Once a company reaches the size and complexity of an enterprise, ensuring a seamless customer experience across multiple channels and geographies becomes more challenging than ever. The challenge is multiplied for your loyalty program: it not only requires capabilities that let regional offices and subsidiaries put their own unique spin on the original formula, but should also be accessible enough to let executives build creative campaigns. In short, what you need is a true enterprise loyalty program.
What Is an Enterprise Loyalty Program?
An enterprise loyalty program is defined by its ability to branch out to multiple geographies, or provide a unified loyalty experience across multiple subsidiaries. Furthermore, enterprise-grade loyalty programs tend to use more next-gen loyalty program features, including omnichannel capabilities, gamification, hybrid-style program structures, or the ability to reward lifestyle and activities.
In general, an enterprise loyalty program is recommended for companies that have a large audience across several countries, are large enough to offer multiple services, or are simply looking to build a complex reward system.
If you’re curious how one APAC company introduced its enterprise-grade loyalty program (featuring interconnecting two loyalty program databases, as well as deep social media integrations), check out our Lagardère case study.
The Top Characteristics of an Enterprise Loyalty Program
Enterprise-grade loyalty programs may stand out due to factors like VIP tiers, partnership rewards, badges and challenges, but what really makes them differ from small brand loyalty programs is usually hidden under the hood: the technology.
Here are the most important characteristics to look for when designing the concept for your enterprise loyalty program:
1. Headless Commerce, Because That’s the Way Forward
Also known as the API-centric approach, headless commerce is a technological change in an eCommerce application, resulting in the separation of the frontend and the backend. In the case of a loyalty program, this app-based connection layer helps the company database to communicate more easily and seamlessly with the loyalty program provider.
Going headless is an architectural change that simplifies processes across the board, which is vital when running a large business. It generally allows the loyalty program’s development to be quicker and less expensive and makes it easier to add new reward features. Not to mention, headless loyalty programs offer more flexibility when it comes to personalizing the customer experience.
2. Omnichannel Strategy, to Ensure a Unified Experience
Since 2020, seamlessly implementing brand-specific touchpoints for online, offline and mobile has become a necessity for all brands, small and large. In essence, this is what omnichannel is all about.
Enterprise loyalty programs are capable of boosting your omnichannel marketing strategy on multiple levels, by facilitating:
- More data-driven communication, as you can store customer information from all three channels in a single customer view, then use it to improve segmentation and personalization
- Seamless customer journeys, thanks to technologies such as card linking, beacons and NFC, allowing customers to hop from one channel to another
- Heightened brand awareness, where customers can earn points online and redeem them for in-store rewards, such as stylist appointments or community events
3. Multi-Country, Multi-Currency & Multi-Language, to Expand Across All Borders
Operating in multiple geographies is an important capability of enterprise loyalty programs. This ensures that a wide range of customers can be engaged in an authentic manner. To make that happen, rewards programs need to be built to serve customers in multiple countries and languages.
Multi-language is fairly simple: the loyalty program should offer multiple language options to visitors, because if rules and rewards are explained in their native language, customers are more likely to participate. This applies to the website and the store environment as well.
Multi-currency is a bit more complex. This feature calculates how many points members earn when they use a specific currency, accounting for the fact that some currencies are weaker than others, in which case members would earn more points by using the weaker currency. This ensures that members cannot exploit the system by sticking to a specific currency.
Multi-country is the combination of the two, taking personalization to a whole new level. A multi-country enterprise loyalty program acknowledges that customers don’t always stay in one place. Customers are able to earn points or rank up tiers by spending money in multiple countries, as their progress is counted in a shared profile. Even better, some loyalty programs allow each regional department to create country-specific rewards and campaigns.
4. No-Code Management, So You Can Run Campaigns Smoothly
A loyalty program that utilizes no-code principles makes program management a breeze for marketers and CRM executives. These platforms utilize visual, drag & drop user interfaces as opposed to text editors, sometimes coupled with pre-built templates as well. More importantly, these platforms were built from the ground up with user-friendliness in mind, so learning how to use them to build custom loyalty campaigns is quick and easy.
Consider opting for a loyalty technology vendor that offers a no-code platform because:
- You’ll be able to run loyalty programs with no help required from the IT department
- You’ll have more ways to create unique reward campaigns
- Fine-tuning the program after launch will be painless
- Maintenance and implementation costs will be reduced
- Integrating new processes will be a seamless process
5. A Loyalty Platform With Access Control That Ties It All Together
The last piece of the puzzle for understanding the technology behind an enterprise loyalty program is Access Control. In short, Access Control means that different groups or departments can interact with the program in different ways — and even create localized versions of the program.
Access Control gives brands the ability to let each country division create localized campaigns and rewards. The design, general rules and mechanics are the same in each country, but the language, currency, rewards and campaigns can be different.
Access Control is so important because central administrators can maintain full control over the program experience by reviewing the progress and content of each region and change access and authority for individual departments as necessary.
Get Ready to Enter the Big Leagues
If you’re planning to introduce an enterprise loyalty program (or turn your existing program into one), then you should know that program success lives and dies on technology. Make sure to carefully assess the capabilities of potential loyalty program providers to ensure that program management is accessible and flexible enough to be used by multiple regional administrators.
Ready to take the conversation to the next level? Get in touch with Antavo’s experts to hear more about how our technology can make your loyalty program concept come to life. Just book a demo or include us in your RFP.
In the meantime, download our ebook about cost-effective budget planning for loyalty programs.
Tamas is a Senior Loyalty Program Specialist at Antavo and a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional - CLMP. Tamas is known for having a keen eye for loyalty and customer retention research and trends. Tamas is also a true gamer at heart and has an impressive collection of cyberpunk books.