Back to All Posts
Retail & E-commerce

Stock Up on Loyalty: A Digital Grocery Store Loyalty Program Guide

Written by 
Chloe Komesarook
June 20, 2024
Loyalty Programs
Brand Loyalty

Want to fill your grocery store's carts with more than just groceries? A loyalty program might be the secret ingredient you need. Imagine customers raving about your exclusive rewards, regulars excitedly accumulating points or stamps,  and new faces eager to join the savings spree.

A well-designed digital grocery store loyalty program fosters a sense of community and keeps those shopping carts rolling. Get ready to restock your marketing strategy and discover the power of customer loyalty!

Why Your Grocery Store Needs a Loyalty Program

Before we dive into how to create a loyalty program, let's explore why it's a must-have.

Let the numbers do the talking:

It cost five times as much to bring in a new customer as it does to keep an existing one.

Plus, a great loyalty program for your grocery store acts like a beacon, attracting potential customers and strengthening your bond with current ones. When customers love your program, they'll spread the word. Remember, 74% of consumers say word-of-mouth is a key factor in their buying decisions.

A loyalty program transforms routine grocery shopping into an engaging experience, encouraging repeat visits with exclusive perks, surprises, and offers.

Digitizing your grocery store loyalty program allows you to gain insights into customer preferences and buying habits. You can then tailor both your program and your business to meet customer needs head-on. This is crucial, as only 45% of customers report feeling like a brand understands them. A digital grocery store loyalty program sets you apart while helping you connect with customers on a deeper level.

Now that you grasp the benefits, let's discuss how to make it happen.

Designing Your Grocery Store Loyalty Program

1. Know Your Shoppers:

Understanding your target market is the first step to crafting a stellar loyalty program. To make your rewards tempting, it's essential to understand what excites your shoppers.

Gather valuable insights through customer surveys, online reviews, and in-person interactions. Regulars can provide direct feedback on their favorite products, brands, and what rewards they'd most appreciate.

Analyze customer data like purchasing trends and habits to see what patterns emerge. When you truly understand your shoppers, you can start the fun part: designing your exciting grocery store loyalty program.

2. Choose Your Rewards Structure:

You have several options when deciding how to structure your rewards:

Spend-based model: Give customers points based on their spending, creating a simple, easy-to-follow program.

Examples of spend based model.

Visit-based model: Reward customers for repeat visits and purchases, a classic approach that incentivizes return visits while allowing customers the freedom to choose what they truly need. This model is particularly effective for grocery stores, where shopping lists can vary from trip to trip.

Examples of visit based model.

Creating a simple yet effective digital grocery store loyalty program is vital, as 53% of customers prefer loyalty programs that are easy to use.

Customers are more likely to interact with a program that clearly shows benefits without complicated terms and conditions.

Consider using a digital stamp card platform like Stamp Me, as it's simple and effective for customers to collect stamps with each grocery store visit, leading to exciting rewards.

Case in Point: 

IGA stamp cards on a mobile phone with the stampPod next to it.

IGA Youngtown’s loyalty program is designed with simplicity and customer convenience at its core. They partnered with Stamp Me to create a digital grocery store loyalty program that rewards customers with 10% off their next purchase after 5 visits. 

To keep with this straightforward approach, IGA Youngtown also utilizes Stamp Me’s StampPod™ for safe and seamless stamping. With one set up at each register, customers simply need to tap their phone on the pod to collect a stamp after making a qualifying purchase. 

Since implementing their digital grocery store loyalty program with Stamp Me, IGA Youngtown has garnered hundreds of members and issued thousands of stamps, demonstrating an active engagement and growing community in their store. 

3. Choosing Your Rewards

When choosing your rewards, use your customer research to identify what would be most enticing. Here are a few types of rewards to consider for your grocery store:

  • Discounts: Discounts offer flexibility, letting customers use them on whatever groceries they want. An example would be “15% off your next shop after five visits”.
  • Free Products: Offer free items or samples with a certain amount spent.
  • Exclusive Access: Early access to sales or special shopping hours for loyalty members.
  • Themed Rewards: Partner with local businesses for cross-promotions (e.g., free coffee with grocery purchases).

