When it comes to choosing 3rd party loyalty programs for your e-commerce business, there is one question you need to ask yourself:
“Will it help me meet the expectations of my customers?”
While loyalty programs can be a great way to boost your recurring revenue, you still need to make sure you select the one with the right features to propel your growth.
For example, if your brand is brick-and-mortar and online, you need omnichannel support. Without it, you won’t have a unified rewards wallet, your customers can’t decide where to spend their perks, and you won’t have the freedom to create unique in-store activations.
But most importantly, it won’t inspire brand loyalty, and when that starts to drop off, your churn rates go up.
To help you find the best loyalty program that’s going to:
We’ve compiled a comprehensive overview of what features to look out for and what you can expect from the top five loyalty apps on the market.
What features does your loyalty app need to include? Here are the top 6 features to look out for when selecting a SaaS platform for your rewards
“How easy does your 3rd party loyalty program integrate with your current workflow?”
That is one of the most important questions when deciding on a platform.
The right choice will seamlessly harmonize with your current tech stack and create a cohesive customer experience across all touchpoints.
This is crucial if you’re selling in-store and online.
You need an omnichannel loyalty program to reward your customers for activations and purchases anytime, anywhere.
With streamlined data, you can create a unified rewards experience, personalize your interactions, and boost customer engagement on autopilot.
“Do these 3rd party loyalty programs give you and your customers flexibility?”
Here’s the thing.
Your business is unique.
So are your customers.
It doesn’t make sense to choose a cookie-cutter solution, right?
Instead, you need a loyalty program that you can customize to your business needs and customers' expectations.
What does flexibility look like?
These features help you create a rewards program to fit your business instead of the other way around.
“Can you customize the rewards you offer to your customers?”
Loyalty is pointless.
We are in a new era of customer loyalty, and “points for likes” doesn’t cut it anymore.
To succeed in creating an army of superfans and a steady stream of recurring monthly revenue, you need a loyalty program that goes beyond points.
What does that mean?
Offering your day ones meaningful and valuable rewards.
Look for flexibility to offer transactional rewards like cash back and in-store credit and experiential rewards like access to exclusive products, free gifts, voting on brand decisions, and collectibles.
“Are you able to leverage the power of AI?”
The role of AI in SaaS loyalty programs is becoming increasingly important.
52% of shoppers want personalized offers based on data from their customer loyalty accounts, and AI gives you the power to revolutionize your rewards program by providing personalized rewards and incentives based on customer behavior.
AI can analyze real-time data and offer tailored discounts that align with customer preferences. It encourages repeat purchases, drives brand loyalty, and meets the modern consumer's expectations.
That’s not all.
You can use AI to serve personalized product recommendations, determine which customers are most likely to make a purchase, and send customized incentives to seal the deal.
“Do you have access to in-depth loyalty program analytics?”
Like most things in business, you need quantifiable data.
A robust analytics dashboard should be able to answer key questions like:
These and other data points can help you track your retention rates, figure out how to better incentivize customers to increase cart sizes and implement strategies to prevent churn.
Loyalty programs are the fuel for your sales machine.
Increasing your retention by 5% can increase your revenue between 25% and 95%.
Want statistics like that for your business?
It all comes down to nurturing repeat purchases from your existing customer base to drive a higher customer lifetime value (CLV).
But how do you know if you’re getting a return on investment (ROI) from your rewards platform?
Track the following metrics:
Here’s a list of the top 5 third-party loyalty programs for you to consider in 2023.
TOKI is the ultimate modern loyalty playbook. Focusing on providing experiences shoppers want, flexibility, and transparency, it’s perfect for e-commerce retail brands on Shopify who want an affordable yet robust rewards program.
But that’s not all.
One of TOKI’s standout features is its Loyalty Alliances. Find a strategic partner for your loyalty program and get a unique edge over your competition in only three clicks.
Yotpo helps you create customizable rewards and referral programs and is the best option for e-commerce brands that rely heavily on collecting and displaying user-generated content (UGC).
The platform comes with features like tier-based reward programs, SMS marketing capabilities, and advanced customer segmentation.
However, there are some drawbacks. The set-up can be complicated, and the free plan offers the bare minimum.
LoyaltyLion is an e-commerce loyalty program SaaS solution and engagement platform for merchants who don’t need omnichannel support and only want to focus on online sales.
If you fit the bill, you’ll gain access to a loyalty program that lets you create personalized shopping experiences for your customers. Some of its top features include personalized SMS notifications, advanced analytics, and customer segmentation based on past buying behaviors.
LoyaltyLion’s pricing is considerably higher than its competitors, so it’s not a great option for small e-commerce businesses. The platform also has a steep learning curve, and some users find the design interface counterintuitive.
Are you an enterprise business? Then, Zinrelo is one of the best 3rd-party loyalty programs for you. It’s an easy-to-implement solution with deep data analytics to help boost recurring revenue and your customer lifetime value (CLV).
One of its most notable features is its omnichannel experience. It seamlessly integrates across all touchpoints, including call centers.
While the platform does offer an SMB plan, you’ll need Enterprise to access its full customization and get the most out of Zinrelo.
Smile.io is one of the largest rewards program providers. It comes with an easy-to-use point system, a referral program, and rewards to help you scale your recurring revenue.
But it does have its limitations.
With only a few POS integrations, it’s not the best choice for omnichannel brands who want in-store rewards activations, and some features, like its API, are only accessible on its Enterprise plan. While Smile.io does come with a free plan, it’s limited to 200 orders, making it an option if you’re getting started with rewards, but you’ll quickly outgrow it and need to upgrade.
Do you still have questions about the best SaaS platforms for online loyalty programs? Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions.
A third-party loyalty program is a piece of software for creating and managing your online loyalty program. It usually comes with features like memberships, tiers, points, and referrals that you can customize to suit your brand.
The main benefits of loyalty programs include: increased customer retention, higher purchase frequency, an increase in average order value, and a boost in a customer’s lifetime value.
A good loyalty program gives your customers tangible value and makes it exciting to interact with your brand. The best rewards programs include features such as polls, scavenger hunts, challenges, membership tiers, and perks like collectibles and cashback.
Customers prefer loyalty programs that offer tangible rewards like store credit or cash back, as well as access to exclusive product drops and collectibles.
The thing with options is that it always comes with decision fatigue.
To avoid it and find the right 3rd-party loyalty program for your business, the key is to focus on what’s important to you.
If you’re looking for an affordable loyalty program that offers more than points for likes, try TOKI.
It drives meaningful engagement and customer loyalty with seamless omnichannel activation, strategic brand alliances, rewards your customers actually want, and the flexibility to create a loyalty program tailored to your business.