How app Customer Loyalty Programs Increase Customer Retention and Drive Revenue (with Examples)

It’s common knowledge in the retail world that mobile customer loyalty and reward programs work wonders to keep customers coming back time and time again. If you look at almost any major retailer, you’ll find a reward or loyalty program tied to their growth strategy. In this post, we go over why these programs are successful along with examples of some of the best mobile customer loyalty apps on the market such as Starbucks and NikePlus.

Quick mobile loyalty stats:

  • 90% of companies have some type of customer loyalty program
  • 84% of consumers say they’re more likely to stick with a brand that has a loyalty program
  • 79% of consumers say being able to unlock exclusive benefits makes them loyal.
  • 66% of consumers say the ability to earn rewards changes their spending behavior
  • 49% of consumers say they’ve spent more after joining a loyalty program
  • 47% of consumers said they are motivated to be loyal by becoming part of a like-minded community

Benefits of mobile customer loyalty programs

  1. Retain and engage customers better: Gamification through points and achievements keeps people coming back to the app time and time again. Ultimately, when people are more engaged beyond the point of purchase, they’re more likely to stick around.
  2. Save money and resources: It costs far more for companies to acquire new customers than it does to sell to an existing one. Brands save money by increasing retention and activating their current customers for repeat purchases.
  3. Increase the number of referrals: Killing two birds with one stone, companies can reward customers for referring friends. This keeps the current customer happy and engaged while the brands gain a new customer at a much lower cost.
  4. Higher spending: Mobile customers are consistently the highest-spending customers. By fostering loyalty with this audience, you further increase spending among them.

Mobile loyalty experiences are more successful

Since reward members tend to spend more, it’s critical to foster relationships with this select group of customers. Here’s why those customers like the mobile app loyalty experience.

  • Convenient and accessible: Brands are just a tap away at all times. Customers can also instantly see their loyalty status or points at any time with mobile reward programs. They can watch these metrics change in real-time, providing instant gratification with each purchase.
  • Fun: The gamification of earning points and achieving milestones gets customers to come back to check their status again and again. Adding a bit of competition to your mobile experience will engage customers and drive retention.
  • Rewarding: Brands can offer personalized deals, treats on birthdays, and recognition for anniversaries.

Examples of world-class mobile customer loyalty programs


In summary, the Nike+ app offers the following in their loyalty program: exclusivity, community, personalization, and a seamlessly connected multi-channel experience.

Some of the perks include:

  • Browse and shop
  • Rewards
  • Exclusive shopping access
  • Free shipping
  • Early access to sales
  • Personalization services (such as custom-designed shoes)
  • Product testing
  • Exclusive offers with partners (such as Apple Music, ClassPass, and Mindspace)
  • Barcode scanning

“NikePlus members who shop via our mobile apps spend 3x the amount that guests spend on,” Adam Sussman, CDO Nike (Source).


We can’t talk about rewards programs if we didn’t mention Starbucks. Forever the leader in this space, Starbucks is the ultimate example of a successful mobile rewards program. From their calling all reward program customers “members” to providing points for every dollar spent, Starbucks accumulates thousands of loyal, active, and satisfied app customers. So much so that Starbucks attributed 40 percent of its overall sales to the Starbucks Rewards program. In addition, app users are 5.6 times more likely to visit a physical Starbucks store every day.

One of the biggest draws of the Starbucks app is the ability to order ahead and skip the line. This ties into one of the reasons why reward programs are so compelling. When people feel like they’re part of the “in crowd” or have some sense of exclusivity, superiority, etc. they become hooked.

Perks include:

  • Mobile order and pay functionality
  • Tiered rewards system through collecting points
  • Free products with accumulated points
  • Hyper-personalization
  • Currency neutral
  • Games with rewards

Honorable mention mobile customer loyalty programs

  • DSW
    • Free shipping
    • 5% back in rewards on every purchase
    • Points for donating
    • Birthday gift
    • Cash for points
  • Barnes & Noble
    • Store location finder
    • Browse and shop
    • VIP Program
    • Store pickup
  • Sephora
    • Traditional point system
    • Integrates with the website and stores (including retail stores within larger department stores)
    • Great user interface

In conclusion, it’s evident that loyalty programs in mobile apps play a crucial role in enhancing customer retention and, consequently, boosting revenue.
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Top 10 benefits of mobile apps for your business

The surge in mobile app usage is undeniable, and the momentum is only growing stronger. Nearly 90% of smartphone users engage with apps, with 49% accessing an app more than 11 times daily. The shift towards mobile-centric purchasing is reshaping the customer journey, presenting a substantial opportunity for businesses.

For companies yet to embrace this trend, a mobile app can serve as a catalyst for fostering deeper connections with the ever-expanding mobile-first user base and boosting product or service sales. However, the decision to invest in an app is not to be taken lightly. Evaluating the advantages of developing a mobile app is crucial to determine whether it aligns with your business goals. Dive into this guide to explore the myriad benefits that mobile apps can offer your business.

