Why You Should Run A Digital Loyalty Program [Infographic]

Should you run a digital loyalty program?

Learn about what digital loyalty marketing is, how it works, why it’s so effective, and why we think you should get some digital loyalty punch cards setup for your small business.


Want a digital loyalty program for your store? Check out CandyBar.co!

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Text: Why you should have a digital loyalty program

In a milkshake bar not so far away…

Alice the customer: Awesome milkshake and great service! Love it!
Bob the bar owner: Thank you!

3 days later…

(Bob sees Alice buying milkshare from another shop)

Bob thinks to himself, “If people love my milkshake and service, why don’t they come back more often?”

Well, the truth is…

Customer satisfaction ≠ Customer loyalty

“There is a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer. Never settle for ‘Satisfied’.” – Shep Hyken, Customer Service Expert [source]

Customer loyalty doesn’t come by chance.
You have to actively build it!

Here’s an example:

Alice: Awesome milkshake and great service! Love it!
Bob: Thanks! Fancy getting a free milkshake on your third visit?

Here’s one way you can incentivize customers to be loyal. This is known as ‘Loyalty Marketing’

Loyalty Marketing is actively engaging and incentivizing customers to come back often.

Bob: Hmm… Is Loyalty Marketing really worth the effort?

Yes! Here’s some data and examples to prove it:

  • Starbucks’ loyalty program drove significant revenue and loyalty for the brand

“(My Starbucks Rewards) continues to be our most important business driver as new members contribute not only short-term increases in revenue and profit, but also to long-term loyalty for years to come.” – Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO [source]

  • Loyalty program members buy 20% more frequently [Source]
  • Engaged loyal customers spend 60% more [Source]
  • Amazon Prime members spend more than non-members on average [Source]
  • 73% of loyalty program members are more likely to recommend brands with good loyalty programs [source]

Loyalty Marketing works. It rewards your customers and drives more revenue and referrals for you.

Bob: If Loyalty Marketing is so good, why don’t all businesses already have it or do it well?

Good question! Here’s why:

  • It may not work well for some industries. (Such as: Automotive sales, Construction, Appliance repair, etc) One-time purchase industries are better off focusing improving their products and services and encouraging referrals.
  • A physical punch card loyalty program can be costly and labor intensive. From designing, printing, promoting to manually stamping them during every transaction, every step can add up to a huge amount of work.
  • Customers aren’t always fully engaged. Sometimes they forget to bring their punch cards, sometimes they lose their punch cards
    It is hard to track and measure impact. It’s a challenge to determine how many percent of the overall revenue can be attributed to loyalty program

Bob: Sounds daunting! Are you sure I can do Loyalty Marketing? I’m just a small business owner…

A digital loyalty program app would be ideal for you:

  • It’s easier and faster to set up and run
  • Customers can access their punch cards on their smartphones any time
  • Everything is tracked and measured automatically
  • More time for you to engage your customers and understand them better

A digital loyalty program app is a smart and easy way to incentivize your customers to come back often.

And this is why you should have a digital loyalty program.

Bob: Sounds good. Let’s do this!

Want a digital loyalty program for your store? Check out CandyBar.co!

16 Examples Of Loyalty Punch Cards

Looking for inspiration for your loyalty punch card?

Here are some examples.

1. FourOFive Loyalty Punch Card

Image: fourofive


2. Cici’s Pizza Loyalty Card

Image: PeelADeal

3. Quiznos Sub Punch Card

Image: Quiznos

4. Zaxby’s Loyalty Punch Card






Image: Punch Card Templates


Image: Punch Card Templates


Image: Punch Card Templates


Image: CustomerLoyaltyCards.co.uk

10. Subway Rewards Punch Card

Image: Subway

11. McDonald’s India Loyalty Punch Card


12. Elite Nails Spa Loyalty Card

Image: Elite Nails Spa
Image: Elite Nails Spa

13. Nando’s Loyalty Punch Card


14. Coffee loyalty punch card


15. Drury Loyalty Punch Card


16. Car Wash Loyalty Punch Card


Loyalty Program Statistics – 5 Important Numbers To Note

What is loyalty all about? Let’s ask an expert:

Loyalty is a precious commodity.

As skewed as Dwight’s logic is, he did get one thing correct—that is, loyalty should be valued and pursued after. Certainly, the idea that customer acquisition is far more important than customer retention appears to be on the way out.

Numerous studies, polls, and industry experts have consistently demonstrated that cultivating a faithful repeating customer base is not only cost-effective, but highly lucrative.

Existing customers are much likelier to buy.

And key to achieving such results comes in the form of loyalty programs, which may reward frequent customers with discounts, new products, free merchandise, gifts, and even company stock.

Here are five important statistics to further show you that romancing your existing customers is simply the right (and profitable) thing to do.

