Loyalty & Rewards

The Ultimate Guide to the Best eCommerce Loyalty Programs: Key Features to Include

Transform your eCommerce & discover the top loyalty program features every business needs to enhance their customer retention and drive success.



Let’s be honest—there is no shortage of loyalty programs out there, and many will only do the basics (not much else). The all-time question still remains, who is the Best Loyalty Platform for eCommerce?

If you don’t do your research you’ll probably end up needing to invest in several supplemental platforms for them to work properly. Finding and choosing the best platform isn’t always easy.

Even though they are focused on customer retention, each provider will approach their loyalty programs differently.

Some providers focus on letting you create bespoke programs, giving you the creative freedom to build a customer loyalty program to your liking. Others offer fully realized, less flexible programs, but you won’t have to worry about building them yourself.

So, how do you choose the best eCommerce loyalty platform provider that’s right for your business? 

Here are six factors to pay attention to when shopping around for eCommerce loyalty software.

TLDR Key Takeaways
It’s essential to pick a platform with powerful reporting and analytics capabilities to maximize the ROI.

A great loyalty program solution allows you to create a web of automations to run your program on autopilot.

With the help of features like omnichannel marketing, referrals, and analytics tools, you can offer a more personalized and flexible experience for customers.

1. Ease of Use

In order for a loyalty program to have a lower churn rate and more sign-ups, it needs to be easy to use—for both you and your customers. 

The last thing you want is a loyalty program that’s difficult to use or requires a lot of technical expertise to set up, leaving you with a half-realized program.

By asking the following questions, you can get a good feel for the solution and how easy it will be to use: 

  • How do customers sign-up for the program (simple fields, long forms, etc.)?
  • Is the program easy to navigate?
  • Do the ways to earn and redeem points have clear instructions?
  • Can you set up flexible rewards (giving different rewards to different groups, etc.)?
  • In the event that something does go wrong, what can we expect in terms of customer support?

Customer loyalty programs shouldn’t be complicated. Features like a drag-and-drop editor and customizable widgets make it easy to get your loyalty program up and running in no time! 

Once you set up your rewards widgets, customers can quickly register themselves for your loyalty program and start receiving benefits. It’s that simple! See for yourself:

2. Customization Options

You want to ensure that your loyalty program integrates seamlessly with the rest of your branding and provides you flexibility when changing it.

The best loyalty platform providers will offer a range of customization options so that you can tailor the program to fit your unique needs and goals, such as:

  • Can you provide specialized incentives?
  • Is it possible to customize the actions the customer must take to receive rewards?

For example, some businesses might want to offer rewards for customer referrals, so their program needs to focus on rewarding customers for sharing links via social media, email, or SMS.

Others might want to focus on increasing customer engagement, so their program will offer specialized incentives like exclusive discounts and bonus points for customers who complete certain activities. 

The key is finding a loyalty platform provider to accommodate your specific goals. The more flexible they are, the better!

You should be able to run a rewards challenge, offer exclusive deals to your best customers, or give them something extra when they reach certain milestones in their journey.

Some platforms, like ours, put you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to customize every detail of your rewards program, from your widget all the way to the actions you want your customers to take.

customize every detail of your rewards program

3. Automation Capabilities

Let’s face it, managing a loyalty program can be a lot of work! Monitoring behaviors, tracking points, and distributing rewards are just a few of the many things that you’ll have to do. 

When you have an automated loyalty platform, you don’t have to waste time on manual tasks like data entry or sending out emails. The platform does that for you! 

Automation capabilities can make your life a whole lot easier by helping you:

  • Manage points
  • Issue rewards
  • Send out personalized notifications
  • Track customer behavior and activity
  • Give you insights into how your loyalty program is working

Choosing a loyalty platform provider with automation capabilities is a smart move for any business. It will save you time and energy in the long run and help you keep your loyalty program running smoothly.

From automating the customer journey to sending out personalized reminders to use expiring points, automation features take care of the heavy lifting. 

Our platform uses triggers and if-then logic to let you create a personalized, tailored loyalty and rewards program that will make your customers feel special.

4. Omnichannel Marketing

When choosing a loyalty platform provider, it’s essential to make sure that they offer omnichannel marketing capabilities. Otherwise, you could miss out on critical opportunities to engage loyal customers.

With an omnichannel approach, you’ll provide a consistent experience for your customers no matter how they interact with your brand (in-store, online, mobile devices, etc.), helping build loyalty and repeat business.

Look for omnichannel capabilities that will help: 

  • Boost your reach through in-store, online, and mobile channels
  • Increase engagement by allowing features like coupons, loyalty points, and rewards to be redeemed across all channels
  • Deliver a consistent experience for your customers no matter how they interact with your brand
  • Track your progress and measure results

Some platforms like ours have a wide range of omnichannel marketing tools, from email and SMS blasts to SmartOptions. These help businesses get their messages across in different ways by offering customizable loyalty programs that can be tailored to your needs!

5. Reporting & Analytics Tools

The value of a loyalty program is only as good as the data it generates, and without proper analytics tools, your business will be left in the dark. 

These tools help you:

  • Track your customers’ behaviors and preferences
  • Identify trends
  • Increase customer engagement
  • See where your program needs improvement
  • Make informed decisions about how to best grow your business

By reviewing these metrics, you can make data-driven decisions to improve your customers’ experience and grow the success of your loyalty program.

But not every platform arms you with the tools you need to analyze your customer base in-depth and see how it’s changing over time. 

The best platforms will provide intuitive dashboards, helping you track dozens of metrics and get real-time insights into your loyalty program’s performance.

6. Referral Marketing Features

Unfortunately, not all loyalty platform providers offer referral marketing features. This could result in you missing out on a valuable sales and revenue opportunity.

How? Because referral marketing is one of the most effective ways to get new customers and keep existing ones engaged—and not every business takes advantage of it.

It’s like that old adage, “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine.” Your existing customers personally recommend your brand to their friends and family in exchange for loyalty perks, giving you a higher chance to acquire new customers.

Even if you don’t plan on offering a referral program to start, don’t let your loyalty and referral programs be separate entities. You want to select a provider that’s flexible enough to grow and change with your business demands.

When you have multiple logins for different loyalty programs, referrals, and marketing campaigns, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. That’s why we created a platform that houses all your customer retention needs under a single login.

Get It All… and More With Patch

Why settle for a platform that only handles some of the things you need when you can have it all?

Our cloud-based platform offers a wide range of features and integrations that make it easy to tailor your loyalty program to your specific business needs. Plus, it has:

  • Omnichannel campaign blasts
  • Automated customer journeys
  • Smart options
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Review requests 
  • Two-way messaging

So what are you waiting for? Contact us to learn more about how we can help you take your business to the next level.

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