5 Customer Loyalty Program Ideas for Your B2B eCommerce Store

Once you recruit a customer, it’s more cost effective to keep that customer coming back over having to recruit another one. It can cost 5 to 10 times more to acquire a new customer, so improving customer retention can be a sure way to improve profits.

As such, eCommerce stores, like many other types of businesses, have long worked out various ways to keep a customer returning to make additional purchases.

Customer loyalty programs have long been a way to encourage repeat buying patterns, and this isn’t just a B2C-specific phenomenon. Industries with a focus on business customers, such as airlines, hotels and credit cards, have long-established loyalty programs to encourage a customer to stay loyal to them vs. the competition.

So let’s take a look at what exactly a customer loyalty program is, and customer loyalty program ideas you can implement in the world of B2B eCommerce.

What is a Customer Loyalty Program?

At its core, a customer loyalty program is designed to set up achievable tiers for various types of customers that encourage regular purchasing through a specific company.

At its most basic it can be discounts earned when a certain amount of spend is accomplished, or it can be a complex set of milestones that provide increasingly strong perks for the biggest spenders.

For a tier based approach, as customers hit certain milestones, whether it be points earned or amount spend, they can qualify for additional or better perks that come with that tier.

Regardless of approach, all are designed to reward people for spending money with the company, and discourage them from going to a competitor to buy their goods.

5 Customer Loyalty Program Ideas for B2B eCommerce

With that in mind, here are some customer loyalty program ideas you can implement specifically for B2B eCommerce.

1. Create Formal Tiers Around Your Price Break Levels

Many B2B eCommerce businesses set their pricing for a particular buyer based on the amount of spend a business does. Some have established break points where new pricing comes into effect.

It’s not a stretch to take those break points, establish other perks and formalize them into a customer loyalty program that lets your buyers know how much they need to spend to reach the next price break tier, for instance, or getting preferred order processing for faster deliveries.

Some buyers will be incentivized to purchase a bit more to reach the next price break, especially if they will ultimately need to reorder at some point anyway.

2. Provide Special Access to Top Buyers

Price is a primary importance aspect for B2B eCommerce, but it’s not necessarily the only one. Businesses may find being first to be notified when items they care about are back in stock, or are on sale, can be a critically valuable perk.

The same goes for releasing new items to the top buyers first so they have first crack at placing orders. Many people are swayed by psychological factors, and access is one of them.

Special access can also include invitations to exclusive events, or other treatment that underscores their importance to the company. If they feel the connection, they will feel more loyal as well.

3. Incentivize Buyers Through Referral Programs

Loyal customers are also willing to evangelize your business on your behalf, and even moreso when a referral program is offered. With a referral program, you offer an incentive for each new customer your existing ones bring in. Many times referral programs will also offer an incentive for the new customer as well, as a way of encouraging them to give you a shot.

Referrals tend to be incredibly valuable for businesses. They tend to be less expensive to acquire, more likely to stick around and more willing to spend more. This is in large part because they’re being referred in by someone they trust, and as such will put weight against that recommendation.

As a seller, referrals are quite valuable, so leveraging them can be a key to success, especially in industries where such referrals can become a large part of how business is acquired.

4. Offer a Personalized B2B eCommerce Solution

B2B eCommerce isn’t just about being able to take orders, but being able to present a personalized experience. This comes in many forms, but can include:

  • a customized catalog based on the buyer,
  • their buyer-specific pricing (which as mentioned earlier is the bread and butter of B2B eCommerce),
  • and specific billing and shipping types, including purchase orders and Net Terms, as appropriate for each buyer or account.

Part of the way you can make the customer feel special, and in turn generate loyalty, is ensuring the eCommerce experience is relevant to their specific details. It can also encourage self-service ordering without the intervention of a salesperson.

5. Incentivize a Customer When They’ve Gone Quiet

Many customer loyalty programs will monitor an average customer’s order cycle, as well as a specific customer’s order cycle, and use analytics tools to spot when they’re drifting off the normal pattern. At those times a well-timed email or phone call can reminder a buyer that they’re due to place a new order.

Based on a customer’s previous order history and loyalty, an incentive for ordering, such a price break or some other special offer, can re-activate a relationship that might have been fading a bit. Remember, it’s less expensive to maintain existing customer relationships that acquiring new ones.

Put Customer Loyalty Program Ideas into Practice on Zoey

Zoey has a variety of customer segmentation capabilities that can make implementing a customer loyalty program a bit easier, such as setting the right price points for each customer tier and assigning customers to them. It can also make providing certain products to certain customers a snap.

As a B2B eCommerce solution that puts eCommerce at the core of what we do, we have a more comprehensive solution than just about anyone else. But don’t take our word for it – request a demo of our solution today:

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