Learn more about VIP loyalty programs for Shopify stores.
Imagine if all your customers purchased from your website only once. You’d have to look for new customers every day.
That would add up to a huge cost. Besides, it requires a lot of time and effort.
To put things into perspective, acquiring one new customer is 5x more expensive than retaining an existing one.
Conversely, selling to existing customers has a 60 to 70% success rate.
That’s why customer retention is extremely important for your Shopify store.
And the most important segment of your Shopify customers is your VIP customers.
VIP customers are your most valuable customers; your most important or top-tier customers. These are customers who consistently show interest in your brand, have a high average order value (AOV), trust your brand, give preference to you over competing brands, and generally, can bring you more revenue in the long run.
Since VIP customers are, well, the most important, it’s important to retain them. One of the most important factors of customer retention is to keep them engaged.
And how do you engage and retain them?
One of the best ways to do so is to have a loyalty program exclusive to them – a VIP loyalty program.
A VIP loyalty program is exclusively designed for your VIP customers. It is designed to engage your VIP customers and drive them to make more purchases from you. In return, they can enjoy different types of benefits that the loyalty program has to offer to them.
Before we get into the details of how VIP loyalty programs work, let’s have a look at some interesting statistics around it.
- 57% of customers prefer brands that have VIP loyalty programs
- VIP perks are a big reason for the success of loyalty programs
- Tier-based loyalty programs with VIP-tier do better than non-tier-based programs
A simple loyalty program is where all your customers/loyalty program members are considered equal. They’re given the same rewards.
Conversely, a VIP loyalty program is a tier-based program where you have different levels of customers. Here, usually, the top-most level would be of your VIP customers.
VIP loyalty programs can work in different ways.
One way is a tiered structure. Some programs have different levels. Customers have to take actions and climb up tiers or levels. The top-most levels are VIP or VVIP.
For example, members earn reward points with every purchase they make. Once they reach a certain predefined number of points, they automatically climb to a higher level. And so on and so forth.
Another tactic that many brands use is gamification. For example, many brands gamify their loyalty programs. Members have to complete challenges to climb to higher levels, where they can receive better rewards.
For example, eCommerce stores might run a contest around their new collection launches, include a game into their marketing strategy, and get members to engage into challenges and earn rewards.
Other brands may not have challenges or gamification, but a straightforward VIP level or program.
VIP loyalty programs work on the premise of exclusivity. They make members feel exclusive and special.
Another key factor of many VIP loyalty programs is they create a feeling of belonging to a community of people who have a shared feeling, interests, etc.
A study by Harvard Business Review found that companies that lead in loyalty for three or more years grow revenue 2.5X compared to their competitors.
Having a VIP loyalty program set up in your Shopify store can make this possible for your business. VIP loyalty programs ensure a higher level of loyalty as it includes your most loyal customers.
These top-loyal customers are bound to make more/ higher-value purchases from your store. Moreover, they’re more likely to bring high-value referral customers to your store, who would end up adding to your sales and revenue.
These are some ways in which a VIP loyalty program can help you boost your Shopify store sales.
Your VIP customers are those who trust your brand and hence, they’re most loyal to you. You can utilize this opportunity to drive your customers to take favorable actions.
For example, say you have a campaign to generate good referrals. You can run a special campaign for your VIP loyalty program customers. Urge them to share referrals. In return, offer them special perks.
When you run campaigns to target specific customer actions, you can influence customer behavior, control it, and even change purchasing behavior of customers. Whatever your business goals, you can achieve them faster when you create a VIP loyalty program.
Setting up a VIP loyalty program is one thing, it’s another thing to maximize your ROI from it. For that, you online stores have to largely depend on customer data.
What are your most-valued customers doing on your Shopify store? What are they engaging most with? How much are they spending? What is their average order value? When do they buy more? What demographics do they fall under?
The best VIP loyalty programs collect all the above information. It is some of the vast data you can collect about your VIP customers through your loyalty program.
Once you collect data based on your marketing goals, you can run targeted campaigns. To put things into perspective, data driven marketing can increase ROI 8X.
Requesting for referrals is another effective strategy for customer engagement and marketing for eCommerce stores. And when you encourage your VIP customers to share referrals, you’re more likely to generate high-value leads from them.
Your most loyal customers are your best ambassadors. Either they could bring you new customers via word of mouth, or you could encourage them to share referrals through referrals campaigns.
In return for their referrals, you could offer them different types of incentives. For example, extra reward points, a free gift, etc.
Your VIP customers are your most important. And so, you’d treat them especially well. A loyalty program specially designed for your VIP customers gives you a structured way to reward these loyal customers.
