If you have been struggling to come up with an effective retail strategy to help attract new customers in your store, you may want to consider offering a loyalty program.

However, before you start offering customers loyalty cards and exclusive membership deals, you may want to consider whether an incentive plan is right for your store.

Research over recent years has proven that customers love loyalty programs. In particular, a 2014 report from business analytics firm Forrester found that almost half (48 per cent) of US adults agree that loyalty programs are the top motivator for interacting with the brands they like.

Furthermore, it is not just the promise of lower prices that draws customers back to retailers who offer incentive programs. Approximately 50 per cent of all loyalty program members admit that they would be willing to pay more for products and services if their incentive program saved them time and hassle.

The customer’s willingness to spend more money is a surprising result of offering loyalty programs, as many people assume the reason to join these incentive schemes is to access savings and discounts. However, the Forrester research found money is not the only motivator that can convince a customer to sign up to an incentive program. Rewards that offer experiences, such as concert tickets and event access, are also highly valued.

With such strong results showing how well incentive programs work, it is recommended that all retailers in Australia consider how they could invest in this crucial strategy.

There are many possible programs you could enact in your store. If you are unsure which is best for your brand, you may want tospeak with a retail consultant for more information, advice and guidance. To get you started, here are three of the most common loyalty programs:

A punch card

Offering customers a “buy five, get one free” deal is a great way to encourage repeat business while also offering rewards.

Dollars spent earn points

Turn spending into a game by giving customers points for every $10 they spend in store. This will often encourage shoppers to spend a little extra to gain their points.

Members only discounts

Convince your customers to sign up for a newsletter or club by offering them exclusive discounts if they do.