A guest article by Rewardify team. Rewardify is a no-contract app from Shopify that allows you to easily manage in-store credit for both customers and employees, as well as employee discounts, referral bonuses, and sign-up credits.
Incentive programs are a critical part of any business, whether you're looking to motivate employees, boost sales or encourage customer loyalty. One of the most effective, and affordable incentives you can offer is store credit - money that can be used to purchase products or services directly from your eCommerce site, brick-and-mortar business, or both.
The days of rewarding employees with embossed pens, engraved watches or other promotional 'swag' are long over, especially if your workforce is made up of younger workers.
Employees today want their performance and service milestones recognized with awards that are both personal and valuable - that's why store credit is perfect for use as an in-house incentive. Your employees can choose items that fit their specific needs and preferences, which dramatically increases the perceived value of their employee recognition award.
With consumer loyalty dropping across the retail sector, store owners have been scrambling to develop rewards programs that are designed to encourage customers to come back. Unfortunately, these customer retention schemes fail to address what shoppers really want - instant satisfaction.
Shoppers tend to perceive store credit as 'free money', and as a result, they're more likely to 'splurge' on purchases with credits earned as part of a sign-up bonus, cash-back program or promotional offer.
How you award store credits will depend on your unique operational needs, staffing situation, and conversion rates.
When used to promote a specific behaviour or mark an achievement by one of your employees, be sure to explain exactly what the credit is being awarded for, otherwise, the 'incentive value' of the credit might be overlooked. Encourage the recipient to talk about how they plan on spending their store credit - this helps to reinforce the achievement that led up to the awarding of the credit, which in turn builds employee morale and motivation.
Store credit can also be a powerful tool for use in both consumer recruitment and retention. First-time visitors to your eCommerce site can be enticed to shop with a pop-up offer of an instant store credit for signing up for a newsletter, following your company on a social media site, or making their first purchase.
You can also use the offer of store credit to encourage referrals by giving credits to customers when they refer new shoppers to your site, while store credit can also be a cost-effective alternative to giving cash refunds for returns.
Of course, it's important to use a comprehensive tracking system to award and monitor the store credits you assign, otherwise, you'll quickly lose track of the credits and create a huge accounting headache. Remember, store credits are as good as cash, so you'll need to keep a close eye on when, and how, you assign credits.
Remember, store credits are a win-win for you, your employees and your customers. Rewarding credits for incentives or customer retention ensures that the money stays in your business while encouraging employee performance and promoting your brand.