You can use strategies such as dedicated customer service for your VIP customers, personalized marketing, and connecting one-on-one with them to offer them the best customer experience.
You could run high-value marketing campaigns exclusively for your VIP customers. That way, you can earn more returns with less investment. Your most-valued customers give you the most profits. To elaborate this in numbers, the 20% of your top customers generate 80% of your business revenue!
Your most loyal customers are with your brand because they like you. And they most probably care about your brand. And so, they’re the most likely people to share feedback with you.
Whether it is negative or positive, you can collect the most honest, genuine, and helpful feedback from this lot of people.
You could send them a feedback request after a purchase, or specifically about your brand, or online experience, etc. You could even collect feedback about the VIP loyalty program and how you could make it better for them.
Collecting feedback from your loyal customers has an important role to play — it can help you understand how your brand is positioned in your industry and what you need to do to keep up with your competition.
Now that you know the benefits of creating a VIP loyalty program for your Shopify store, let’s look into some of the best examples of VIP loyalty programs and why they stand out amongst others.
First known as Creator’s Club, Adidas’s loyalty program was renamed Adi Club. One of the best tiered loyalty programs, here, members can earn points for different types of activities and progress to higher tiers to unlock bigger benefits.
The good part of their loyalty program is that it isn’t connected to transactions. Rather, it focuses on community and members’ lifestyle, where members can earn points for activities like workouts and running.
Why is it good?
- Offers early access to sales, member-exclusive products
- Invitation and tickets to exclusive sporting events and parties
- Meet and greet with Adidas athletes
- Redeem points in exchange for vouchers or charity donations
- The program also offers different benefits in different countries
- It focuses on building a community of members
Sephora’s loyalty program called Beauty Insider is one of the most popular. The tiered program offers the best perks and experiences to its most valued VIP customers.
Its VIP customers get more of everything – meet and greet events, points for services, higher discounts, exclusive gifts, etc.
Why is it good?
- Provides experiential rewards to engage customers
- Provides exclusive products
- The brand provides personalized recommendations
The accessories brand, DaVinci’s loyalty program is called The Explorer’s Club. The brand offers truly unique rewards such as points for discovering and sharing content, no questions asked product replacements, and reward points that never expire.
Its four-tier program offers many different opportunities to members to earn points. For example, points on purchases, for following the brand on social media, sharing content, referring friends, etc.
Why is it good?
- Offers unique rewards such as beta program invitations
- Offers monthly raffles as rewards
- Easy product replacements for members
- The reward points never expire
The outdoor equipment brand REI’s loyalty program is called Co-Op Membership. Among its loyalty program rewards are discounts on products and services, member-exclusive events, etc. A one-time membership fee allows customers to remain a part of the program for life.
Why is it good?
- The program consistently keeps adding new rewards
- Members get to vote on candidates for the co-op board
- Free shipping
- Early access to limited-edition gear
- With every new member, the brand donates $5 to the REI Cooperative Action Fund
The Body Shop’s VIP loyalty program, Love Your Body, focuses on building a community of members that support common causes.
This is how it works: Members can earn rewards for repurchasing. And they can donate their rewards to one of the four charities that the program is tied up with. The charities range from supporting domestic abuse issues, sustainability, emergency aid and wildlife conservation.
Why is it good?
The program makes members feel a sense of belonging to a community that supports a larger cause.
The ethical fashion brand Indigenous Designs has a loyalty program called Care Coins. The brand embeds the act of doing good into its program. How? The brand keeps reminding its members that when they make purchases from them, they’re actually making an impact on the environment.
Members can earn points to refer friends, for creating an account, for every purchase, on their birthday, for social follows, etc. Many ways to earn points means many purchases, which in turn results in more points.
Why is it good?
The brand makes it easy for their customers to actually use their reward points, which increases their purchase frequency as well as customer retention.
A cruelty-free makeup brand, Dose of Colors VIP loyalty program, Daily Dose, manages to create strong connections with its customers through the program.
The brand allows customers many opportunities to earn points. The program has three tiers, and the top most tier consists of its most important customers who receive the most exclusive rewards.
Why is it good?
- The three-tier program has different names for different tiers
- It runs VIP-exclusive promotions
- Early access to new products and sales
- Customized profile reward points
- Stronger connections with VIP loyalty program members
Your most-valued customers are your company’s most important segment. As studies show, they are responsible for bringing 80% of your revenue. This makes them extremely important.
And as a brand, it’s your responsibility to treat them specially well, and provide them the best customer experience. The best way to do this is by creating a VIP loyalty program.
To set up and manage your loyalty program, you’ll need a smart tool. Flits is one of the best Shopify loyalty program apps that offers a customer account page app along with features such as loyalty programs.