Give your best customers the royal treatment while building brand loyalty when you institute a VIP program — and use it to attract new customers who like the idea of receiving some special treatment. While many retailers offer loyalty programs that reward customers the more they shop, VIP programs are less common and have higher entry requirements, with some charging membership fees. With the right perks, you can create a VIP program that has people excited about visiting your retail store.
What Makes VIP Programs So Effective?
The key to why VIP programs work so well lies in people’s desire to feel special. When a customer is a member of a VIP program, they feel like they’re part of an exclusive group receiving benefits that aren’t available to anyone. While loyalty programs give customers the opportunity to earn rewards, there isn’t the same sense of exclusivity. The best VIP programs tend to have the following key elements in common:
- They provide useful rewards in the form of experiences, products, or services
- They fit with how the company markets itself
- They have multiple levels for customers to progress through
- Each level of the program has clear, achievable entry requirements
Establish Benefits for Your VIP Program
For a VIP program to be effective, it needs valuable benefits. Customers are savvier than ever, and they’re not going to buy in to a program with minor perks simply because you slap a luxurious name on it.
One option is improving the shopping experience for your VIP members. You could offer priority checkout lines to get in and out more quickly. If your store has an e-commerce site, free shipping is a perk customers love. Amazon Prime’s 80 million subscribers is definitely testimony to the popularity of the free shipping perk.
If your store already has a loyalty program, you can increase the number of points VIPs receive for each purchase. This is a fantastic way to reward the customers who spend the most money at your store, while also encouraging them to continue spending.
Offer Special Deals to Your VIPs
Perhaps the most effective way to make your VIP program feel exclusive is through deals that are only available to VIP customers. You certainly can’t give your products normal prices and lower VIP prices, though, as everyone would demand the lower price.
The better choice is to give your VIPs the first look at your biggest sales. Send them an email with discounts a week or so before those deals are available store-wide. To add a personal touch, put together a curated list of on-sale products for each specific customer based on their buying preferences.
You can also turn these first-look sales into VIP shopping events. To ensure that everyone enjoys themselves, you may want to dress up your store, play music, and provide refreshments. This adds a bit of luxury, making your VIPs feel more special, and turns the event into a mix between a social gathering and a sale.
Consider which perks — free shipping, special discounts, first look at new products, priority checkout, and the like — are most likely to attract customers to your VIP program to watch your customer loyalty grow.