The benefits of mobile apps

Despite the importance of optimizing your business website for mobile use, it falls short of delivering the experience offered by a dedicated app. Apps present a streamlined environment with fewer distractions, faster responsiveness for mobile users, and incorporate valuable features such as push notifications and geotargeting. If you’re uncertain about developing a mobile app for your business, delve into these benefits to assess whether the investment in time and resources is justified for creating your own app

Among their many benefits, mobile apps help businesses:

  1. Foster a Robust Brand Presence:

Developing a mobile app can significantly contribute to building a stronger brand for your business. Through thoughtful design and an effective communication strategy, a mobile app functions as a constant brand ambassador. It not only delivers timely services to customers but also ensures consistent fulfillment of your brand promise.

Beyond enhancing brand perception among customers, a mobile app serves as a valuable tool for understanding user behavior. Utilizing data from the app provides insights into your target audience, enabling continuous brand improvement. For instance, consistent themes in user discussions within the app’s customer forum can guide enhancements to product or service quality.

2. Enhance Customer Connectivity:

Mobile apps facilitate direct connections with customers, especially while they are on the move. Utilizing push notifications enables you to engage users with promotions, sales, and other relevant content, keeping your business at the forefront of their minds. Geotargeting features further allow interaction with customers when they are in proximity to your physical location (if applicable).

While other channels like social media, email, or websites contribute to customer engagement, a mobile app opens up an additional avenue. Given the prevalence of mobile phone usage, apps ensure that your messages reach users effectively. App notifications offer a way to engage with customers in an environment with fewer distractions and less competition compared to other channels.

  1. Deliver Value to Customers:

    In the competitive landscape vying for shoppers’ attention, providing continuous value is paramount. The development of a mobile app becomes a key strategy to offer customers unique and valuable mobile shopping experiences. Implement features like virtual try-on augmented reality (AR) filters for your clothing line or simplify SaaS subscription management for B2B customers with a few taps. Making your products or services easily accessible to users increases the likelihood of garnering support for your business.Notably, business apps should transcend basic functionalities like a contact form or product feed. While convenience is crucial for existing customers, the app should also present a distinct advantage not available elsewhere. Evaluate your offerings to determine how an app can best serve your consumers. This might involve providing app-exclusive discounts or incorporating an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot to enhance the shopping experience.
  2. Enhance Customer Engagement:

    Users spend seven times more time in mobile apps compared to mobile browsers, making mobile apps inherently more engaging. This heightened engagement in mobile apps, especially when users willingly download them, provides brands with increased opportunities to connect with their target audience at optimal moments.Customer engagement within an app can take various forms. Features like favorite products or shopping lists offer users more control if you have a product feed. Integrating the app with a review tool provides an avenue to effortlessly collect reviews from your most engaged customers, fostering a deeper connection with your brand.
  1. Customize Your Marketing Channel:

    Meeting the expectations of modern consumers, where nearly two-thirds anticipate brands to comprehend their needs and 52% desire personalized offers, is crucial. To cater to these expectations, a mobile app emerges as a powerful tool to personalize the customer experience. Leveraging mobile-optimized targeting tools, businesses can efficiently tailor marketing offers for each app user on a broader scale.Mobile apps open avenues for interactive personalization, incorporating features such as shopping history tracking, personalized discounts, and more. Beyond recommendation algorithms, apps can integrate augmented reality (AR) features, such as color swapping or mix-and-match clothing. Recognizing significant milestones in customers’ lives, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays, becomes more accessible through a mobile app.
  2. Enhance Customer Interactions:

    Anticipated to contribute to 43.4% of all ecommerce sales in 2023, mobile ecommerce is on a significant rise. The majority of mobile ecommerce purchases are made by shoppers aged 18 to 34, who prefer interacting with brands through apps for their streamlined purchasing process, storing favorite products and payment information for quicker transactions.The mobile app environment also creates extensive cross-channel marketing possibilities, enabling shoppers to seamlessly transition from a social media ad to your app for a purchase. The quality of the app is paramount in shaping the customer experience, and a user-friendly app enhances the likelihood of positive interactions and increased conversions.
  1. Seize Niche Opportunities:

    In the competitive landscape across diverse niches, a high-quality mobile app serves as a strategic tool to secure a larger market share within your industry. For those seeking a competitive advantage in a crowded market, incorporating innovative communication features, such as a chatbot, into your branded app can provide the differentiation needed, particularly in industries where creating dedicated apps is less common.Notably, with 85% of consumers preferring app-based shopping over browsers, the ecommerce sector can particularly benefit from the creation of a mobile app. The expectations for instant communication, reliability, and convenience are met through mobile apps, offering brands an opportunity to capitalize on their niche.
  2. Harness Social Media Integration:

    A key advantage of mobile apps is their seamless integration with various online services, including social media platforms. As most social media interactions occur on mobile devices, connecting to an app is more accessible for shoppers compared to a website. Leveraging APIs from social networks allows businesses to create a seamlessly integrated social experience within their app.Social media becomes a powerful tool for spreading the word about your business and establishing social proof, a significant selling point for mobile apps. Simplifying the social-sharing experience encourages user-generated content, and shoppers can even seek customer support through platforms like Twitter or Facebook Messenger using an in-app browser.
  3. Enhance Customer Loyalty:

