Should Local Councils Run Loyalty Schemes For Retailers?


Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, UK high street footfall data has seen a dramatic plummet. Retailers have had to adapt to a fast shift in consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns by introducing measures such as online stores and offering click and collect delivery services. However, for some small businesses, this just wasn’t feasible, so lockdowns and  the lack of high street footfall meant no generated income at all.

As the economy is starting to reopen, the retail industry must take further measures to help business owners begin to recoup their losses, such as high street loyalty cards. In some cases, this will be vital for these shops, cafes, and pubs to remain open.

How To Improve Town Centres?

Customer loyalty is an important element of retail success, and investing time and resources into understanding loyalty programs in retail marketing can help you benefit from it greatly. Altfeld Inc says that the likelihood of selling to an existing loyal customer is between 60% and 70%. However, the likelihood of selling the same product to a potential, prospective customer is only 5-20%, which shows how valuable retail loyalty solutions are.

There are plenty of tools that can help you to measure and encourage customer loyalty to a local area, such as the customer loyalty ladder theory. One simple way to encourage customers to return to shops, pubs, and restaurants, is to implement a customer loyalty scheme. Allowing customers to collect points for their purchases and redeem them for desirable rewards encourages further repeat purchases and builds loyalty to the local area.

As high streets and other local economic areas have taken a beating since the pandemic, the UK government has introduced funding, such as the Welcome Back Fund. The aim is to allow local authorities to implement positive changes across the areas under their jurisdiction.

The money from the funding can be split between different areas of improvement, such as removing graffiti, bettering green spaces, or adding and updating signage (such as the signs that encourage social distancing), but it can also be used for developments that would benefit local businesses.

Many local authorities are choosing to invest the funding into loyalty schemes that can be implemented across several shops in one area – also known as regional loyalty cards that can be run on an open-loop loyalty platform provided by Reward-It.

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What Are Regional Loyalty Cards?

Reward-It’s regional high street loyalty cards offer an app and desktop loyalty platform that rewards customers for supporting businesses and venues in their local town or city. It’s ideal for councils and other local authorities that are looking for a way to boost their local economy and introduce a footfall retail marketing campaign because it won’t tie up council resources.

It also doesn’t require anyone to commit to long-term contracts – once the government-backed funding comes to its end dates, retailers can either choose to continue reaping the benefits or end their involvement. The retailers who choose to continue will remain unaffected, and customers can keep their cards and spend the points they’ve accumulated with the participating businesses.

It’s easy-to-use and intuitive, supporting local business recovery and encouraging growth. It automatically collects data on all participating businesses’ customer spending habits, allowing each owner to optimise their loyalty programs in retail marketing and business plans whilst improving sales and efficiency.

Reward-It also offers the opportunity for upgrades alongside the loyalty scheme. Each business owner can choose to implement physical gift cards, electronic gift cards, or e-commerce integrations for their business, without the need for any further council intervention or cost. Our team will happily deal with each retailer’s requirements directly to deliver the best results for our clients.

Discover how our town and city loyalty card systems can benefit you,  visit our Local Loyalty Rewards page or get in touch with one of our loyalty experts today.