retail post-COVID-19.

    MacbookPro with an insights and data dashboard displaying results on the screen.

    4) Use data to gain business advantage

    An omnichannel marketing strategy provides you with data that allows you to understand your customers better. The data and insights you gather from digital channels need to be analyzed to see where your customers are coming from, how they’re engaging with your brand, and what it takes to turn them into paying customers. 

    For example, you might see high numbers of followers on Instagram, but working with the data can help show what content drives customers through to conversion and what content results in likes but no action. Or you could learn how retargeting ads work for your customers that have abandoned their carts and whether you can convert them.

    5) Listen and respond to your audience through your marketing channels

    Creating an omnichannel approach to your marketing allows you to create consistent engagement with your customers in a variety of places. This includes in-store, online, and through multiple different channels (like social media). You can also craft refined, personalized messaging that’s relevant to each customer. While it goes without saying that social media is a wonderful tool for retailer-to-customer (and vice versa) engagement, one of the biggest complaints customers have about a brands' behavior on social media, is their lack of response when messaged. Consistency is essential and it’s times like these that automation becomes a powerful addition to any marketing strategy. 

    Let’s create a scenario. 

    A customer, let’s call them John, has contacted your brand through Facebook messenger to let you know that they really enjoy shopping in-store but their most recent product wasn’t what they expected and they are dissatisfied with the service they’ve received. It’s one thing to respond directly to John with an apology and an offer of (for example) a free replacement – but what else could you be doing? What if you were to create a ‘nurture’ flow for a specific segment of at-risk customers who’ve left negative or dissatisfied feedback? By collecting customer data at the POS, you’ll be able to find John’s purchase (and therefore contact details) and add him to your segment. From here, John first receives his personalized apology and offer. He’ll also get curated communications that nurture him towards making another purchase and once again become a loyal customer with your brand. Once he has made that purchase, John simply exits the segment and the automated flow.

    Automated email flows allow you to create extra communication touchpoints with maximum impact and minimum effort. By setting up procedures, automations and ensuring you have the right people on board to engage with your audience (no matter where they chose to contact you). This will ensure customers like John feel appreciated and loyal to your brand. It’s simple engagement like this that enhances the customer experience and increases the likelihood of both purchase and repeat purchase.

    3 women laugh and socialise while sat at a table working from laptops.

    6) Make use of offline opportunities

    Your customers’ world exists both online and offline. Whether you have a physical presence with retail stores or not, there are still plenty of ways to utilize offline opportunities in your omnichannel campaigns. With a strong understanding of your customer, you can look to show up in other channels like radio, branded merchandise, magazine ads, event sponsorships, or direct mail. In fact, one of the strongest approaches is to simply ensure your branding and your customer journey are consistent at every touchpoint and this means that when they’re in-store with you, they feel it’s just as easy to explore, browse and engage as it is online.

    Ensure that you continue to maintain a consistent brand voice by selecting the right channels. Also, make sure you leverage this content for other uses as well. Photographers, videographers, writers, and influencers can all create online content from your offline experiences.

    7) Personalize the customer journey

    One of the benefits of using omnichannel marketing software is the ability to create personalized interactions which result in an exceptional customer experience. Technology that allows you to send SMS, email, and push notifications that are relevant, timely, and useful can help to drive sales. 

    Before you begin, ensure you spend time crafting the right messaging for each channel, especially if customers will be receiving more than one. You also want to ensure you’re only using the channels that are going to provide value to your customers so that you’re generating a return on investment.


    8) Analyze and retarget your customers

    Most customers need to see or hear about a product more than once. Or they need time to compare alternatives. Or they may simply have forgotten to complete a purchase. Omnichannel advertising tracks your customers to gently remind them about your products after an initial interaction. This is where retargeting can help increase your sales. 

    Using data from across social, web traffic, and email can help you track people through their customer journey. Integrated platforms automatically collate data from across your various touchpoints to know who to interact with and what advertising to serve them to improve conversion.


    Final words

    Creating an omnichannel marketing strategy can help increase revenue, enhance customer experience and help you better understand your customers. Learning which channels your audience uses, how to best show up on them, and new ones as they launch gives you the data to understand, listen to and respond to your customers. 

