In this Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast episode, Dastan Chikeev from growave.io shares insights on avoiding 5 loyalty program mistakes to drive repeat purchases.
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Claus Lauter: Hello. Welcome to another episode of the E-Commerce Coffee Break podcast. Today we want to talk about Loyality programs and everything that comes with it. Now, a lot of stores have already loyalty programs installed, but there is much more to its than just having one app. There's a lot of other factors that play into the game to make it successful.
So therefore, as a guest today on the show, I have Dustin Chikeev with me. Dustin is a digital marketing expert for growave.io. His specialization is in content management. He has a background in seo, o, social media, e-commerce, and content creation. He's also an expert in researching market trends, communicating for , strategic purposes and content strategy.
So let's welcome Dustin to the show. Hey Dustin, how are you today? ,
Dastan Chikeev: thank you so much for having me. I'm
Claus Lauter: doing great. We wanna talk about five mistakes that you see that are merchants doing when it comes to loyality. So gimme a bit of a background. What plays into a successful program?
Dastan Chikeev: Let's begin with the basics.
As you may recognize, there's a major issue with implementation when it comes to loyalty programs. , whenever you're thinking about, , starting your own e-commerce business, or perhaps you're going from physical only to digital, , you have this issue with, with programming and building your loyalty program, and we provide a comprehensive solution.
enables you to activate your store and start using that sort of functionality. , the problem , is the absence of control. It's the issue with basically implementation of your goals. And we provide the solution that allows you to basically not only create your own personalized, which is a very, branded.
program, but actually to engage the customer, on an active basis and to maintain that relationship with them. So if we go into Classical understanding of loyalty programs, we realized that, loyalty is defined as basically an emotional connection at a basic level with the customer, but fundamentally, you need the ability to implement whatever idea you may have and engage with that person.
But doing so from across the globe is nearly impossible without some sort of platform nowadays, the costs are just outrageous and we've successfully provided , a general solution because of an app, but we have everything you need in order to optimize, customize brand, and observe all your analytics from one centralized, , platform.
And this is really the key to success. It's the analytics, it's the customization, it's the active communication, it's the implementation and the options that you have to create a comprehensive solution for your company.
Claus Lauter: Makes total sense to have that in one app. Now a lot of merchants have different apps.
They not necessarily play with each other, and as you said, the analytics might be also different reporting tools there. Now when it comes to having a loyalty program, to get there, there is different ways to go there, so there's reviews, specialists, gift cards, referral, everything placed into get your customer, come back to your store, be loyal, and buy more from you.
So let's dive into the different sections of what your app provides. Where is usually the customer journey starting with?
Dastan Chikeev: So the customer joining begins , with the onboarding process. From the marketing side, , there's a few issues. We wanna ensure that the onboarding process is clean, that it's informative that it's not too difficult to manage.
We really want to think about how that onboarding process works out and how quickly we can get the customer from 0.8 to point B and making sure that they're satisfied along that course. , I believe we successfully have done so, but we're still in the process of, developing our product day-to-day and we come out with , new ways of bringing benefit to our customers or , just small nuanced.
Things, , can make a world of a difference. , and that's not something, , people really give it a lot of attention to. it's something that's really important here at Grow Wave and , we succeed in doing that. So it starts with an onboarding process and it goes into the selection of sort of rewards that you want to give.
Now, the rewards that you give out are, deeply strategic because let's say for instance, a major component of your business is social media. And you don't give too much attention to other alternative sources of traffic or leads, but you focus on social media with this loyalty program and the rewards that we have available for you, you can reward let's say for instance.
Follow on Instagram or a like , on Facebook or a comment , on Twitter or something along those lines. You can award those sort of interactions with rewards , and this basically allows you to channel where you want these people to be going to. Then we have the reviews. In my personal opinion, and I'm sure that you may agree with me, reviews are probably one of the most important, tools that we have in order to cultivate authority and authenticity within our business.
One of our devoted customers, for instance, Joshua Lloyd, he's one of the premier l g BT q uh, businesses in Europe, and he has cultivated more than a thousand reviews on his main website. The effect that has on your e-commerce performance is fundamentally changing. , you have this ironclad reputation online that's backed by thousands of people advocating your product.
And this is enough for you to build , a legitimate, reputation and to begin that process of, scaling your brand. The steps that you take to get where you want to be involves the products that we offer. , it's an all in one marketing solution, but your goal and our goals , are synchronized, they're aligned.
We want to get to the same position. , as we want to help you get there. And that's our success. And then we have social login. Social login is basically abridged version of the registration process. Now, we believe that a major pain point for most businesses, they go through this process, registration for a loyalty program that requires your name, email address, phone number.
