As your only source of revenue, it is essential that your customers feel understood, seen and heard. As a result, you need a partner who understands them perfectly. The ‘Loyalty Marketing & Rewards Programs – Global Market Report 2022’ has identified the key elements considered when deciding on a loyalty platform provider.
The report, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Comarch, is based on data collected from over 500 loyalty program decision-makers from four different regions. This makes it a realistic overview of the loyalty industry, providing information about what drives modern customer loyalty.
When it comes to choosing a technology partner that provides a customer engagement platform, there is no singular reason for why companies join forces with a given vendor and not the other. This indicates that there are many ways in which you can approach building a loyalty program, and thus the vendor you choose to work with has to meet your needs, expectations, and values.
Depending on the company – and the model (B2B or B2C) – the factors for choosing a vendor may vary, although the vendor’s overall experience still plays a vital role in the process. The key elements include:
- Previous experience of working with vendor
Having a stable relationship with a vendor plays a crucial role in the process of implementing new software, especially for loyalty platforms. Neither party is wasting their time when both sides know each other well. It is the most important factor for 20 percent of total interviewees (23 percent in B2C and 18 percent in B2B).
- Tech capabilities going beyond loyalty management
Loyalty decision-makers are searching for providers with wide technological experience and background. They also take into account case studies and credentials outside the field of loyalty. Good references are as valuable as ever. This factor is essential for 19 percent of those surveyed (19 percent B2C and 17 percent B2B).
- Corporate and social responsibility values
As CSR is beginning to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions, it comes with no surprise that vendors influence the image of a brand using their services. 19 percent (21 percent B2C and 17 percent B2B) states that their loyalty platform providers should reflect their commitment to maintaining a responsible reputation.
- Time-to-market or speed of implementation
Everything is getting faster, so the loyalty’s need for speed is no exception. Although in this area we’re talking about long-term goals, it’s extremely important to start quickly. The time-to-market or speed of implementation is a decisive factor for 18 percent of loyalty executives (19 percent B2B and 16 percent B2C).
- Breadth and depth of its loyalty technology capabilities
Companies are searching for partners that are able to provide a wide scope of advanced IT products for managing customer loyalty and marketing, sometimes also in a combination of technology and strategy. This expertise is valued by 18 percent of interviewees (18 percent B2C and 15 percent B2C).
When you look at the list of factors for choosing a vendor, the first thing that comes to mind is that many of them concern the technical aspects of a loyalty platform.
“The speed and ease of implementation and features that go beyond the traditional scope of system functionalities are very much a must-have. In other words, even though the overall experience and vendor’s understanding of the nature of one’s business are important, that knowledge must go hand in hand with what a given vendor’s solution is capable of in terms of building and running immersive, visually pleasing, one-of-a-kind rewards or incentive programs. Half-measures should not be an option,” said Łukasz Słoniewski, Head of R&D, Loyalty & Marketing Solutions at Comarch.