    Loyalty programs stand out as effective tools for incentivizing customer loyalty, with 84% of consumers expressing a preference for companies offering such programs. Creating a mobile app provides a streamlined means to track and manage loyalty programs, replacing traditional physical punch cards.Integrating a loyalty or rewards program within the app encourages repeat orders and fosters shopper loyalty. Tangible rewards for repeat purchases, additional incentives for social media sharing, and leveraging program data to recommend relevant products contribute to building a base of return customers.
  4. Amplify Profits:

    The advantages of mobile apps extend to both businesses and consumers, culminating in an enhanced overall experience that often translates to increased profits. The improved customer experience from mobile apps often results in more efficient utilization of marketing budgets. Through heightened engagement, loyalty programs, and perceived value, businesses can potentially reduce spending on paid advertising while simultaneously increasing conversions.Mobile apps empower businesses to gain deeper insights into their customers, enabling the creation of hyper-personalized shopping experiences. Leveraging targeted tools, businesses can maximize sales with less marketing expenditure. Given that every $1 spent on enhancing the user experience can yield up to 100%, investing in a mobile app proves to be a wise decision for businesses aiming to boost profitability.

Use a content platform to help manage your mobile app

Consumers are using mobile devices to gather information about the brands they love, but they’re also using smartphones to make purchases. Chances are, a mobile app can help your business give consumers a better all-around experience while deepening customer relationships at scale.

When you’re ready to build your own mobile app, evaluate a content platform that helps you manage them. TeknoVerse lets businesses source, adapt, automate, and deliver one-on-one digital experiences with the power of AI.

Source Business Adobe

Artificial Intelligence

How can you use artificial intelligence in mobile applications?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way we interact with our mobile devices, from personal assistants to face recognition to gaming. AI can help you create more engaging, intelligent, and personalized mobile applications that stand out from the crowd. But how can you use AI in your mobile app development? Here are some tips and examples to get you started.

Choose the right AI solution

Depending on your app’s goals, features, and target audience, you may need different types of AI solutions. For example, you can use cloud-based AI services, such as Google Cloud AI or Amazon Rekognition, to access pre-trained models and APIs for common tasks, such as image analysis, natural language processing, or speech recognition. Alternatively, you can use on-device AI frameworks, such as TensorFlow Lite or Core ML, to run custom models on the user’s device, which can improve performance, privacy, and offline functionality. You can also use a hybrid approach, where you combine cloud and on-device AI to optimize your app’s functionality and user experience.

Design for AI

AI is not just a technical tool, but also a design element that can enhance your app’s usability, aesthetics, and value proposition. Therefore, you need to design for AI, which means considering how AI can fit into your app’s user interface, user journey, and user feedback. For example, you can use AI to create conversational interfaces, such as chatbots or voice assistants, that can communicate with your users in natural language and provide relevant information or actions. You can also use AI to create adaptive interfaces, such as personalized recommendations or dynamic content, that can adjust to your users’ preferences and behavior. Moreover, you can use AI to create interactive interfaces, such as augmented reality or gesture recognition, that can enrich your users’ sensory and emotional experience.

Test and optimize your AI

AI is not a one-time solution, but a continuous process that requires testing and optimization. You need to ensure that your AI models are accurate, reliable, and fair, and that they meet your app’s quality standards and user expectations. For example, you can use tools such as Firebase ML Kit or ML Kit for iOS to measure and improve your model’s performance, such as latency, accuracy, or memory usage. You can also use tools such as Google Optimize or Optimizely to run experiments and optimize your model’s outcomes, such as conversions, retention, or engagement. Furthermore, you can use tools such as Google Analytics or Firebase Crashlytics to monitor and analyze your model’s behavior, such as errors, crashes, or anomalies.

Learn from your users

AI is not a static solution, but a dynamic one that can learn from your users and evolve over time. You need to collect and analyze data from your users to understand how they use your app, what they like and dislike, and how you can improve your app’s value and experience. For example, you can use tools such as Firebase Predictions or Amazon Personalize to generate insights and predictions from your user data, such as churn risk, purchase likelihood, or user segments. You can also use tools such as Firebase Remote Config or Leanplum to update and customize your app’s features and content based on your user data, such as A/B testing, feature flags, or personalization. Moreover, you can use tools such as Firebase In-App Messaging or OneSignal to communicate and engage with your users based on your user data, such as notifications, surveys, or promotions.

Follow the best practices

AI is not a magic solution, but a responsible one that requires following the best practices and ethical principles. You need to respect your users’ privacy, security, and consent, and ensure that your app complies with the relevant laws and regulations. For example, you can use tools such as Firebase Authentication or Amazon Cognito to authenticate and authorize your users and protect their data. You can also use tools such as Firebase Cloud Storage or Amazon S3 to store and manage your data securely and efficiently. Furthermore, you can use tools such as Firebase Performance Monitoring or Amazon CloudWatch to track and optimize your app’s performance and resource consumption.

AI is a powerful and exciting technology that can help you create amazing mobile applications. By following these tips and examples, you can use AI in your mobile app development and deliver more value and satisfaction to your usersz

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