The works, and this could take you through several pages, perhaps take you more than five minutes. But we have this product called Social login that allows you basically to use your Facebook or your email or wherever social media platform that you generally use to log in immediately and start accumulating points.
And now it also stands to say that, You can reward social login. So the minute somebody is basically, , logs in using social login, you can immediately give them like a 5% discount and this could motivate them to complete that purchase knowing that they have this sort of extra boost of, support from us.
, we also have Instagram and U G C. To use your Instagram to sell your product, you can integrate a, Gallery into your webpage, integrate products into those pages, and turn your Instagram into this selling machine, like an omnichannel, approach where you're using your social media to sell your product.
And then we have wishlist, it's a lot like a birthday wishlist or a marriage registry. You fill this wishlist up with products that you love, that let's say they're out of stock, or they're a bit expensive that day, or perhaps you can't afford it, but you want to share it with your lovely ones.
You can accumulate products inside this wishlist, and then when, for instance, the product goes on sale or it's back in stock, you'll receive an automated, Response through the wishlist system, the email notification system that tells you that this product is back, or you can share that wishlist on social media or through email to let's say your grandmother or your mother and they can purchase that product for you.
Those are the core products, but then a deep analytics section that gives you basically comprehensive information about everything that we do. We have an email notification center that allows you to automate email notifications to keep in touch with customers.
All these things are of course, are customizable. We have boost campaigns, which we give you basically multiplied points during the specific period of time that you can pre designate. There's a lot of branding that you can do.
There's the analytics section, but that's generally the idea that we have behind Grow Weight. We wanna provide everybody a solution and options that they can implement their own strategy and abundance of options as opposed to a restricted amount of options. I think that's the major difference.
Claus Lauter: No, that sounds very interesting.
I like the idea that, a micro engagement, a microaction just logging in, already can give you points or going to a Facebook page and like the page gives you points. There's definitely approach where Client has a bit of a success feeling along the way. So it's not just one big thing.
You have bought something here, get some points, be loyal. But along the way you can already start in collecting points. Now, what are the biggest mistakes that you see from merchants coming to you? What they have done in the past with their loyalty program?
Dastan Chikeev: People are not completely aware of the full functionality of Grow Wave.
So Grow Wave has all these features that are profoundly powerful and can help you really scale your business. And if you use them to your advantage, they can be a great success for you. But a lot of the time customers are not engaging in the way that we would. Expect them to do. So, part of my job has to do with educating people on how to optimize or implement these features or so on and so forth.
And so what we're trying to do is really create that level of understanding where people are actually succeeding using our tools. So that's definitely number one. Number two probably has to be with the value of points. We have to understand. We have seen this trend of basically because paid ads and, ppp C are, they're getting more expensive, more difficult to convert. We've seen this rise in basically cost of acquisition, and I'm sure you would agree with me when I say this. In loyalty programs, they really, bridge that gap.
, they give you an alternative solution, but the caveat is that finan that loyalty programs are considered liabilities because every point that you award has a financial value. And so where do we go? , go basically into the details here is number two. Mistake is the value of the rewards.
The value of the rewards is fundamental for success because although we can't say for instance, oh, you need to fix it at this level and expect results, what we need you to do, it's basically observe the analytics, monitor growth, and see where you need to, divert the points to, play with the point values and accumulate that value that you're trying to accomplish.
That's definitely something that's super important. Number three. our core features are very well listed and known, but the secondary features, like the email notification center, I've seen statistics about , email conversion rates, and I noticed that they were ranked as the highest performing conversion channel.
I completely agree because, okay. Yes, . You can. Create the email, and yes, you have an expectation and it's okay, you might be pessimistic about its value because it's not very, very surprising or eye-catching, but , it keeps you relevant. It keeps you in their inbox, it keeps you talking.
It keeps you there. It's an opportunity for you to, at almost zero cost, stay completely active with the customer. And that's something that I'm really disappointed so number four would be reviews. It's fundamentally what we're trying to accomplish.
It's that reputation, it's that layer of trust. As you probably also know that, when we're trying to sell over the internet. You don't have the opportunity to be in person to communicate, to demonstrate your product, like you would, in a typical shopping mall.
So we need to have this trust and that's really what the first challenge that we have. And so, number four, mistake would be not leveraging the full potential reviews. We want you to reward reviews. We want you to accumulate, not tens. But hundreds of reviews. We want you not to just reuse reviews on your pages, but we want emails as well.
Trying to manage that data by exporting, importing it into other mediums so that you have that extra layer of , reputable, sources, that independent advocacy. We want people to really just, push that envelope and promote your business. , and that's super important for us.
number five. In loyalty programs, we have the stereotype of a complete loyalty program where you have the FAQs, the pages, you have everything you've done, everything. But there are a lot of really popular loyalty programs that take that to another level.
