Trends: Online printers and loyalty programs – does it work?

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Customer loyalty programs are in vogue, and not for the first time. Based on their purchasing behaviour, customers receive special offers or discounts that ideally bind them to the service provider in the long term. This is important! And yet in-house customer loyalty programs often fall short of the mark because they are primarily aimed at existing customers and therefore consistently target the same group. To reach real new customers, it takes a little more – and I already have an idea…

A few days ago, I came across an article about Amex Offers – possibly also because the word “Closed-Loop”, so familiar to me and most online printers, was in the headline – after all, this is the top priority in production when it comes to mass customization. But first things first.

What is Amex Offers?

Amex Offers is a loyalty program from the American Express credit card company, which provides credit card customers with personalized offers and rewards for their purchases at Amex partners. Around 1,000 partners and brands take part in Amex Offers, with the number of offers regularly hovering around 2,000. Which offers are shown to which customers in the app or online portal varies greatly.

Closed loop

This is where the aforementioned closed loop comes into play, because as a credit card institution, American Express stands between the customers and the providers and can draw conclusions on a larger scale than individual providers can with their own loyalty programs. Not only does Amex know which customers buy which products from which providers, but also when, how and how much – and can therefore also derive general preferences or potentially successful connections between individual providers.

Potentially relevant offers

Credit card users are therefore primarily shown offers and discounts from providers they already know or those that fit their preferences. Therefore, if the data shows that people who shop at company A also shop at company B on average, company B can have its advertising displayed to everyone who shops at company A.

In addition, Amex Offers gives users the opportunity to receive points for their sales with certain partner companies – which they can then redeem with other partners. At this point, I don’t want to go into every little detail, because the principle is actually quite simple.

But simply this: according to American Express, partners who participate in the loyalty program are only charged fees if a transaction is actually made on the basis of the offer. So far, so good. But what does all this have to do with online print shops?

What else is interesting for online print shops?

Firstly, since the American Express credit card is also popular with German users, the loyalty program can also be used in Germany. The partners include providers from all sectors, including travel-related industries as well as providers from the electronics, retail and fashion sectors, to name but a few. Partners from Germany include Deutsche Post, Kaufland, Sixt and C&A. I have not yet found any online printers in the list.

Secondly, Amex not only promises its partners that they will be able to acquire (new) customers without any effort on their part – because the partners do not have to do their own marketing for the campaigns, as Amex does this itself. By evaluating customer transactions in a closed loop, the credit card company also wants to be able to provide information on which partners are likely to be successful in developing bundle offers for customers, for example.

Thirdly, this article is not intended to be an advertisement for the credit card company mentioned, as there are certainly similar loyalty programs from other providers. What I do want to say, however, is that it is worth at least thinking about such offers. Because:

My Take: Hand on heart: many online print providers already offer numerous special promotions and discounts on special occasions – such as the World Cup, Halloween, Black Friday or with a view to Christmas. Why not use these to reach even more potential new customers? After all, it is sometimes important to leave the beaten track and try something new for end customers.

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Trends: Online printers and loyalty programs - does it work?
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Trends: Online printers and loyalty programs - does it work?
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Customer loyalty programs are in vogue, and not for the first time. Based on their purchasing behavior, customers receive special offers or discounts that ideally bind them to the service provider in the long term. This is important! And yet in-house customer loyalty programs often fall short of the mark because they are primarily aimed at existing customers and therefore consistently target the same group. To reach real new customers, it takes a little more - and I already have an idea...
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Beyond-print.net

Judith Grajewski war 14 Jahre für Deutscher Drucker tätig und hat als Redakteurin vor allem über den Wachstumsmarkt Digitaldruck berichtet, als Online-Verantwortliche das Portal print.de und die Social-Media-Kanäle mit aufgebaut und sich als „Transaction Editor“ mit Content-Management- und Marketingstrategien beschäftigt. Nach einem kurzen Intermezzo als Chefredakteurin des Werbetechnik- und LFP-Fachportals Sign&Print, bleibt die studierte Dipl.-Ing. für Medientechnik (FH) ihrer Leidenschaft für Print treu und widmet sich nun der Beratung und Projektbegleitung von Druckunternehmen auf ihrem Weg in eine digitalisierte Zukunft. Darüber hinaus gibt sie als Redakteurin für Beyond Print regelmäßig Einblick in relevante Themen des E-Business Print. (Profil bei Xing, LinkedIn)

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