Rising environmental movements are important to the customer. Millennials, in particular, feel very strongly about sustainability and securing the planet’s future. With this in mind, we can assume Millennials will reward any brand who takes on the challenges of becoming more sustainable and eco-friendly with increased brand loyalty. So, how can loyalty programs help businesses promote and incentivise positive environmental change and become more environmentally friendly? There are some obvious changes that can be made but the challenges that go with them are not so obvious.
Alternative to physical loyalty cards
At a glance, one might say the best way to ensure your loyalty card is as sustainable, environmentally friendly and plastic-free as possible is to stop using plastic cards. In their stead, what do we use? One option is to turn to technology. Everyone has a smart phone nowadays and most don’t leave the house without their phone. This can be used to our advantage in that a Loyalty App becomes a viable alternative to plastic cards. An app would see physical cards eliminated entirely and could help to streamline the loyalty program too.
Environmentally friendly cards
Another viable option is to change the cards themselves rather than the process as a whole. The loyalty card process works and customers and brands both are familiar with it so avoiding unnecessary levels of change can help to ensure the adoption of a plastic-free solution and minimize disruption to service. Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable alternative to plastic. Perhaps loyalty cards can adopt this alternative too? It may also be of benefit to investigate the use of materials with a longer life span, such as aluminium to ensure plastic cards don’t end up in the ocean. In any case, extensive cost/benefit analysis needs to be carried out to determine which material is most suited to replace plastic.
Digital sign up instead paper applications
This option is perhaps the easiest of the lot to implement. A simple webpage sign up with a short, easy to remember URL. This immediately eliminates the needs for both paper and plastic pens. It’s also quicker and easier for the customer, which is only ever a good thing. With features like Google’s autofill, this method could help to increase the rate of signups, especially with those customers who are in too much of a hurry to sign up with a pen and paper. Digital sign up forms along with an app in place of a card could be hugely beneficial to both brand and customer, especially those who are environmentally conscious.
Reward positive behaviour
Use your loyalty program to reward your customers’ behaviour that positively impacts the environment. These behaviours will vary depending on your sector, product offering and service. For instance, if you have a shop or café that sells coffee reward customers extra points when they use a reusable coffee cup or discount or give them a free coffee when they use a reusable coffee cup 5 times so over a specified period. Keep track and ensure good behaviour is rewarded efficiently by using your loyalty software to set up the promotion.
Donate to support
Integrated loyalty software that has the technology to allow loyalty members donate to different charities or organisations can be a great tool for businesses to encourage customers to support local communities, for instance, a tidy towns association or a local green team. Using your loyalty technology to highlight the importance or significance of local associations work can impact people’s mindset and behaviours.
To conclude, there is a significant boost in brand loyalty out there waiting for any brand willing to move ahead with plastic-free and sustainable alternatives to the plastic loyalty card. Loyalty software can deliver strategies that can encourage positive behaviour and make a difference. Customers, particularly Millennials, are bound to appreciate the move to a more eco-friendly option and will likely reward such a move with unwavering loyalty. So, look at your options and see what one makes the move to plastic-free easiest for your business.