How Pub Loyalty Programs Can Keep Customers Coming Back For More


Pubs and bars depend on consistent customers: the after-work catch-ups, sports enthusiasts, and local regulars, who return week after week. However, with rising competition and a cost of living crisis, many pubs are struggling to retain customers.

But with big sporting events coming up, such as the Olympic Games, Football Euros, and the next Rugby World Cup - pubs and bars are set to see improvements in sales. But how can the pub industry ensure customers choose them?
 

The way to keep customers coming back to you is to provide them with value. This doesn’t necessarily mean slashing your gin prices – most people can buy alcohol cheaper at the supermarket anyway. You must show customers that the value they get from visiting your establishment is better than saving a few pounds. Value comes in the form of exciting and personalised rewards produced by an easy-to-use, frictionless loyalty program or app. Let’s take a look at the ways a pub loyalty program could delight your customers…

 

PROVIDING VALUE TO YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS

1. Offer your customers unique and exciting rewards. 

Money off their next drink or a free dessert, when they order a meal, is a good incentive, but it’s expected. Do something different to create more value for your customers. For example, you could reward them with an invitation to an exclusive viewing of the next big football match – an extra big screen, a secret menu, and preferred seating only for your loyal regulars.
 

2. Make them feel special. 

Most people choose specific pubs and bars to meet friendly people and feel part of a community. If you want to go one step further and show you really care, you need to make your customers feel as if you know them. To do this, personalise the rewards they receive. If a customer who only ever chooses your non-alcoholic cocktails gets offered 10% off their next glass of wine, they're not going to feel like a part of the community and will ultimately become disengaged in your pub loyalty program. Collect the data you need to understand your customer’s preferences and behaviours, then show them you care by giving them rewards they actually want.
 

3. Create a frictionless experience by going digital.

Can you believe there are still brands out there that use physical loyalty cards? That’s definitely not going to work for customers after a few pints. Loyalty cards are constantly lost or forgotten about. Avoid causing customers frustration by making your pub loyalty program fully digital. Not only do loyalty cards create a nuisance for customers, but they also give no flexibility to you. A digital loyalty platform is fully customisable and it can also work as a communication tool for your customers. For example, you can regularly send them new rewards and personalised messages via push notifications. If done right, this method can help you to create emotional loyalty.

 

BUT WHY FOCUS ON MAKING YOUR REGULARS MORE LOYAL RATHER THAN ACQUIRING NEW CUSTOMERS?

A survey by PYMENTS has found that loyal customers spend 67% more on average than new customers. In addition to this, loyalty programs can boost food orders by up to 40%. These are powerful numbers for an industry that has been severely affected by a year of lockdowns. Also, did you know that it costs 5x more to get a new customer than to maintain an existing one? Pubs and bars need to do everything they can to increase sales whilst preserving margins. 
 

Now you know how loyalty programs can provide value for your loyal customers, let’s have a look at how pub loyalty programs can help you achieve your business goals…

 

PUB LOYALTY PROGRAMS: WHAT CAN THEY DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

  1. Let your customers advertise for you with the ‘Refer a friend’ module. A great pub loyalty program will convince users to advocate for your brand. Make it as easy as possible for existing customers to bring in new customers by rewarding those who bring a friend along on their next visit. 

     
  2. Dig deeper into customer data and activity. A loyalty program can provide you with valuable insights about your customers. Our analytics software lets you drill down into individual users’ data; you can create detailed customer profiles that are enriched with real-time interactions. Additionally, our platform uses powerful segmentation tools that allow you to uncover micro-audiences and target them with effective marketing campaigns. 

     
  3. Avoid customer complaints by keeping things convenient and utilising card-linking technology. Once your customer has linked up to the system, your loyalty card app can reward customers when they purchase with you. No stamps, no scanning barcodes - just automatic points and rewards each time they spend. Our system also works with mobile payment apps, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, for maximum convenience.

     
  4. Grow your business without giving much away: You don’t have to stick to rewarding customers for purchases; our solution allows your users to earn points for any activity, including writing reviews about their visit. Points can be exchanged for vouchers, gift cards or custom rewards, such as free food and drink. Don’t want to give away free food and drink? You don’t have to. Our reward-fulfilment service allows you to select rewards from a range of popular high-street names that your customers will instantly recognise and value.

     
  5. Get going quickly! Imagine starting your bespoke project with 80 percent of the project already done! That’s what we offer. Our modular developed technology means you can pick and choose what you need for a fine-tuned bespoke enterprise loyalty solution that perfectly fits your business goals.

     
  6. Enjoy full flexibility and design. Our off-the-shelf mobile loyalty card app has several layout options and can be customised to align with your branding and industry. Alternatively, you can opt for a completely bespoke app built from scratch, for full control over the look and feel of your rewards program.

Conclusion

It’s not too late to start thinking about loyalty. Pubs and bars are competing to pour the pints for customers, and pub loyalty programs will be instrumental in driving repeat visits and bringing new customers through the doors. Make sure you provide value by creating a fuss-free loyalty program that offers your regulars exciting, personalised rewards. Then use loyalty mechanics to continuously grow your business. 
 

If you want to know more about how loyalty could work in your establishment, book a demo with us now. 

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Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Senior Content Marketing Executive

Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...

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Loyalty Programs
Digital Loyalty
Customer Loyalty
Hospitality
Restaurant