1) The 80/20 Rule – 20% of a company’s existing customers will generate 80% of its future revenue (Garnet)


In a detailed article by Forbes, a particular statistic stood out. According to research conducted by the Garnet Group, one-fifth of a company’s existing customers will generate at least 80% of its future revenue.

In other words, you don’t have to search far for greener pastures, when all you have to do is tend to the one you’re standing on now.

Invest in your relationships with your customers!

2) It’s all in the Family – 63% of millennials share similar brand loyalties as their parents (Adroit)

According to a comprehensive Adroit Digital survey, around 63% of the millennials polled were loyal users of the same brands their parents follow. This discovery has some important implications.

For one, we see how brand loyalty can be passed down from generation to generation, with each tier strengthening that bond.

It’s all in the family.

Second, the idea that young individuals display similar consuming patterns as their parents further dispels the false dichotomy between customer retention and customer acquisition. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Creating loyal customers out of parents means setting up their kids to be loyal customers too.

3) The Other 98% – Loyalty programs tend to over-reward the top 2% of customers (HBR)

In an enlightening article by the Harvard Business Review, the author revealed that loyalty programs in the airline industry tend to over-reward and privilege the top 2% of customers.

Could your loyalty program be alienating some of your customers?

The author’s point here then is that loyalty programs can alienate customers if they’re not careful. A good should be cater to the varying profitabilities of different customers, while never making them feel second-class.

4) Repeating customers spend 70% more in their 31st month than in their first six months with their preferred retailers (Bain)

“Patience, you must have,” said Master Jedi Yoda. Indeed, in a study published by Bain & Company, repeating customers were discovered to spent almost 70% more in their 31st month with retailers than in their initial six months.

As we’ve said before, it’s a marathon, and never a sprint.

Long-term relationships are a most valuable thing in this tumultuous world.

5) Love Your Other Half – More than 50% of customers have switched brands due to poor customer service (Accenture)

In today’s digital, faceless age, you’d be forgiven for thinking customers don’t prioritise human contact. But apparently, they do. Market research by Accenture Strategy showed that 83% of American consumers prefer interacting with ‘human’ customer services.

Alarmingly, 52% have switched brands and service providers due to poor customer service, costing companies a loss of $1.6 trillion dollars.

What this shows is that human interaction remains a vital component in inducing customer loyalty. A well-designed loyalty program means little if customers feel like they’re interacting with robots, or worse, actual human beings who couldn’t care less.

Please don’t do this.


  1. 20% of your existing customers will form the backbone of future profits and revenue
  2. Customer retention and customer acquisition are not mutually exclusive
  3. Be mindful if you’re privileging your ‘best’ customers at the expense of the majority
  4. Long, meaningful company-customer relationships do pay off
  5. Good customer service remains fundamental

A Comprehensive List Of 31 Loyalty Program Examples

Looking for a list of loyalty programs to steal ideas from?

We’ve trawled the Internet, hunting down a wide array of loyalty programs across different industries.

Here they are:

1. Starbucks loyalty program


Probably one of the most used loyalty programs in the world! Starbucks’ loyalty program is called Starbucks Rewards.

Spending money at Starbucks gets you “Star points”, which you can then redeem for rewards.

2. Samsung loyalty program


The Samsung loyalty program, based in India, is called the Samsung Smart Club.

There’s a Gold tier and a Platinum tier.

3. Sephora loyalty program


The Sephora Card Program has three tiers – White, Black and Gold. Benefits include…

  • Private sales
  • Offers on your favorite brands
  • A surprise on your birthday
  • A brand gift of your choice every 200 points

4. Chipotle loyalty program – Chiptopia


Chiptopia was an experiment in loyalty run by Chipotle. The program is no longer active.

5. Amazon Prime loyalty program


Amazon’s Prime loyalty program has been subject to a lot of analysis.

Users get shipping benefits, exclusive access to movies and TV shows, Kindle books, and generally a superior Amazon experience all-around.

6. Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program


Starwood’s Preferred Guest loyalty program can be linked with Marriott Rewards and Ritz Carlton rewards.

7. Best Buy Loyalty Program


Best Buy’s loyalty program is called My Best Buy, and it has three tiers – Regular, Elite, and ElitePlus.

8. Gilt Insider loyalty program


Gilt Insider loyalty program has four tiers – Insider, Select, Premier and Noir. At the highest level,  you get…

  • Birthday gifts
  • VIP customer service
  • Waitlist priority
  • Private events
  • 1 Hour Preview of Sales

9. Adidas loyalty program


Adidas’s loyalty program for customers in Asia is called 3stripes.co.

It gives participants a $10 voucher for every $100 spent, among a host of other benefits.

10. Amtrak loyalty program


Amtrak’s loyalty program is called Amtrak Guest Rewards, and is framed very much like a hotel’s, interestingly!

