Aside from the conventional spend x, get y rewards, many other innovative ways to build loyalty go beyond discount vouchers. These creative perks can include everything from service-related benefits like express shipping or money-back guarantees to experiential and gamified perks that connect with customers’ values like sustainability or active lifestyles.

Personalized Experiences

A personalized customer experience is no longer a luxury but a requirement for brands that want to survive in this age. 95% of retailers consider personalization a top priority.

One of the best ways to stand out is to provide personalized experiences for customers. A good example is a tiered loyalty program that gives its highest-level members exclusive access to new products and events. The brand also personalizes experiences for its highest-level members based on profile details, including purchase history, quiz responses, and more.

For example, a message of your favorite fashion picks” will resonate with customers because it shows the brand values them. Incorporating testimonials or reviews in these messages can further amplify their effectiveness.

Another way to deliver personalized experiences is to send automated emails based on visitor and customer behavior. This can include abandoning a cart, browsing specific pages, time spent on particular pages, and even location. These trigger-based messages can increase conversions and encourage customers to return to the site. By using data to create these automated messages, businesses can ensure that the content they share is relevant and that it will reach their target audience. The key is to have the right system to automatically personalize emails based on visitor and customer behavior while being flexible enough to make changes as needed.


The concept behind gamification is to add gaming mechanics into non-game contexts to engage users better. This process isn’t new and is used in many industries for several purposes. It has been linked to increased employee satisfaction and productivity. For example, some companies have implemented game dynamics into employee training programs to encourage collaboration and a learning-centric work environment.

Another common gamification technique is using points, leaderboards, and rewards to engage customers and keep them invested. For example, a supermarket chain might offer checkout coupons or instant discounts on their products for loyalty members. This approach provides a tangible benefit that makes loyal shoppers recognize and appreciate the brand.

A more innovative approach to gamification is to incorporate data analytics into the loyalty program to create personalized benefits for each customer. For example, a popular supermarket chain offers customers fuel points based on grocery purchases. The program then integrates with gas station partners to provide additional value and encourage repeat business.

Restaurants can also utilize gamification to boost loyalty online by offering exclusive rewards for their loyalty app users, like free online cooking classes or recipe eBooks. Additionally, restaurants can leverage the power of beacon technology to promote specials and rewards to customers who have the loyalty app installed when they enter the store or are near a location.

Loyalty Partnerships

Incentives for loyalty members can go beyond financial offers, as consumers increasingly expect brands to provide value in other ways. Discounts can effectively drive new purchases, but they’re not always the best way to increase retention and customer lifetime value.

To create a more holistic experience, companies can leverage strategic loyalty partnerships to reward customers in the most meaningful ways. This can be as simple as providing free shipping, which is highly valued by consumers, or more complex as offering an exclusive product bundle in exchange for larger cart volumes. Many grocery stores have implemented innovative grocery loyalty programs, enticing customers with perks like discounts, exclusive offers, and points-based rewards to encourage repeat visits and customer loyalty.

Brands that have succeeded with this approach trade-in and resale program. When done right, this strategic loyalty partnership adds more value to the consumer and increases the brand’s reach.

Another way to offer more than just discounts is to encourage loyalty membership by leveraging non-discount rewards, such as gifts. For example, it has successfully motivated online shoppers with its loyalty program by giving them tips for using digital ordering (which results in higher cart values) and other perks such as passes to skip lines or access hidden menus. In addition to these perks, loyalty programs can promote sales and special offers only available to loyal customers.

Experiential Rewards

If you’re looking beyond discount-driven rewards to build lasting customer loyalty, you must think more significant than just coupons and swag. Adding experiential rewards to your program can significantly increase engagement and create an emotional connection with customers.

Experiences are becoming the new currency of customer loyalty, a trend driving many companies to reinvent their rewards programs in response. Experiential rewards offer unique, scalable ventures that are both inspiring and aspirational, allowing shoppers to connect with brands in ways that feel priceless.

Experiential rewards can include anything from exclusive VIP-level perks to social media-worthy events. These bonuses allow your best customers to enjoy experiences they won’t find elsewhere. Whether it’s a celebrity meet-and-greet, a free ticket to a concert or sporting event, a day of pampering at a spa, or even an all-inclusive overseas vacation, these experiences can motivate your customers to keep returning and recommending you to their friends.

To ensure your experiential reward offerings are compelling, you must promote them with the same enthusiasm as your discount-based perks. This means leveraging time-tested marketing tactics like social media integration, surprise and delight, and even gamification to increase awareness. You’ll also want to be sure your customers know how to redeem these rewards to maximize their value.

By Sambit