How to Build a Successful eCommerce Loyalty Program

Several eCommerce platforms have emerged in the last few years. Some of the popular ones, including Shopify and WooCommerce, are market leaders that offer a trusted platform to launch, grow, and manage retail businesses of all sizes.

eCommerce loyalty programs and customer retention go hand in hand. eCommerce brands recognize the benefits of rewarding customers to improve the lifetime value of customers. However, plenty of brands struggle with creating and maintaining programs that keep customers engaged.

eCommerce Loyalty Program illustration

Eye Opening Stats

The Need for an eCommerce Loyalty Program

Did you know that new customers cost more to acquire? It costs 10x more to acquire new customers than to sell to existing customers. And on average, existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. According to Anatavo, here’s why you want to invest in a loyalty program:

  • Better retention — Loyalty programs help you keep the top 20% of your total customer base who likely account for up to 70% of your total sales.
  • More referrals — Loyalty programs boost customer referrals.
  • Customers stick with you — Customers who are referred by loyalty members have a 37% higher overall retention rate.
  • Cost-effective — Retaining existing customers costs a company three to10 times less than acquiring a new customer.
  • Nurtured advocacy — Loyal customers are 5x more likely to purchase again and 4x more likely to refer their friends.

Ways to Build Successful Loyalty Program for Your eCommerce Store

1. Find an Alluring Program Name

Come up with a name that’s original and intriguing, so it raises curiosity. Moreover, don’t overcomplicate the name. Your customers should be able to recognize from the title that it’s a rewards/loyalty program.

2. Tie Feedback to Your Loyalty Program

Feedback is an excellent way to find out if your customers are happy with your rewards program. Research suggests that loyalty programs are not only in demand but also have the potential to increase customer retention. That’s why it’s important to collect feedback about your loyalty program from time to time, if not regularly. Feedback can be managed via digital surveys/polls, setting up a “feedback point” in your store, or setting up a focus group to gain valuable insights.

Feedback helps you understand customer expectations and build a program based on what customers value most. You want to engage with your customers to get feedback. Don’t solely rely on loyalty program metrics and transaction reports to gauge the effectiveness of your program.

3. Personalization

Personalization is the key to a customer’s heart in today’s eCommerce environment and one of the biggest challenges in eCommerce today. You need to recognize your customer’s uniqueness and make sure she/he knows that you’re doing so. When your customer feels that she/he is consequential and unique to your brand, your brand becomes essential and unique to him or her.

Always address the customer by their name, whether it’s on your site, in email, or through any other medium. Remember your customer’s purchasing preferences. Make a note of birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions with a message and a reward.

4. Send Reward Reminders

Your customers are probably too caught up with their busy lives to remember your loyalty program. It’s your job to keep your program top of mind.

How do you do that? Make use of texts, emails, and notifications to nudge your customer about the rewards he/she has earned, which are right there, waiting to be redeemed. However, don’t go overboard on the reminders; to prevent your customers from running away.

5. Create Touchpoints for Customer Enrollment

A sample store page showing eCommerce loyalty rewards


The key to building a successful rewards program for your online store is to communicate about the benefits of it on every possible channel. You can also create a dedicated menu for it on your website and promote it through paid media place the number of loyalty points your customer can collect right on the product page next to the product. And add a notification on your site that tells customers when they’ve completed a rewardable activity.

6. Set-Up Partner Offers as Part of Your Loyalty Program

An illustration of an eCommerce Loyalty rewards program


A smart way to ramp up the value in your loyalty program, and significantly improve customer retention, is to set up partner offers among your rewards. Customers today have multiple needs. It can be challenging to cater to all of them alone. By working with other brands, you can expand the value of your rewards to better meet customers’ needs. Customers are far more likely to return to your online store and spend money when there is a greater benefit.

Keep It Going

A loyalty program is a profitable trade-off for you and your customers. Customers get more value each time they shop, and you profit from their repeat business.

However, once you’ve set up your reward program, your work has just begun. You want to continually monitor, analyze, and revise your loyalty program based on your customers’ feedback and data gathered. And without a robust and scalable eCommerce store, your reward program will fall flat. For that, you want to hire Shopify experts or WooCommerce or other experts who can help you set up multiple sales channels, integrate POS, add discount codes, manage payment gateways and generate financial reports for your online store if you haven’t already.

About the Author

Sheryl Jones is a senior marketing specialist at, an affordable SEO services company. Uplers specializes in white label services in web development, web design, and marketing automation. Sheryl enjoys sharing insights and thoughts on web development and digital marketing best practices on the Uplers blog and as a guest blogger.

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