Appstle | A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands

A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands

Appstle | A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands

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A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands

Learn how to set up and succeed with your Shopify food and beverage loyalty program 

The online food and beverage market has grown exponentially. The coming years will see further growth.

This growth brings various opportunities for eCommerce food and beverage brands to attract and engage customers to boost profits. 

A key part of today’s eCommerce food and beverage brands are loyalty programs. 

75% of customers prefer to transact with brands that have some sort of a loyalty or rewards program.

In this blog, we deep dive into customer loyalty programs for food and beverage brands, what they are, the benefits, how to set up a good loyalty program, and much more.

Let’s get started!

The rise of food and beverage online market

Just like other industries, the food and beverage online market is experiencing vibrancy and growth like never before. 

There are new food and beverage online brands springing up every day. New technology and digital capabilities are supporting brands. 

Consider these statistics:

  • The food & beverages e-commerce market is expected to grow to $140.42 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 19.1%
  • The total global retail eCommerce sales is expected to reach 22% of global retail sales in 2024
  • F&B is the fastest growing industry in eCommerce
  • Social commerce in F&B is estimated to increase by 180% by 2028
  • Subscriptions will be one of the biggest trends in the food and beverage market

What are customer loyalty programs for food and beverage stores?

Loyalty programs for food and beverage stores are points or rewards systems designed to engage customers. Loyalty programs offer many benefits, perks, and advantages to customers. Loyalty programs ensure customers keep coming back for more.

However, customer loyalty programs for food and beverage brands may differ from those in other industries. The reasons being the nature of the products, the industry systems, and consumer preferences.

For instance, offers such as buy 1 get 1 may or may not work for certain products because customers may not want to overstock items as they are perishable. But free delivery may work well. 

The F & B eCommerce market includes various types of businesses. For example, online grocery delivery, subscriptions, online restaurants, packaged food eCommerce, fresh food eCommerce, organic food, etc. 

Here are some loyalty program examples in the food and beverage sector:

Dunkin Donuts Rewards

Appstle | A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands


Chipotle Rewards

Appstle | A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands


Benefits of customer loyalty programs for food and beverage stores

Your food and beverage loyalty program should offer benefits to customers and also to you. Let’s look at some benefits you can expect for your eCommerce food and beverage brand.

1. Boost sales

Loyalty programs in the F&B industry help increase sales. Customers prefer to transact with brands that have some sort of a loyalty or rewards program. Because these programs offer benefits to customers, which improves their satisfaction.

2. Build stronger customer connections

Loyalty programs provide exclusive benefits to a select segment of customers. This makes them feel special, hence builds stronger connections. Moreover, it gives customers a community feel, which makes them want to engage and stick around for longer.

3. Improves retention rates

Studies show loyalty programs can help increase retention rates by 25%. When customers receive benefits, perks, and points, they feel obliged to return to your store for more. Moreover, if you ensure you offer an engaging experience, they won’t feel like going to other brands.

4. Faster growth and scaling 

With eCommerce food and beverage stores, you can target many customers at one go. Add to it a loyalty program, and your opportunities and possibilities of scaling and growth can multiply many times. 

How to set up customer loyalty programs for food and beverage brands?

Follow these actionable steps to set up a loyalty program with a strong foundation. Ensuring the basics are well-thought out will set you up for higher success rates. Here are some steps to get you started.

1. Design a program that is unique and aligns with your brand

There are many types of loyalty and rewards programs but you must design one that is relevant to your brand. Moreover, most brands create similar programs. If you want to stand out from the crowd, create a program customers find value in. For that, you will have to understand your customer segments and their preferences.

Here are a few ideas to design your loyalty program:

  • Create a points-based program: Offer points on purchases, referrals, repeat purchases, subscriptions, etc.
  • Create tiered loyalty program with gamification elements: Customers enjoy benefits based on the level they belong to and can progress levels as they earn more points
  • Paid loyalty program: Customers pay a fee to enjoy exclusive benefits and perks
  • Value-based loyalty programs: Brands donate a portion of sales to specific causes and charities

2. Define your objectives and rewards

One of the most important aspects to figure out for your loyalty program is the ‘why’. 