They use this new creative element. They give you a specialized in-person, experience. They give you free tickets to partners or free tickets to events , or early access to limited edition products or seasonal, , discounts, early access, the. You can differentiate your loyalty program greatly by taking advantage of your creativity.
That's definitely number five. Creativity environment in loyalty programs.
Claus Lauter: Yeah, makes total sense. I like that you mentioned, , email as one of the very important pillars of, ity programs because that's something that I don't see of the people. Just think it's installed and it will , work its way back in the background and you just forget about what's doing.
But I think just. Coming back to the customer. And as you said, email is a very important marketing channel. And at Wonka Wei is very important. So for me, what immediately came into mind is all the airlines that I'm signed up with. I'm not using all these airlines all the time, but once a month or so, I get all these loyalty program reminders with the points I have and what I can do with this.
And then also, as I said, with the motivation, , on. Put my points into some special, some, extra that is just running now. The last point that you mentioned. So I think it's very interesting to just combine these whole thing now when it comes to the, , setup and on the learning , of grow wave, , how does that work?
How much time do I need, to spend with that? What kind of homework do I need to do before I can get started?
Dastan Chikeev: Grow Wave, it's built to be customer centric. we operate on the Shopify official app store. And of course, , in order , to be present in that app store, you have to meet, a certain criteria what really, makes grow wave an elevated product is the fact that the administrative panel, is modernized, , simple to use, well organized, and the process is actually very easy.
We expect customers to be done with the onboarding process within three to five minutes. we can say under five minutes. , and I can do so confidently as well. And then when you're actually in the administrative panel, your control center for Grow we don't force you to deviate out of Shopify.
You're actually, embedded into the, , Shopify settings administrative panel as well. When we're trying to market our product. What grow wave offers dividing to several apps, and to operate all these apps.
You don't have synchronized information. Data is, dispersed , it can get complicated, but you have everything in this one simplified, modern platform and it just, elevates the experience.
Claus Lauter: Okay. What kind of integrations to other apps or software solutions do you offer?
Dastan Chikeev: We have numerous partners 20 plus, partner integrations, and we're actively working to build relationships with them as well.
If you go to our blog, you'll see a few partners that were really optimistic when they heard they have an opportunity to post something on our blog. We like to talk to partners, see what we can do for them, promote them, help them out.
We recently had one app. That recently opened up and I was more than happy , to share their profile on our blog as well. So that's something that we're actively looking to promote in the industry.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Tell me a little bit about the pricing structure of your app.
Dastan Chikeev: Some products, you'll find, first of all, they're a little more expensive than ours. Which is not something that's entirely negative. , that's their product, it's the right to as they wish. But what really bothers me is how he features.
So on the lowest plans, you basically have maybe like 20% of the functionality of the later plans. With Grow Wave, you have full access to the full platform and all the features starting from the very lowest plan. And we structure it according to your capabilities. Let's say for instance, you're a small business that just starting up and your overheads are pretty tight and we don't wanna overburden you.
So what we do is basically structure our features to give you that leeway to allow the affordability to, basically use a full platform without any restrictions. Something that most companies don't actually offer but grow with. Does.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I know, I like that. that definitely makes sense to have a tailor made to the size of your business and not to the number of features that you offer there.
, Dustin, where can people find out more about Wave?
Dastan Chikeev: We are the best source of information, is gonna be our main website, which is Grow With I, we have a very active blog, which I manage, with information on how to use Grow With to its full capacity, how to optimize Great examples of basically how to implement your loyalty programs, how to take advantage of the email notifications.
Just a comprehensive solution. Everything you need about Grow Wave and marketing and e-commerce. , we have data available on our blog. You can find also more detailed, descriptions of our blog, of our product on the Shopify app store and a bunch of reviews as well. So we have a thousand plus reviews.
We're highly rated in the Shopify app store. We encourage you to visit the official shop store and take a look at our product. Grow Wave.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Now I saw you also on your website, you offer a check in on a demo store that people can really try it out and see how it works.
Dastan Chikeev: We take pride , in our demo store. We work really hard on it. , it describes our product really well, , gives you the ability to interact with the product, to see first hand out what sort of experience your customer's gonna go through. , we encourage everybody to check it out as well.
Claus Lauter: Okay, Dustin. I really like , the overview and it gives a good idea for a merchant that loyalty is not just fire and forget. It's much more to make it for your business. I would recommend and I will put the links in the show notes that everyone checks out the demo store. I did it and I think it gives a very good overview of what your product can do.
Thanks so much dusted for your time, and have a great day. Thank you K Claus.
Dastan Chikeev: Have a great day. Bye-Bye.