If there’s one thing every eCommerce brand wants to generate more of, it is profit. But, with increasing competition, tightening privacy regulations, and soaring ad costs, it can seem impossible. Thankfully, there’s a magic formula for smarter acquisition and retention - the combination of reviews and loyalty.

If you’re already running one, you’ll know a robust review strategy is a pretty good driver of profit on its own. 

That’s because positive reviews bring a range of benefits - like increased visibility, improved reputation, and social proof. They help attract new customers and reassure them that they’re making good purchase decisions, leading to higher conversion rates. 

Reviews can also provide valuable feedback on product quality, customer service, and other important factors that can help you deliver more of what consumers are looking for.

What a loyalty program does is turn the groundwork of your review strategy into long lasting (and profitable) customer relationships.

How Does A Loyalty Program Drive Profit?

Loyalty programs come in various forms, from simple points based systems to customized loyalty tiers. It all depends on what works for your brand, but when you get it right loyalty delivers impressive ROI, driving profit in several ways:

Increased customer retention: this speaks for itself. By offering rewards such as points, discounts, free shipping, or exclusive access to sales, customers are incentivized to return to your store and make additional purchases.

Higher average order value (AOV): customers who participate in a loyalty program typically have higher AOV than those who don’t, often because they take advantage of promotions or discounts, or purchase additional products to reach a reward threshold.They’re also more likely to add new products to their cart, because they already have confidence in your brand.

Increased customer lifetime value (LTV): repeat purchases and higher AOV combine to increase the lifetime value of customers subscribed to your loyalty program. There’s no acquisition costs involved, because they already have an affinity with your brand. 

That’s how a loyalty program naturally drives profit for your business. But there are ways you can leverage loyalty beyond this - and that’s where it joins forces with your review strategy. 

How to Combine Reviews and Loyalty for Increased Profitability 

Incentivise Reviews

Perhaps the most obvious way to enhance one with the other is to use your loyalty program to boost reviews. Provided you have review and loyalty solutions that talk to each other, it’s as simple as awarding points for each review submitted.

This will encourage more customers to offer their feedback, giving you more of the social proof you need for cost effective acquisition and higher conversion rates.

If you’re working with us (or any other Google Licensed Review Platform), you’ll boost visibility in search and lower your Ad spend. You’ll also have more content to share using tools like our Review Nuggets widget - giving customers the persuasive nudge they need right at the point of purchase.

Collect More Quality UGC

Authentic visual content is what today’s consumers engage with, and a good review strategy encourages UGC in the form of photo and video reviews. Again, you can collect more of these simply by offering an incentive. 

The key here is to assign an appropriate value - if UGC is important to you as a brand you’ll want to offer more points for its creation over a standard text review.

You can also encourage customers to create and share content on their own channels by rewarding them for social actions like @mentions.

Using our UGC feature, you can then combine this Instagram content with your visual reviews into one single UGC library, and publish the best bits as shoppable galleries. 

Encourage Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth marketing is essentially what a review is - it’s a customer sharing a positive experience of your brand and products with the buying public. And when a customer speaks highly of you in a review, you know they’re probably open to recommending you to friends and family.

That’s where referral marketing comes in. A clever way to leverage loyalty for acquisition, referral marketing uses your existing customers to attract new ones. And what better time to ask for a referral than off the back of a 5* experience?

By integrating your review and loyalty solutions, you can use positive reviews to trigger referral campaigns and grow your customer base through good old fashioned word of mouth.

Enhance the Customer Experience with Data

The best way to drive profits is to provide exceptional customer experiences. For that you need data, and not the third-party kind. You need first and zero-party data, and reviews and loyalty are rich sources of both. 

Purchase behavior, preferences and interests, likes, dislikes, review attributes - you can collect so much information about your customers in an open and transparent way.

And when you feed that data into your marketing platform you can create personalized and engaging experiences that keep customers coming back for more.

From granular segmentation to social proof in email campaigns, there’s multiple ways to drive business growth using loyalty and review data.

How to Integrate Reviews and Loyalty: the Best-of-Breed Tech Stack

Just to recap: reviews are vital for cost effective acquisition. They bring new shoppers to your store, and help convince them to make a purchase. A loyalty program then steps in and turns those shoppers into repeat customers.

Together, reviews and loyalty can be used to build a community of loyal brand advocates and drive long term sustainable growth.

The best thing about it all is that it’s incredibly simple with the right tools in your tech stack.

Influence.io is a loyalty solution built by the team at REVIEWS.io. It has the same intuitive, user-friendly design and integrates seamlessly with our review solution, as well as with other best-of-breed tools like Klaviyo.

If you’re an existing REVIEWS.io customer, you’ll find it easy to install via the Loyalty tab in your dashboard. You’ll also get discounted rates on your Influence.io subscription if you're on one of our Growth, Professional or Enterprise plans. 

Find out more at Influence.io, and start building your profit driving tech stack today.

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