Looking from the outside in, B2C and B2B loyalty programs are quite comparable, in that they both have the same end goal which is to:
- Increase sales
- Generate loyalty
- Customer data insights
However, these programs differ considerably. In a nutshell, the main difference between these two programs are as follows:
B2C loyalty programs need to have somewhat of a wide-ranging appeal to try and attract as many participants as possible.
B2B loyalty programs are typically designed on a much smaller scale, dealing with a select group of partners, but often purchase a lot more compared to regular customers (such as bulk purchases). A great example of this is Home Depot’s Pro Extra Trade loyalty program.
So, What Are the Benefits in Setting up a Trade Loyalty Program?
1. Increase Spend
B2B trade customers are big spenders (often buying in bulk). There is an opportunity to increase their spend and win market share against other competitors. According to Bain & Company, “B2B loyalty leaders tend to grow 4 to 8 percentage points above their market’s annual growth.” Other various research suggests businesses who create a B2B Loyalty program can increase revenue and achieve an average ROI of 10%.
2. Create a Point of Difference From Your Competitors
It’s no secret that trade customers look at price and quality of products when making an informed decision when purchasing. However, when these factors are similar (or often identical) between you and your competitors, an important point of difference could be a B2B trades reward program.
3. Increase Customer Retention
Customer retention and keeping these trade customers satisfied is a major priority. Trade loyalty programs improve customer retention. Forrester Research suggests that a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as a 10% cut in cost.
4. Enhance Engagement
Customer engagement is a communication between a consumer and an organisation through various methods such as reactions, interactions or overall customer experience. Enhancing communicating regularly with your trade members can motivate more profitable behaviour.
5. Improve NPS
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a management tool that is used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. NPS is one of the most direct ways to measure customer loyalty as it helps to identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunity for growth and which businesses have strong customer loyalty. By introducing a B2B trade loyalty program, this score can only get better as you reward your trade customers for frequent purchases.
6. Importance of Added Value Services
Products and services are commodities, so by adding an extra layer of value to your loyalty program creates a compelling point of difference. Added services such as advice on how to build your website, promote your brand or access to offers can be exclusive benefits only available to members. Additional rewards could be added value services such as bulk pricing, dedicated sales team or machinery rental.
7. Gain Valuable Insights Form Your Customers
By utilising the data you receive from a B2B trade loyalty program, your company can have access to great insights such as purchase behaviour and time and frequency of purchases. This data can be used to communicate in a more meaningful way with members.
8. Provide a Database to Communicate in a More Meaningful Way
By analysing the data generated from a B2B loyalty program, it allows you to better communicate your offers and deals that resonate with members. Videos, email and newsletters can be sent to the members that really want them.
Examples in the Construction/Trade Sector
Take the DIY trade sector for example, Home Depot created their Pro Extra loyalty program to help their B2B customers who buy materials for their job site. This program includes dedicated sales persons ,incentives such as free direct to site delivery and many more.
While this is a great example of a retail trade loyalty program, there are also product specific loyalty programs.
The Worcester Boilers Greenstar Program offer points on selected Worcester products. Members can redeemed against a whole range of exclusive reward. The more you install, the more you'll earn. This offers a great incentive for tradesmen to install Worcester boilers.
Using data effectively helps companies to understand their customers better and can then target them with more relevant and tailored offerings and experiences.
The challenges for B2B trade loyalty programs for customer acquisition and retention are very different. However, effective use of data, personalisation, and customised content can set B2B businesses apart from their competitors and provide memorable customer experiences.
Now that you know how important a B2B trade loyalty program is to your business, check out our blog 7 steps to launching loyalty programs.