2020 will live long in the memory as a defining year for society. In the space of less than 12 months our way of living and doing business has changed completely.
Lockdowns and other restrictions are still on the cards for the foreseeable future. But the post-pandemic world will give rise to new trends in all aspects of business, including promotions.
Read on to see our predictions for the top three promotion trends in 2021.
Loyalty program membership has been increasing steadily, year-over-year for a long time. But we’ve reached the point where the majority of loyalty program memberships go unused.
According to Code Broker, 65% of loyalty program members engage with less than half of the loyalty programs they belong to.
This means businesses now need to do more to make their loyalty programs worthwhile and attractive to their customers. Many brands have turned to the paid loyalty program model to give their customers a better experience, and also to get better results themselves.
Customers pay a monthly membership fee, and in return they get more exclusive membership rewards and perks.
This increasing interest in paid loyalty programs has also been compounded by the pandemic. The market is now saturated with standard loyalty programs that don’t offer customers features like personalized rewards or loyalty tiers.
Research by McKinsey suggests that paid loyalty programs have some tangible benefits for consumers and businesses alike. They provide:
McKinsey estimates that consumers spent $25-30 billion on paid loyalty programs in 2019, which was a 25 to 50% increase from the previous year.
With the decrease in general brand loyalty shown by consumers since the start of the pandemic, expect to see many more brands trying out paid loyalty programs in 2021.
‘Omnichannel’ is a term most eCommerce professionals will be familiar with. It’s most commonly used in relation to marketing. But it also applies to promotions in much the same way.
An omnichannel marketing strategy includes a unified, streamlined operation with a cohesive experience across all platforms. An omnichannel promotion solution also aims for a streamlined experience, but specifically in relation to the promotions offered to customers when they shop.
Now that promotional campaigns are becoming increasingly more complex and pervasive in everyday shopping, an omnichannel approach is more important than ever.
The average consumer now uses multiple platforms to shop, frequently switching between channels during their shopping journey.
The pandemic has accelerated this change, pushing more and more consumers to step out of their normal comfort zone when it comes to shopping. This includes trying new brands and shopping behaviors.
Many brands are moving towards omnichannel promotions, but the trend is set to continue in 2021.
Geofencing is another technique that is becoming increasingly popular in the world of promotions. It’s by no means new, but improvements in smartphone and GPS technology have made it much easier to use geofencing effectively in promotions.
Here you can see a quick example of geofencing with Talon.One:
We all had to get used to restricted movement this year, so geofenced promotions gained a new relevance. While vaccines will, fingers crossed, put an end to lockdowns, we’ll still have to deal with restricted movement for another few months at least.
Many brands have used geofencing in their lockdown promotions, so consumers are now more familiar with the concept. Meanwhile, there will be more demand for promotions that encourage movement and getting out of the house.
Keep an eye out for some creative use of geofencing in promotions by big brands as we move towards summer.
In comparison to 2020, 2021 should be a much better year for business. Even though this year has been tough, it’s forced businesses to customers to try new things.
To find out more about promotions and the many different ways they can help your business, check out our Content Library.