    Using Marsello allows you to do this on a single platform, creating efficient systems that pull all your data in one place. This means you can personalize the experience for your customers which drives customer loyalty and retention.

    Customer Loyalty vs Customer Retention – What should you focus on?

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    We know any good store is customer-centric, but how do you know which is most important: Customer Loyalty or Retention? And which should you focus on?

    Customer loyalty and retention often get used together or interchangeably without a clear definition of what the difference is. Or, more importantly, which you should be focused on to build a successful retail or eCommerce business. While both are important, one is more likely to build long-lasting financial success.

    To better understand these two topics, we’ll break down their definitions, the metrics for tracking them and show you which is going to increase your revenue over time. Whether you’re running a small, online shop or a multi-site retailer, understanding these topics will take your business to the next level.


    Quick links:

        1. What is customer loyalty
        2. What is customer retention
        3. Customer Loyalty vs Customer Retention: What is the difference
        4. What are the customer retention metrics that matter
        5. Should retail and eCommerce businesses focus on customer loyalty or customer retention?
        6. How to turn shoppers into loyal customers
        7. Why is it important to track customer data to understand loyalty and retention

    What is customer loyalty

    Building strong relationships with your customers helps to establish a positive view of your business. This in turn helps to create loyal customers. Building these bridges with your customers requires a proactive approach to ensure that their needs are being met, their interactions are smooth, and that they feel valued.

    The major benefit of customer loyalty is that they’re more likely to stay with you, buy more from you as well as recommending your business to their friends and family. This means more than just spending more. Becoming a loyal brand advocate means that these customers are out there vouching for your business.


    What is customer retention

    Customer retention is the set of practices and procedures you put in place to help keep your customers engaged with your business. This leads to increased recurring revenue as they continue to spend. It is often tracked through churn, the number of customers that stop purchasing or never become repeat purchasers. 

    It also helps to keep customer acquisition costs down, as you build a group of customers providing reliable, regular revenue. Keeping customers is generally cheaper than acquiring new ones, so keeping your existing base happy and spending can reduce your overall business costs whilst increasing earnings.


    Customer Loyalty vs Customer Retention: What is the difference

    So how do you define customer retention vs customer loyalty? They are closely aligned, and there is often an overlap of actions that drive the two.

    Loyalty measures a customer’s predisposition to select a business entity as a preference and indicates a certain resistance to competitors. Retention is a measure of whether an existing customer continues to do business with you and the acts to make this happen.

    Loyal customers have a certain stickiness to your business which can make them easier to keep and more valuable rather than just focusing on keeping them through mechanisms that make brand switching hard. 


    And over-shoulder shot of someone looking at their marketing data and results

    What are the customer retention metrics that matter

    There are several customer retention metrics that you should be tracking to better understand your customer lifecycle. The first and most common is customer churn. You can calculate this on a scale that is relevant for your business, but the basic measurement is: 

    • Annual Churn Rate = (Number of Customers at Start of Year - Number of Customers at End of Year) / Number of Customers at Start of Year

    A certain amount of churn is natural, but if this reaches between 5-7% it can be an early warning sign that you are not retaining customers and something isn’t right.

    Repeat Purchase Ratio (RPR) is a great indicator of customer loyalty. To calculate:

    • Repeat Purchase Ratio = Number of Returning Customers / Number of Total Customers

    This shows the number of customers that are staying loyal and sticking with your business.

    Should retail and eCommerce businesses focus on customer loyalty or customer retention

    For all businesses, you should be focused on both customer retention and loyalty.

    If you’re a retail business, building customer loyalty often comes through individual interactions. But how do you know if you’re succeeding? Setting up loyalty program systems will allow you to track individual customers’ spending over time. This data will help you better understand their habits and if they are staying with you.

    If you’re an eCommerce business, tracking customer retention is usually quite straightforward. You can see your customers' most recent purchase, purchase history, and overall spend. You can easily benchmark this against your other customers to better understand individual behavior and what areas you need to improve. Understanding the loyalty of your customers can take a bit more work, but should not be forgotten. You might need to send surveys like Net Promoter Score to better understand what your customers think about your business.

