Loyalty rewards programs are a great way for small businesses and restaurants to build and maintain a loyal customer base that visits often. This is a big deal because loyal customers are 50% more likely to try new products, and spend 31% more than new customers. Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t getting the most from their loyalty program because they only offer monetary rewards—things like discounts and freebies. These types of rewards are great, and you should definitely include them in your rewards program, but they don’t build true customer loyalty. To really connect with customers and turn them into influencers who organically spread the word about your business, consider incorporating these experiential rewards examples into your loyalty program.

Experiences outshine free stuff.

Millennials now make up the largest portion of consumers, and according to an extensive study by Eventbrite, 72 percent of millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than on material things. It’s not just millennials who feel this way, either. Our understanding of human psychology shows that the happiness we get from buying stuff is fleeting, whereas experiences define our self-identity, no matter how old we are.

This phenomenon is a great opportunity for your business to create a meaningful connection with customers. By offering rewards that give people a memorable experience, their shared experience with your business will become a part of their self-identity. Assuming the shared experience is a positive one, this is the perfect recipe for creating lifelong, loyal customers.

6 ideas for experiential loyalty rewards.

To create a positive experience for your customers, include one or more of these rewards into your company’s loyalty program, or better yet, come up with an experience only your business can offer.

  1. Create and name your own menu item
  2. Attend an exclusive VIP event
  3. Get first access to new products or items
  4. Join your wall of fame
  5. Get a personalized item (e.g. mug or glass) to use when you visit
  6. Receive concierge treatment

Use a tiered approach to your rewards.

For maximum effectiveness, you’ll want to incorporate several experiential and monetary rewards into your loyalty program, and use a tiered method. So for example, you’d want to have a few low-cost rewards that customers can earn easily, and then one or two experiential rewards that are harder to earn and reserved for your very best customers.

If you’re using SpotOn Loyalty, it’s quick and easy to create your own custom rewards that are integrated directly into your POS and online ordering, with the ability for your customers to earn points based on visits or dollars spent. Even better, our support team can help you come up with ideas for unique experiential rewards that will make your business shine.

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