11. Barnes&Nobles loyalty program


Barnes&Nobles has a loyalty program in the form of a $25/year membership with over $50 in coupons.

12. British Airways loyalty program


British Airways’ loyalty program is called the Executive Club, with tiers named after precious stones – Emerald, Sapphire.

13. Costa Coffee loyalty program


Costa coffee loyalty program is called the Costa Coffee Club, and ha two tiers.

14. Dr. Brandt loyalty program


Dr Brandt’s loyalty program uses a point system that gives customers points for all sorts of specific actions.

15. Expedia loyalty program


Learn more: Expedia+ Rewards

16. Graeters loyalty program


Learn more: Graeter’s Sweet Rewards Program

17. Hotels.com loyalty program


Learn more: Hotels.com loyalty program

18. IHG loyalty program


Learn more: IHG’s loyalty program

19. Lancome loyalty program


Learn more: Lancome’s loyalty program

20. Marvel loyalty program


Learn more: Marvel Insider

21. National’s loyalty program


Learn more: National’s loyalty program

22. Nestlé loyalty program


Learn more: Nestlé’s loyalty program

23. Nordstrom loyalty program


Learn: Nordstrom’s loyalty program

24. Old Navy loyalty program


Learn more: Old Navy’s loyalty program

25. Patagonia loyalty program


Learn more: Patagonia’s loyalty program

26. Subway loyalty program


Learn more: Subway’s loyalty program

27. Ulta loyalty program


Learn more: Ulta’s loyalty program

28. Virgin America loyalty program


Virgin America’s loyalty program is called Elevate.

29. Virgin Atlantic loyalty program


Virgin Atlantic’s loyalty program is called the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

30. Yuenglings loyalty program


Yuengling’s loyalty program gives subscribers access to coupons, discounts, contests, a free pint of ice cream and more.

31. Zappos loyalty program



Zappos’s loyalty program has 4 tiers – Sliver, Gold, Platinum and Elite – and the last is invite-only.

Interested in setting up a loyalty program of your own?

Check out Candybar.co! You can have it completely set up in under an hour, and it’s incredibly easy for your customers to use.

New Feature: Customer Feedback

Boy do we have a new year goody for you!

Providing a great customer experience is the key to a successful business. Now you can find out what customers think about their experience at your store even when you’re not there to ask them.

With our new feedback feature, customers get prompted to give feedback every time they get a stamp on their card.


When they submit feedback, you’ll get an email telling you about it. Use the feedback you get to make your in-store experience even better!

New Feature: Easy Stamp Approval

We’re excited to introduce a new feature which we think cashiers will love! With our new Easy Stamp Approval feature, it takes just one click for cashiers to grant a stamp:


Cashiers can always grant more stamps or reject the request with the “More Stamps” button.

New Feature: Reward Terms & Conditions

Howdy! Do you want to let customers know the rewards they earn can’t be combined? Or maybe that they can redeem rewards only if they come by on a Tuesday in a green dress? Well, we have just the feature for you!

You can now specify terms and conditions for your reward:

Get in touch with us if you want to set this for your store.

P.S. You might also have noticed our new card design. We have more color templates coming up, stay tuned!



New Feature: Grant More Stamps

The CandyBar elves have been busy! Want to give a customer more than 4 stamps? Your wish is granted! Cashiers can now grant any number of stamps to a customer with the ‘Qty’ button:


You’ll need to reload the cashier portal to see it. Enjoy!

Welcome to the CandyBar blog!

CandyBar is a customer engagement solution for brick-and-mortar retail stores, by the team at ReferralCandy.

(Check out the latest features we’ve been coming up with to help you delight your customers!)

The CandyBar Blog writes about…

1: Understanding how customers experience retail stores.

We’ll explore things that have happened in the news that have made consumers love or hate the retail experience.

We’ll talk about what makes great stores great, the mistakes bad stores make, and how stores navigate the omnichannel retail experience in the mobile age.

We’ll go through examples of the best retail stores, how to make your customers happy, things that make customers want to come back.

2: Specific marketing tools and systems that retail stores can use.

Loyalty programs. Referrals. Analytics. Google Analytics for your foot traffic. SMS marketing to your customers as an SME retail store owner.

How do these things work, who uses them? How do you think about discounts and giveaways? How do you compete with online retailers? How do you define customer loyalty? What are the best small business blogs you should read?

3: Breakdowns of successful customer engagement tools and systems.

Why should you run a digital loyalty program?

What are the most important loyalty program statistics?

What are the most successful retail loyalty programs? What makes them tick, what are the variables and trade-offs you’ll have to consider?

What are some examples of loyalty punch cards?

We’re looking forward to exploring all of the above and more! We want to help SME retailers take their businesses to the next level and create better experiences for their customers. Stay tuned.