As 2022 gets under way, we have yet again firmly closed the door on the most important period in the retail calendar: the “golden quarter”. And, while many shoppers have been looking to beat the back to work blues by seeking out the best bargains in the post-holiday sales, retailers on the other hand, will have been reflecting on the results of another peak period.
Every year as peak season begins and consumers battle it out for the best bargains, it’s a chance for retailers to win big. Indeed, many brands and companies make up a large portion of their annual profits in the vital Q4 selling period, often boosting sales by rolling out the ‘door buster’ deals that consumers have come to expect.
And early data suggests that the holiday season in 2021 again delivered great returns for retailers: According to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse, consumer spending in the US between 1st November and 24th December was up 8.5% over 2020.
But just because Q4 is such an important commercial trading period, it doesn’t mean the remaining three quarters aren’t equally important. And with ambitions to supercharge their sales potential all year round, merchants would be wise to work with connections and partners that offer avenues into new communities of shoppers.
LOYALTY PROGRAMS MIGHT BE THE SOLUTION RETAILERS ARE LOOKING FOR
Indeed, one way in which retailers can look to boost their sales throughout the year is by tapping into communities of loyalty program members and harnessing their points value.
This can be done in two ways. Creating a frictionless user journey whereby members can spend a mixture of points and cash on their transactions means that shopping can be made more affordable. Meanwhile, allowing customers to accrue points on the cash element of the transaction in real-time can boost engagement and make for a more memorable and rewarding retail experience.
When we lift the lid on these points-empowered transactions, there are two main types of program members that merchants can appeal to: ‘Redeemers’ and ‘Collectors’.
Redeemers are program members who are always on the hunt for ways to spend their points currency and make cash savings. While the most enticing rewards available with programs may be out of reach for Redeemers, they could much more easily use their points and get great value from them by spending them on their everyday shopping.
Collectors on the other hand are loyal program members who are keen to accrue their points over time with a specific, aspirational reward in mind, such as a flight or stay in a hotel. Retailers can incentivize Collectors to shop with them and keep coming back by offering a way to earn and build up points throughout the year.
While retailers and programs have historically partnered on affiliate programs to allow members to earn points, these processes are not perfect. Today though, new points payments technologies that seamlessly and instantly connect merchants and loyalty programs are emerging, and growing in popularity. Thanks to their ability to offer great shopping experiences and value for members, such technologies can maintain engagement with retailers and programs, all year round.
Solutions like Pointspay, created by Loylogic, utilise the latest in payment and loyalty tech, allowing members to smoothly spend and collect points with thousands of retailers and international brands. And while customer expectations are rising, smart solutions like Pointspay give points renewed relevance and offer a win-win-win for members, merchants, and programs alike.
For some merchants and retailers, Q4 planning for 2022 will already be underway. But those that are able to unleash the power of loyalty points have the opportunity to exponentially boost their sales all year round. And as these communities get accustomed to affording more and earning points while they do it, this sales potential can be carried into Q4, delivering even better returns during the busiest period in the retail calendar.