3 Programs to Help Retailers Cultivate Loyal Customers

These tools can help you tailor loyalty programs to your customers.

Diane Falvey
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Customer retention is key to a thriving retail business. These three loyalty programs are designed to help. (Photo: JackF / stock.adobe.com)

Did you know acquiring a new customer can cost five times as much as retaining an existing customer? And increasing customer retention by 5 percent can increase revenue by as much as 25 to 90 percent. The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, versus 5 percent to 20 percent for a new customer. Not only are loyal existing customers more likely to spend money in your retail establishment, whether brick-and-mortar or online, they’re also more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. And yet, statistics show show that more marketing dollars are spent on cultivating new customers than on customer retention.

It takes more than a sale sign in the window to drive repeat traffic, so what tools can you use to develop loyalty programs that work online and in-store, help you manage communication with repeat customers and provide a satisfying experience? 

Here are three programs that can help you tailor loyalty programs to your customers.


CandyBar focuses on helping small businesses compete by creating a customizable stamp program that allows retailers to set purchase rewards that can be carried on any app for retailers and customers. Retailers can connect CandyBar to any device (no technical skills or programming required). The program runs on a browser and doesn’t need to be integrated into a POS system. 

When customers check out, to add stamps to their accounts, simply enter the phone number and CandyBar keeps track. When customers have gained the number of stamps needed for a reward, it’s simple to click on “give reward” and it will automatically be applied. Like many online systems, CandyBar has platform options with varying degrees of support, but even the basic, most affordable plan allows for unlimited customers and unlimited reward stamps. The program also provides instant customer feedback, real-time customer activity, reward expiry reminders, customer referral plans that attach to the reward system, performance tracking and customer support. Free 30-day trial.



LoyalZoo allows independent retailers to run points-based or subscription-based loyalty programs. According to the company, research shows that customers enrolled in a loyalty program are likely to spend twice as much as customers not enrolled. With LoyalZoo, customers can be signed up with an email or phone number. It also allows retailers to drive promotions for further customer engagement. Points are automatically delivered by SMS/text or email (no app required), but there is an app for customers if they want it. A “Handsfree Marketing” option with the program also tracks customer retention and interest, alerting you to customers who are new, VIPs or slipping away.

LoyalZoo’s subscription-based loyalty program is designed for regularly recurring revenues, and rewards are up to the retailer. The subscription program helps create loyal customers via membership fees. All that’s required is a payment card for customers to sign up, and the program tracks benefits usage. LoyalZoo works for e-commerce as well and can be used by retailers with multiple locations. There is also a digital loyalty card that can be handed to customers as a reminder. Both plans start with a low monthly fee, and include additional tools at additional costs. Free 7-day trial. 



RepeatRewards is a digital loyalty solution that allows retailers to reward customers based on their visit frequency and purchase patterns. With an easy-to-use interface and multiple delivery methods, RepeatRewards is designed to engage customers in multiple ways. Customers can join online, in-store or via an app designed just for your store. Transactions and visit histories are then tracked through integrated POS solutions. Rewards can be delivered in multiple ways as well, including email, direct mail, mobile app, stored rewards, receipt printout or Cent$ible, an automated system that sends emails or mail to customers to expand brand reach. The program also offers a custom-designed gift card service, a Refer-a-Friend program that allows customers to gain rewards for referring potential customers and customer survey options with perks to get insight into what customers are thinking. Tiered monthly programs keeps costs down while providing multiple benefits. 


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