7 Amazing Real-Life Customer Loyalty Program Examples to Get Inspired from in 2023

Aws Alnabulsi
April 14, 2023
10 min to read
7 Amazing Real-Life Customer Loyalty Program Examples to Get Inspired From

Why do customers remember some brands better than others? Why do people go back to certain stores more than others?

We all have our go-to options for eateries, apparel, technology, and more. The question is WHY?

According to the World Economic Forum, 99.9% of US businesses qualify as small businesses, and many of these businesses have continued to operate and succeed in growing thanks to their loyal customer base.

However, gaining this loyalty is more challenging than you may think. That’s why most business owners struggle to expand and thrive.

If you’re one of these business owners, learning from some of the best loyalty program examples can help. In this article, we’ll take a look at 7 of the most amazing and inspiring customer loyalty programs from various industries and niches to see what sets them apart from the rest. Who knows - maybe you’ll find your own inspiration to start your loyalty rewards program to reap the many benefits.

We’ll also show you how Core Loyalty can help you launch and optimize your loyalty program for repeat purchases and revenue growth.

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Customer Loyalty Program?
  • What Are the Benefits of a Loyalty Program?
  • How We Selected the Most Inspiring Examples of Loyalty Programs
  • Amazing Customer Loyalty Program Examples
  • Tips for Making Your Customer Loyalty Program Stand Out
  • Getting Started with Your Loyalty Program

What Is a Customer Loyalty Program?

What Is a Customer Loyalty Program Example?

A customer loyalty program is a strategy designed to keep customers attracted to your business for repeat purchases. It is one of the oldest methods of running a business and can greatly improve profits.

While the concept of rewards programs as a customer retention strategy was invented by brick-and-mortar store owners, it’s been successfully transferred to ecommerce websites too.

However, amid the increasing number of online stores within all industries, simply launching a loyalty program is not enough. Customers expect the best loyalty programs with the best terms and rewards in order to choose you over your competitors.

As an ecommerce business owner, you can select from the following most popular types of loyalty programs:

  • Value-Based Programs
  • Points Programs
  • Cashback Programs
  • Tiered Programs
  • Paid Loyalty Programs
  • Omnichannel Loyalty programs

Each of these customer loyalty programs has its own rewards systems that brands use to entice customers to return over and over again.

With the best loyalty programs, brands can connect with clients by allowing them to earn more rewards and maximize their purchases.

What Are the Benefits of a Loyalty Program?

Loyalty programs are among the most popular options for business owners wanting to enhance sales and profits. However, the best examples of loyalty programs have other benefits as well, including:

1. Better Customer Engagement

A small business loyalty program is the best way to increase customer engagement for SMEs which often struggle in competing with major players in the same industry. It allows businesses to entice more consumers and get the best results from these programs.

With higher customer engagement, building a better word-of-mouth reputation for your business is easier, and this is one of the most cost-effective as well as efficient ecommerce marketing strategies.

2. Improvement in Brand Affinity

Customer Loyalty Program Benefits - Brand Affinity

Building the right programs for loyalty helps with brand image and brand reputation. Loyalty programs in marketing are more effective than SMEs might think. They can help improve brand affinity, ensuring long-term growth for businesses. With the right repo, brands know they can rely on your offerings for their future requirements.

3. Improved Experience for Repeat Buyers

Repeat buyers are a straightforward way of increasing return on investment. It’s why many new brands use loyalty program software for the task. With the help of the right tools, you can easily create and scale a program over time as your business grows.

4. Increased Customer Retention

Customer retention can be particularly challenging for ecommerce business owners but can be eased with customer loyalty programs. If customers know they will get something out of repeated purchases, they will make more of them.

5. Sales and Revenue Growth

Maximizing sales and growing revenue are important factors for long-term business operations. With customer loyalty programs, you ensure a massive boost in sales and volume-based revenue growth. Although it might look like you are cutting down on profits a little by providing special discounts and rewards, it will benefit you in big ways in the long run.

How We Selected the Most Inspiring Loyalty Program Examples

Business owners can choose between varieties of different loyalty programs with a multitude of settings. However, it all comes down to choosing what works best for you and your customers.

To get you inspired, we have listed some of the most amazing loyalty program examples for 2023.

Here are the main factors we have prioritized in our selection of the top choices:

Emotional Bond

Companies with loyalty programs create them in order to entice customers and build a bond with them. All loyalty program examples we have chosen have been designed with the clear intention to create an emotional bond with customers.

Account-Based Loyalty

The more personalized a customer loyalty program is, the better it performs. Account-based loyalty programs provide customers with tailored rewards and offerings based on their specific experience and persona instead of using a standard procedure for the whole process. It’s a much smarter approach than wasting time in setting up a rewards model without getting something from your customers.

With account-based loyalty programs, companies can also collect consumer data and use it for future strategizing and adjustments.