Your rewards should reflect what customers value and tempt them to engage with your program. Think about potential sign-up rewards and smaller rewards along the way, which can make your loyalty program even more exciting.

Embrace Digital Loyalty

In this digital age, it's essential to move away from paper-based programs toward mobile apps and online platforms. A digital grocery loyalty program allows for greater customer engagement, keeps costs down, and provides valuable customer data.

Importantly, 75% of consumers favor loyalty programs accessible through their phones. Catering to this digital demand is vital for grocery store loyalty programs.

If you want a stamp-based program, Stamp Me is a great solution. It's easy to set up, customizable, and user-friendly for both you and your customers. But those aren’t the only benefits:

Stamp Me features for grocery stores.

What Can You Do With a Digital Loyalty Program?

A grocery store loyalty program offers many ways to boost customer engagement, drive sales, and strengthen brand loyalty.

Image from Canva. Man shopping at a grocery store with a shopping cart.

Here's how you can interact with your loyal customers using a digital loyalty platform like Stamp Me:

  • Targeted communications & offers: Open a direct line of communication with your customers, sending updates on new stock, exclusive discounts, and events via push notifications and SMS. You could even encourage customers to come in on slow days with a limited-time reward like "Come in today for 40% off our baked goods!"
  • Gamification: Make your digital grocery store loyalty program fun by offering a 'Scratch & Win' feature for the chance to win a free shopping spree or discounts on purchases.
  • Birthday Club Campaign: Create a Birthday Club campaign to celebrate your customers on their special day within your program. Remember, a simple "Happy Birthday! Here's a voucher for us!" can make them feel valued and improve your grocery store loyalty. 
  • Surprise & Delight: Random rewards via your app are a fantastic way to wow customers. This might be free samples of new stock or access to exclusive deals. Surprises make ordinary experiences special, turning occasional shoppers into loyal fans.

Implement a Marketing & Launch Strategy

Once your program is ready, it's time to plan a marketing & launch strategy to ensure it's a success!

Here are some ideas:

  • Hype it up on social media: Give customers a taste of what's coming. Share updates, and special offers, and encourage followers to join your program.
  • In-store signage: Posters and signs that customers see when they come in. When you market your loyalty program, let customers know how to sign up, the rewards it offers, and how rewards can be redeemed. Stamp Me provides downloadable marketing materials you can use for your digital grocery store loyalty program.
IGA youngtown utilies various marketing tactics to promote their loyalty program.

Ongoing Loyalty Program Analysis & Customer Feedback

Analyze your program's results to see how it's performing and make changes as needed. The Merchant Console allows you to track data like reward redemptions and stamp accrual rates, and look at patterns in customer spending. If activity is lower than desired, figure out ways to boost participation.  

Always ask for feedback from your members and incentivize it if possible – perhaps with a free stamp!

How to Build a Digital Grocery Store Loyalty Program with Stamp Me 

Stamp Me lets you create a customized grocery store loyalty program that's easy for both you and your customers. With the Merchant Console, you have a central hub to set up your stamp card in minutes and manage every aspect of your digital grocery store loyalty program. After your quick setup, enjoy a 30-day free trial to test it out.  

Go beyond basic rewards with sign-up offers, smaller rewards along the way, fun features like 'Scratch & Win', and personalized communication tools. Stamp Me makes managing customer loyalty a breeze. Start making grocery store loyalty magic today!

Email Course: 7 Days of Customer Loyalty

Sign up for our free, 7-day email course and become a customer loyalty expert!

We’ll also send you loyalty tips, trends and resources from time to time (which you can opt out of whenever you like).

Thanks! We've sent the course straight to your email!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.