    How to turn shoppers into loyal customers

    So how do you build a base of loyal customers? By tracking data like purchase frequency and average order value, you can better understand which of your customers are loyal to your business. To encourage loyalty, you can employ a variety of customer retention strategies. 

    Improving customer service will help to enhance the customer experience you’re providing and help turn retention into loyalty. Experience is one of the easiest ways to differentiate your business from your competition. Using customer accounts and loyalty programs is another way to increase your repeat customer rate, especially if you can provide discounts or special offers as rewards.

    A computer screen showing purchase history for an online store.

    Why is it important to track customer data to understand loyalty and retention

    The best way to understand your customer retention and loyalty is through tracking customer data, including the customer journey. Customer retention technology will help you understand how long your customers are sticking with your business, at what points they drop off, and areas where you have an opportunity to build stronger relationships.

    Metrics that show you customer retention are a great starting point and it can be tempting to focus purely on this. But customer loyalty is going to bring you longer-term success and financial stability. So make sure you’re also looking at metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

    Final words

    It can be tempting to zero in on customer retention alone, but these customers aren’t necessarily going to stay with you for the long term. They’re likely to switch brands for a better offer. Instead, putting your energy into building loyal customers will set your business up for long-term success.

    Using a product like Marsello’s all-in-one marketing platform can help you better understand your customers and the customer experience you’re providing. This will help build customer loyalty for your business, leading to better financial outcomes for you and improved interactions for your customers.

    6 ways to attract new customers with a multi-platform marketing strategy

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    Strengthen your multi-platform marketing strategy with these 6 actionable steps for developing customer buy-in with each marketing channel in your toolkit.

    When you’re building your marketing strategy, you need to consider multi-platform marketing as a method of achieving strong customer loyalty and retention. Omnichannel marketing allows you to provide a consistent customer journey through various touchpoints with your business, both in-store and online.

    Increasingly, shoppers are engaging with their favorite stores through multiple mediums, from email and SMS to websites, social media, and direct advertising. Creating a strategy that incorporates all of these platforms will ensure that you are not only staying front of mind by recapturing your customers’ attention, but you’re also improving their experience with your store at every step of the funnel. 

    In this blog, we focus on the multi-platform aspects of omnichannel marketing, giving you actionable steps to create a multi-platform strategy that you can ensure stretches across all facets of your business. By the end of this blog, you’ll have the tools to start putting together your own cross-channel to omnichannel marketing strategy.




    What are multi-platform and cross-platform marketing


    You may be asking yourself, what is cross-platform marketing? Sometimes called multi-platform or cross-channel marketing, both simply refer to a strategy of marketing to your customers and potential customers across all possible touchpoints, thereby optimizing customers; engagement throughout every point of their journey. It allows you to engage with your audience wherever they are, such as email inboxes, websites using targeted advertising, and more.

    By being in multiple places, your audience can interact and shop with you on their terms. Whether they like to shop from their Instagram feed or prefer in-store experiences after they’ve done their online research, you can support shoppers to engage with your store in the way that they prefer. Just look at how Federation + incorporates email, SMS, and loyalty marketing into their online and in-store marketing strategy.

    So when does cross-platform marketing become omnichannel?

    Short answer: omnichannel doesn’t just stop at multiple touchpoints, it also encourages the customer to shop across all sales channels. Omnichannel broadens the customers’ engagement with your brand at every level and at every touchpoint.



    What are the benefits of using multi-platform marketing?


    Multi-platform marketing creates an improved, seamless experience for your customers as they interact with your store through different marketing channels and sales channels. By ensuring your marketing strategy is geared towards capturing the customer at every stage of the funnel, you help to drive customer loyalty and can even increase the overall customer lifetime value as shoppers feel more connected to your business.