Better Connection-Building

Customer Loyalty Program Examples Selection - Building Connections

The right customer loyalty program examples include a strong connection-building component with customers. If you are ready to invest the time and financial resources into launching a customer loyalty program, it should give sustainable long-term results. With a properly strategized program, your ecommerce business can easily create a business that runs long.

7 Amazing Customer Loyalty Program Examples

We’ve already discussed what makes the best customer loyalty program examples.

However, are there any real-life examples?

Yes, plenty.

Next, we’ve outlined the most popular and most inspiring customer loyalty programs that can help you find a direction for starting your own:

1. Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW)

The Designer Shoe Warehouse brand has a tier-based loyalty program that rewards customers for every purchase. There’s no registration required as each customer is identified by their contact number. The brand also uses email marketing to drop gentle reminders about their program.

DSW is also using email automation to collect and save consumer data. The combination of all these features makes DSW customer loyalty program examples the most unique ones.

2. Starbucks

The Starbucks Loyalty Star Program is equally commendable, albeit in a totally different industry. The brand uses centralized transactions for the process, making it fast and easy for customers to participate and win. Meanwhile, the brand collects customer preferences and uses them for future customer retention strategies.

3. Sephora Beauty Insider

Sephora Beauty Insiders loyalty program sales make up most of the brand’s sales ratio. Customers win and earn through a traditional point-based system. They can redeem these points for a limited time or exclusive products. Consumers have the choice to pick the product of their choice, making this a particularly effective strategy that fits the expectations of just about anyone.

4. Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime’s loyalty program is probably one of the most famous examples of loyalty programs, and all for good reasons. Prime membership offers same-day deliveries and plenty of other benefits. It makes customers spend nearly twice as much as their normal spending, which is a great way for the company to maximize sales and profits.

5. North Face

North Face is a clothing brand known to have one of the industry’s best customer loyalty program examples. They have incentivized payments for customers. Customers can also use points from the XPLR Pass program and win via activities like:

  • Exclusive Events
  • Downloading The North Face App
  • Checking In At Locations

6. Apple

Apple knows how to retain its customers and has done so for over a decade now. The brand doesn’t have a loyalty program per se, but it has still had customer’s loyalty for a long time.

The company has achieved this by providing quality products to its customers for many years now. However, you can still use the Apple Wallet loyalty card to maximize earnings.

7. REI Co-Op

REI Co-Op knows that its job is to convince customers to purchase more. Therefore, they have some of the best customer loyalty program examples from which you can get inspiration.

You can join the company rewards program for as little as $20 and get 10% cash back on all purchases. Customers readily purchase items through this benefit, earning more for the brand.

5 Tips for Making Your Customer Loyalty Program Stand Out

Customer Loyalty Program Examples - Tips

Customer loyalty program examples are not challenging to find. However, they only work if they stand out. Almost every brand has a loyalty program, and making yours look unique is the key to success.

You can try the following tips for creating a customer loyalty program that stands out and generates the expected results:

1. Pick the Right Name

Branding is a major part of any loyalty program, so take the time to pick the right name for your loyalty program. Connect it with your brand name while making it short and memorable. Highlight the value that customers get for participation and make them feel special.

2. Develop Meaning

A loyalty program lasts only if it adds meaning to the brand and the customers. Create programs that contribute to the existing structures and make them better. Embed your brand values in your rewards program system.

3. Offer Multiple Rewards

A customer loyalty program is good only if it connects with more customers. Ensure your loyalty program has personalized options, as in the case of several brands we’ve discussed. Tiered programs with VIP levels and badges work well in this regard.

4. Provide Multiple Enrolling Opportunities

Not all customers will enroll in the loyalty program immediately. Ensure you allow customers to enroll at different stages of the customer journey and at multiple times throughout the year to increase your loyal customer base.

5. Focus on Consumer Values

The non-monetary rewards offered should depend on consumer values. Add rewards like company ownership to make the customers feel special.

Getting Started with Your Loyalty Program

Finding the right customer loyalty program model for your business can be fairly challenging, but it’s worth giving it a shot because of the many important advantages which rewards programs bring to brands and their ecommerce stores.

The best approach to finding the most appropriate model for your business is getting inspiration from some of the most popular and most amazing loyalty program examples. You can take different features from each of the 7 examples we’ve discussed above to create your own tailor-made, unique customer loyalty program.

Start Your Loyalty Program with Core Loyalty

If you need some extra help, Core Loyalty can help you start and optimize your loyalty program in no time. Whether you opt for a points-based, cashback, VIP, or referral program, we support them all. Moreover, we offer sophisticated gamification features to get your customers even more engaged and make them come back even more often.

Click here to get started today.


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Daniela Andreevska

Daniela has 6 years of experience in digital marketing for ecommerce businesses.

Aws Alnabulsi

Aws is the Co-Founder of Coretava, a complete retail ecommerce growth platform. He has 6+ years of experience in managing and growing ecommerce businesses.

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