Customer incentives: 6 reasons to use them

Incentives can be defined as a thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something. Offering your customers additional benefits such as discounts, access to early products, free items, bonuses, discounts, loyalty programs, or special deals is what turns your customer standard buying experience into something engaging and memorable. 

More and more businesses are integrating incentives as part of their offering to increase customer loyalty, customer interaction, and, ultimately, sales growth. It’s important to understand exactly how your business could benefit from customer incentives. 

Here are the top benefits we’ve found when using them. 

Why you need to use customer incentives

Consider the following data points provided by Wirecard in a recent Forbes article.

  • 75% of consumers say they are likely to make another purchase after receiving an incentive
  • 45% of consumers made one to three purchases because of incentives in the past year
  • 18% of consumers say incentives always sway them to choose one brand over another, even if they are loyal to the brand without rewards
  • Less than 8% of consumers say rewards and incentives aren’t at all important to their purchasing decisions

Incentives are a very powerful tool when used in the right way, as they allow you to:

  • Improve brand awareness
  • Drive social media engagement
  • Stimulate impulsive purchases
  • Motivate the desired action – leave feedback, fill in a survey 
  • Improve retention
  • Increase your customer’s lifetime value
  • Build a trustworthy relationship with long-term clients
  • Apologize and provide value after a negative customer experience

Providing your customers with extra benefits will increase the number of returning customers and boost your sales.

Not all incentives are created equal – which ones are right for your customers?

Choose them wisely, as they should provide value and encourage positive customer behavior. Here are a few ideas that we think your customers will enjoy:

  • Discounts are great incentives as your customer will appreciate the opportunity to save money. They can also motivate additional future purchases. An example of this is when you buy something and get 30% off for your next purchase.
  • Bonuses can be applied to money spent. For example, for every $1 your customer spends, you give them a $1 bonus to be applied towards their purchase.
  • Free samples and trial-sized items are a perfect incentive to make a customer interested in your brand and in highlighting a specific or new product.
  • Free gifts – some brands let their customers choose a free gift of a certain value, while others give out the same standard free gift to all customers. This is especially successful for retail companies such as Ulta.
  • Upgrades with purchase. This works well for companies that sell tiered versions of their product or service, such as software companies or hotels.
  • Coupons such as a “buy one – get one free” deal can be used towards purchases.
  • The holy grail of e-commerce incentives is free shopping. A staggering 96% of online shoppers are likelier to purchase from a site that offers free shipping. The same poll revealed that 79% prefer free shipping over a discount. So if you can offer free shipping, you’re almost certain to gain a new customer!

Make sure that they do not increase friction or risk devaluing your brand, and whatever you do, make sure that they do not negatively impact your margins, as with Hoover.

The 6 Reasons to use customer incentives

1. Stimulate engagement and build awareness

If your social engagement is lacking, you can try incentives as a way to stimulate sharing and commenting on your content. Provide incentives for shares, or user-generated content, such as images of a delivered order.

This will get you authentic content that other users find credible and motivate your audience to be more active on your social pages.

Acquire new customers – Increase your sales growth

By doing this, you can acquire new customers that were not previously aware of your products/services. This leads to more engagement and brand awareness and, ultimately, an increase in sales growth.

Incentives can be used to increase sales, stimulate desired actions, reward customers, or just set the tone and send a message about your brand.

3. Rewards long-term customers for their loyalty

Those customers who are loyal to your brand and keep returning to you again and again need VIP treatment.  It’s easy to email your customers to say that you appreciate their loyalty and to reward them with a special discount or loyalty program bonus. This will keep your customers coming back!

Re-engage inactive customers

Not only can you reward loyal customers, but you can incentivize customers to return! By offering discounts, bonuses, and VIP treatment, you’re more likely to re-engage customers that have been inactive for a while. 

5. Reward your customers for reviews

Everybody knows that word-of-mouth advertising is the best way to generate new leads. When your future customers hear the opinions of others that have done business with you, it creates a perception and influences decision-making in a way traditional advertising never could.

Unfortunately, not as many people are willing to write a review as you would like, especially positive ones. If you are experiencing this, you can offer discounts, rewards, or any of the other ideas we’ve explored above.

6. Reward your customers for reporting bugs

None of us are immune to making a mistake. Sometimes only a superuser can identify and report a problem – they might be using your product in an entirely new way that you’d never thought of!

Improving your service quality is important for every company, so use every opportunity to reward your customers for their time by providing them with free upgrades, discounts, or other perks.

7. Gain feedback – find out what your customers want

Feedback is important as it allows you to refocus on the problems that may have gone unnoticed. If you struggle to get feedback, you can use incentives to motivate people to communicate with your team. You could offer them a discount on their next order if they would rate the last piece of communication with your manager or leave a comment in your Feedback section.

8. Apologize for a mistake

If you’ve done something wrong – just apologize. If your customer has a problem, you must show empathy. Offer a discount for the next order, free products, and, if necessary, compensation.

9. Be better than your competitors

Loyalty programs can greatly improve the offering your business has. By doing this, you’re giving your audience/customers a reason to use you. This could be the thing that sets you apart from your competitors. It’s important to remember that your target marketing will have other options when looking for the products or services that you offer. By setting yourself apart from the competition, you’re more likely to gain customers, not only that, but with a good loyalty scheme, you’re more likely to keep them!

Incentives can be defined as a thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something. Offering your customers additional benefits such as discounts, access to early products, free items, bonuses, discounts, loyalty programs, or special deals is what turns your customer standard buying experience into something engaging and memorable.

About BeeLiked

BeeLiked offers companies an ever-growing portfolio of promotion types that are quick to create, with full design flexibility, performance tracking, and data collection capabilities to ensure your campaign and promotion exceed all your expectations.

The BeeLiked Platform can help you engage and incentivize your audience and customers across their life-cycle and journey.

Try one of our demos

Curious what's possible with BeeLiked?

See what’s possible with BeeLiked and try one of the demos below.
Enter your name and email to play.

Ready to engage your audience?

Learn how easy it is to get started with gamification.

Get ready for a brand new BeeLiked launching September 2023

Sign up to be first in line and a have a chance of winning a free Premium Annual Plan