9 Loyalty Programs From the US

Loyalty programs have become an effective way to retain customers and to boost sales and revenue. According to the 2015 Colloquy Loyalty Census, US consumers hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs. More than 75% of US adults participate in customer loyalty programs like those offered by credit card companies, hotel chains and retailers. More than $50 billion worth of perceived value in reward points and miles are issued by American businesses annually.

Here are some of the loyalty programs from the US that are popular among consumers and merchants:

Merchant-Focused Loyalty Programs

  1. Perka

Total merchants: 1,000+

Perka provides a mobile marketing and consumer loyalty platform (mobile app) for merchants. The company is headquartered in Portland, OR and New York City. It connects businesses to customers through their mobile phones to draw them back to their business with special offers and rewards. First Data acquired Perka for $30M to take on rivals like Square and PayPal in the small-business products market. The loyalty program is active in 50 states and 9 countries. Fast Company listed Perka among its World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2013. The program offers features such as reward customization and automatic enrolment. The focus segments for the loyalty program are food & drink, retail, business on the go and e-commerce.

  1. Shopkick

Total members: 19 million

Revenue: $26 million (2014)

About 270,000 retail locations offer kicks.

Shopkick is an American company based in Silicon Valley. Gives points called kicks which are awarded when users walk into participating stores. The company was ranked the most widely used and most-engaging shopping app in the real world by Nielsen in 2012. Shopkick created a highly accurate inaudible audio signal that is unique to each store that can be detected by smartphone users who have the Shopkick app installed, when the app is open. Shopkick has the largest iBeacon deployment in retail at over 8,000 large stores (including all Macy's and Old Navy stores) as of early 2015.

  1. Belly

No. of merchants: 12,000

No. of members: 6 million

Belly helps in building customer relationships with its business loyalty program. Through its program, it helps in creating digital connections, strengthening customer relationships and increasing customer loyalty. The biggest benefit of Belly—from a business standpoint—is its access to detailed analytics and personalization. Businesses can use Belly data to send out exclusive branded emails and other tailored offers to customers. Restaurant, salons & spas and convenience stores are the focus industries for Belly.

  1. Bierley + Partners

No. of merchants: 250

Brierley is a Nomura Research Institute company, offering a full range of loyalty/CRM technology and services focused on helping brands build lifetime customer relationships. Its product offerings include technology product Brierley LoyaltWare, Brierley CampaignWare, Brierley Digital Messaging Suits, Brierley SurveyWare, Brierley Data360 and Brierley loyalty on demand. Some of its clients include Hertz, Hilton Worldwide, Express, Hard Rock Café, MoneyGram, Expedia, Sonic etc.

  1. FiveStars

No. of merchants: 10,000+

No. of members: 10 million+

FiveStars provides small businesses with a differentiated tool set allowing them to learn about their customers and continuously engage with them. In January 2016, FiveStars raised $50 million in funding with the aim of helping small businesses build consumer loyalty.

  1. Perkville

No. of members: 1,576,428 (referral program joinees)

Business locations: 1,882

Industries Catered: Yoga, gyms, retail, salons

Perkville offers a way to create, manage and track customer loyalty programs while also taking advantage of customer referrals through promotional rewards. The app lets you create customer rewards programs based on a point system. The industries catered by the loyalty program are yoga, gyms, retail and salons.

Customer-Focused Loyalty Programs

  1. Plenti

AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy and Hulu joined hands with American Express to launch Plenti, the first US-based coalition loyalty program. Plenti Card is similar to Payback; it allows customer to accumulate points on spend done at participating merchants. Consumers can earn and use Plenti points for purchasing a wide range of products, regardless of the payment method consumers choose to use (the customer doesn’t need to have an AmEx Card). Plenti’s online marketplace was launched to boost points at hundreds of online retailers.

  1. Dunkin Donuts – DD Perk Reward

Members: 3.6+ million

The program was launched in January 2014. With DD Perks, users will earn five points for every dollar they spend on qualifying purchases at Dunkin’ Donuts when they pay using an enrolled Dunkin’ Donuts Card, either plastic or with the Dunkin’ Mobile App. Once a user acquires 200 points, he obtains a coupon for a free medium beverage of his choice that is redeemable at any of the participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants.

In addition to this, DD Perks members will receive exclusive, personalized special offers to earn bonus points for specific food and beverage purchases throughout the year.

  1. Amazon Prime

Members: 54 million US members

The program provides unlimited free two-day shipping or one-day shipping for $4 for millions of items. It also provides unlimited free streaming from Amazon Instant Video (featuring 5,000-plus movies and TV shows).

  1. Starbucks Reward

Members: 11 million

The program gives rewards based on dollars spent rather than number of visits. The main aim of the reward program is to get more people to sign up for the loyalty program and ultimately, increase store sales and profit. The company said that fewer than one in six of its more than 75 million monthly visitors are loyalty members, pointing to the potential to attract more customers to the program.