    Using a cross-channel marketing platform will help you achieve all this, without any added stress. By gathering the necessary data and insights (such as previous purchases and abandoned carts), you ensure that your marketing is showing up in the right places, in the right way, at the right time. And timing is everything! It’s the difference between the store that bombards customers with inconsistent, impersonal messages, and the retailer that knows their customers and sends targeted, personalized marketing that captures the shopper’s attention because it resonates with their current movements. Brandini Toffee has achieved astounding results with personalized messaging by sending an automated abandoned cart email that lets customers know they’ve still got items left to purchase. The email is triggered to send a short time after a customer abandons an online shopping cart and the Brandini Toffee team has seen as much as a 583% increase in attributable sales with Marsello from this email alone!




    6 ways to bring in new customers through a multi-platform marketing strategy


    So what are the ways you can take action to build a multi-platform marketing strategy? Firstly, begin with your customers. Knowing who and where they are, how they are behaving and what they’re looking for will help you reach them with the right content at the right time. The final step is to analyze and ensure you’re getting the results you need. Here are the six steps to action today:


    1. Focus your marketing strategy around your customers

    Begin your marketing strategy by understanding where your customers are, what they need from you, and what resonates with them. Integrating your point-of-sale and eCommerce platforms allows you to gain insights into customer behavior. You can track your customers' transactions and interactions across email, in-store and online to build out customer profiles.

    You can then begin building out a marketing strategy that is relevant. Instead of generic campaigns, create tailored messaging around promotions, abandoned carts, or loyalty campaigns to cut through the marketing messages bombarding your customers.


    2. Create a consistent and integrated experience for your customers

    Customers want to seamlessly move between platforms. From an email or text message, they should be able to switch to a website, loyalty platform, or instore to purchase. Having to re-enter information or hunt down discount codes puts up additional barriers that can prevent your customers from completing their transactions.

    The level of customer service they receive across platforms should also be consistent. Receiving quick responses to questions via chat but a lack of communication on email creates confusion and frustration for customers. Instead, a consistent customer experience increases customer satisfaction.


    3. Understand the demographics and how they interact on each platform

    To take the next step in demographic marketing, once you’ve defined your overall audience, you need to further segment your customers. You can then begin to understand how different market segments engage with each platform. This will define the activities for each platform.


    When building your marketing strategy, think about how each platform can be best utilized while still staying true to the campaign and strategy. Are text messages relevant and how can location triggers best be utilized? You can then leverage your content efficiently across platforms.


    4. Create unique content on each social media platform

    Getting specific about your social media channel strategy ensures that you are sharing relevant information. 41% of people will unfollow a brand that doesn’t. If your audience finds your content boring, repetitive or they’re embarrassed to be seen to be following you, they will unfollow.

    Although your audience members will most likely follow you on multiple platforms, they won’t necessarily interact the same on each. Scrolling through Instagram they are looking for short videos or beautiful images, whereas YouTube gives you the chance to create longer, more informative videos. Use platform appropriate storytelling to build an emotional connection with your followers.


    5. Analyze the results of your marketing efforts and make adjustments accordingly

    It’s important to analyze the results of each marketing tactic and compare across platforms. This will highlight where you’re performing well and where you can improve. Key indicators you want to look for are engagement rates like open rates of emails and tracking through to purchase. You can then look to optimize your cross-platform marketing.

    You may find that some platforms are performing better for you than others. Customers may respond well to email reminders but have a low engagement when it comes to text messaging. Investigating which tactics are driving the traffic that is actually converting to purchases allows you to better allocate time and resources.


    6. Cross-promote your brand

    To gain the best response to your marketing activities, you’ll need to set up cross-media marketing strategies. It gives you the greatest reach and maximizes your engagement. Your audience will often need to hear from you 2-4 times before they will decide to purchase. Engaging them on multiple platforms can help you achieve this level of reach.

    Some simple strategies to help you cross-promote your brand include providing incentives for customers to provide you with additional information. This could be an email address to send a receipt to or a phone number to use to follow-up.


    Multi-platform marketing needs to be included in all marketing strategies to ensure you are meeting your audience where they are, with relevant content at the right time. Begin by understanding where your customers are and how they are using different platforms, before strategizing how to create channel-specific content. Finally don’t forget to analyze the results to ensure you’re seeing a return for your investment.



    Final words

    To help you manage this whole process, a multi-channel marketing platform like Marsello can crunch the data, capture customer information, and motivate them to shop. All while building strong relationships that establish customer loyalty.

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