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Food retailers: How loyalty programs can shield your business from a crisis

During an economic crisis, loyalty programs have proven themselves essential to prevent purchasing power falls during times when attractive prices become a key decision-making factor. This is why building a loyalty program has become a smart investment for any company, and a game-changing opportunity when created with precision.

Launching a loyalty program can be valuable in more than one way for a company. On one hand, loyalty programs are key for customer retention. The supermarket offers special benefits to its customers who become part of a community, such as accumulating points to obtain discounts, gifts, prizes, and unique benefits.

On the other hand, loyalty programs are a great way to collect customer data, such as knowing their power of acquisition, where they buy, how often, and which product categories are most common in their basket. This information, analyzed in an intelligent way, ensures supermarkets a greater return on investment if the campaigns and promotions launched are hyper-targeted and created from the data collected. 

Studies about customer loyalty have shown that the majority of membership programs are inactive, 28% of members abandon a program before even ever having redeemed a coupon or points, which is why Food retailer’s challenge nowadays is creating loyalty programs effectively that truly make customers engage. 

First of all, we think it is necessary to understand what the different types of loyalty are:

  • Loyalty by behavior: it refers to a connection created by repeat purchases regarding a customer’s lifestyle. For example, buyers visit a supermarket where they can find healthy products.


  • Functional loyalty: it refers to a connection created by the sensory experience of buying in a store, the quality of its products, or the customer service.


  • Emotional loyalty: it is a connection with the brand that builds long-term relationships, and generates a commitment. Consumers buy not based on incentives, but they care more about storytelling, trust, and philanthropy.


  • Transactional loyalty: it refers to the lowest connection with the brand because the purchase motivators are based just on attractive prices and promotions. it is easy for the consumer to change to another supermarket that offers better value.

Loyalty programs are key to get customer data 

One of the main reasons to launch and keep a loyalty program is to gain customer insights that benefit both parties. These customer insights will help the grocer to establish the incentives, rewards, functional or emotional benefits to maintain customer loyalty during critical times. For example; offering exclusive invitations to special events, gym discounts, and other healthcare centers, amongst other benefits that are highly valued by the customer. 

On the other hand, these customer insights can be used to plan promotions, product launches, store layouts, supplier campaigns, and many other activities that can drive and increase sales.

There is no doubt that supermarkets that own a loyalty program, could use their program as a tool to survive for longer periods of time than supermarkets that don’t have one.

To achieve true program effectiveness food retailers are constantly looking for Marketing Platforms to provide them the tools needed to collect customer data to then create and deliver hundreds of actions that support and guarantee the program’s continuing success. 

Click here to learn more about Loyal Guru’s platform and to know how they can help you to launch a successful loyalty program.

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