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5 Customer Loyalty Program Ideas to Run This Year

What does it take to drive repeat customers to your small business?

The importance of repeat business cannot be overstated. In fact, according to recent reports, a five percent increase in customer retention can help boost overall profitability by up to 95 percent. 

For this reason, driving repeat business through high-value customer loyalty programs should be your number one priority.

It’s all easier said than done. Building, deploying, and managing a customer loyalty program can feel a bit overwhelming to the uninitiated.

Fortunately, rolling out a great customer loyalty program doesn’t require a marketing degree. Plus, most programs only require a small upfront investment.

The question is: What customer loyalty program ideas should you launch this year?


The 5 Best Customer Loyalty Program Ideas in 2023

Before you launch a customer loyalty program, we recommend investing in a results-driven retail point of sale (POS) system. The best-rated POS systems make it simple and easy to manage customer loyalty programs.

In most cases, industry-leading POS systems come backed by powerful customer support, so you’ll have the resources to launch a great customer loyalty campaign and manage it effectively.

We might be a bit biased, but there’s a reason why more than 10,000 small businesses partner with POS Nation.

After you’ve invested in a POS system, here’s a comprehensive list of the very best customer loyalty program ideas to run this year.

Customer Loyalty Program Ideas

  1. VIP Clubs
  2. Punch Cards
  3. Birthday Perks
  4. Partner Programs
  5. First-Time Purchase Discounts

1. VIP Clubs

A members-only VIP club is a great way for small businesses to create some exclusivity that can only be achieved through repeat purchases.

By offering VIP perks, repeat customers will feel as if they are a part of a special group. It’s these kinds of emotional connections to your business that help to build increased brand loyalty.

Starbucks’ Rewards Program gives special VIPs the privilege of ordering ahead via mobile and jumping the line. Gold members even receive personalized gold cards. This card has quickly become a status symbol among Starbucks elite.

2. Punch Cards

A punch card is a tried and true method for building customer loyalty. For every purchase made, a physical hole is punched through the surface of a small card. With repeat purchases, customers earn additional punches. 

Once the customer has reached a predetermined number of purchases, the customer is rewarded with a gift or discount.

Is there such a thing as digital “punch cards”?

In most cases, advanced retail POS systems automatically keep track of customers’ purchases. This way, sales clerks can easily access customers’ profiles and track their progress toward goals. 

POS Nation has integrated customer loyalty features designed to make digital rewards simple and easy to manage.

Retail POS System Buyers Guide

3. Birthday Perks

There’s nothing better than getting a special gift from a business you love on your birthday.

Starbucks sets the gold standard for its Customer Loyalty and Birthday Club Programs. Customers earn a free snack or drink on their birthday every year.

When it comes to birthday perks, you need to make your program stand out. The fact is, a lot of businesses offer birthday programs. Instead of offering a run-of-the-mill gift, why not offer a personalized one? 

In most cases, retail POS systems make it easy to track customers’ purchases. You could use this information to offer a discount or reward on the products they purchase most frequently.


4. Partner Programs

A partner program is an innovative customer loyalty promotion that many small businesses are just starting to leverage. 

The intent of the partner program is to create high-value partnerships with other businesses in your community. This way, you can create cross-store, shared promotions to keep customers coming into your store (and other stores in the community) more often.

We recommend finding a business that aligns with your company’s unique values to get started. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to target businesses that attract the same type of prospects and customers.

5. First-Time Purchase Discounts

An easy way to build immediate trust is to offer a discount on the first thing a customer buys. You can do this by displaying a pop-up on your website or sending a promotional email when a new customer signs up.

You can offer various other discounts on your website and in-store.

  • Offer a discount or free gift when a customer's order value reaches a certain amount.
  • Use product bundling to entice shoppers to spend more and offer a discount if they buy X or more items.
  • Reengage one-time shoppers who are dormant with a discount on their next purchase.
  • Ask your loyalty members to refer their friends and family, and when they do, offer both parties a discount.

Everyone loves a discount. This works in-store, too, where you can place signage that promotes deals like buy-one-get-one-free or product bundling deals.

Use POS Nation to Power Your Customer Loyalty Campaigns

Take your customer loyalty promotions to the next level with POS Nation.

Lebanon Wine & Spirits uses our powerful POS Nation to accept sales, manage inventory, and create customized sales promotions to reel in happy customers.


“A couple years ago, there was a sale that we were trying to implement,” said Owner Mike Ryan. “We wanted something that was going to be a set and forget – so we could set the sale, it would come on automatically, and it would end at a predetermined time.”

Before long, Mike found the perfect system to power his promotions: POS Nation.

Do you want to feel more confident in your search for a high-powered POS system?

We recommend downloading our Retail POS System Buyers’ Guide. It outlines all the amazing features and benefits that you should look for when evaluating a POS system’s effectiveness.

Additionally, this resource gives you the top questions to ask when meeting with a POS system vendor. With these insights, you’ll have everything you need to find a POS system that meets your unique needs.

Retail POS System Buyers Guide


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