In fact, Accenture research finds that spending on rewards cards has skyrocketed since the Great Recession. In the last year alone, consumers received $15 billion in rewards value through cash back, miles and points, according to the firm’s estimates and analysis.
So, how can credit unions create a rewards program that is compelling to member cardholders and that keeps them transacting? Here are a few expert tips to jump-start your offering:
- Keep Point System Conversions Simple
According to Hubspot, keep point system conversions “simple and intuitive.” The article points to Sephora’s Beauty Insider program as a successful model to follow. “Every dollar spent earns the member one Beauty Insider point….Sephora speaks the language of its audience by measuring points in dollars and (rewarding in products).”
- Put Up “Switching Barriers”
Accenture research also reveals that 48 percent of consumers will switch their primary rewards card to get more value. To prevent members from making the switch, smile.io recommends giving them powerful incentives to stick with your brand. For example, as soon as an account is opened the firm suggests offering cardholders welcome points that immediately translate into “a point balance that now carries monetary value for them.”
- Give Top Cardholders More Status
According to HelpScout.com, “tiers” of rewards – such as Silver, Gold and Platinum – have universal appeal because they entice consumers with both goals to reach – and status for reaching them. For long-standing loyalty programs, the website advises, “be sure to consider your ‘Platinum’ users and how you might differentiate their program.”
- Reward in Real-Time
Accenture reports that 66 percent of consumers want to redeem rewards while they transact at the POS terminal. A great example of this strategy in action is CO-OP’s new BP Pay at the Pump feature, the latest addition to the Member Rewards by CO-OP program. BP Pay at the Pump allows members who have earned at least 2,000 points to redeem them instantly for $0.50 off each gallon of gas purchased. Saving money at the pump is easy, and discounts apply for up to 20 gallons.
- Speak to Member Values
Your credit union’s community ties set you – and your card products – apart. To leverage your local cache, consider offering local merchant-funded rewards, now available network-wide through ShopSPOT by CO-OP. While this unique program includes deals from thousands of nationwide chains, it also allows you to also add in offers from the local businesses near and dear to members. “Truly understanding your customer means understanding their values and sense of worth, and shared values have a huge impact on [whether] a customer will be loyal to a brand,” says Hubspot.
The CO-OP Difference
To help your rewards program – and card product – stand apart from the rest, Member Rewards by CO-OP is available to all client credit unions. This first-class offering can be deployed in both turnkey and customized options, is supported by advanced analytics and targeted marketing, and features the industry’s most robust merchant-funded network, ShopSPOT by CO-OP.
With Member Rewards by CO-OP, your credit union can expand incentives beyond the realm of cards to include primary accounts, loans and other products, a great way to inspire member loyalty at every touchpoint.
“Our goal is to make it not only easy, but incredibly enjoyable for members to do business with you,” said Shazia Manus, Chief Product and Strategy Officer for CO-OP.
CO-OP President/CEO Todd Clark adds, “Our client credit unions clearly see the value that frictionless, rewarding experiences bring to their members. Working together, we are designing, building and connecting to the apps members rely on to enrich their lives as consumers.”
Learn more about our newest Member Rewards and ShopSPOT by CO-OP features designed to build cardholder engagement, deepen member loyalty and drive revenue.