You must know your goals and what you’re trying to achieve through the loyalty program. There could be many objectives, for example:

  • Increase the minimum order value
  • Improve your brand image
  • Boost customer engagement on your Shopify store
  • Focus on improving customer loyalty

Each of these aspects can help you understand what exactly you want from your loyalty program and what you should do to achieve it.

For instance, to improve engagement, you can incorporate gamification into your customer loyalty program for food and beverage brands. 

Your objectives will also help you decide and define your program rewards. For instance, if you want to increase the minimum order value, you can offer more points, create multiple opportunities to earn points. 

3. Clearly state how to earn and use points

Once you decide on your rewards structure, you must ensure you clearly convey it to customers. To ensure you don’t mislead or confuse customers, you must have complete clarity on the points structure.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Create a dedicated page for your food and beverage loyalty program
  • Clearly mention the rewards and points that customers can earn for which actions
  • Explain the points structure clearly via text and visually
  • Mention examples of earning and using points
  • Don’t leave anything to guesswork
  • Be honest about points, any limitations, points expiration, etc.

4. Make your loyalty program exciting

This is one of the most important factors to pay attention to if you want a successful loyalty program in the food and beverage industry. Because you have to ensure your audience does not lose interest and stays engaged. 

Run of the mill loyalty programs will not be able to attract new members or retain the existing ones. 

Here are some things to do:

  • Add engaging elements into your loyalty program
  • Monitor and measure engagement levels in different elements 
  • If some elements are not adding engagement, remove them
  • Double up on the elements that are bringing excitement and engagement
  • Be consistent in adding new elements to keep customers engaged
Appstle | A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands


5. Provide benefits beyond your own products

Only product-based benefits and perks might get saturated after a point. Besides, customers will also get bored of the same benefits.

Variety can help push your loyalty program in a whole new direction.

Here are some benefits you can offer that have nothing to do with your products:

  • Convert reward points into gift cards, vouchers for other brands, etc.
  • Collaborate with other brands that are not in the food and beverage industry
  • Organize special fun and entertaining events for loyalty program members 

6.  Monitor, analyze, and optimize your loyalty program

To ensure you are going on the right track with your F&B loyalty program, you will have to continuously monitor and analyze the performance of your program. However, you have to consider this as a continuous practice.

The food and beverage market and the loyalty market keep changing. And so do customer preferences and demands. To stay up to date with market trends, ensure you consistently monitor your loyalty program, analyze its performance and optimize it to make it better. 

You must keep a track of the number of your members, new members, churn rate, average order value, customer lifetime value, etc. 

How to set up customer loyalty programs for food and beverage brands with Appstle Loyalty?

There are many Shopify loyalty and rewards apps in the market. But one of them stands out — Appstle Loyalty and Rewards App. In this section, we look at the features of this comprehensive app that can take your food and beverage loyalty program to new heights.

  • Multiple ways to earn points for customers: Appstle offers many types of activity rules that enable customers to earn more points. For instance, for purchase, birthday, new customers, social media likes, follows, reviews, etc.
  • Many types of loyalty programs: With Appstle Loyalty and Rewards App, you can set up different types of loyalty programs—paid, tier-based, gamified, etc.
  • Gamification features: The app incorporates gamification features for awarding and redeeming loyalty points so customers always stay engaged.
  • Performance analytics to optimize further: Appstle Loyalty app provides in-depth analytics so you can know what’s working and what’s not working in your loyalty program
  • Excellent customer support: Appstle App provides 24/7/365 days so Shopify merchants can get all their queries addresses instantly
  • Customized points redemption: Appstle allows customers to redeem their loyalty points in many ways, such as free shipping, discounts, gifts, donation towards causes, etc.
  • Seamless integration with other apps: With Appstle, you can provide an omnichannel experience to customers across platforms such as social media, app, website, etc.

Summing up

You can easily get started with setting up a customer loyalty program for your food and beverage brand using the Appstle Loyalty and Rewards App. 

The app is designed for Shopify and Shopify Plus stores across industries, including for loyalty programs for the food and beverage industry. 

As mentioned earlier in the blog, Appstle Loyalty and Rewards app offers features such as gamification of loyalty programs, customization features, seamless integration with third party apps, easy migration from other loyalty apps, and excellent customer support. This makes Appstle the best choice for Shopify F&B brands. 

Install Appstle Loyalty and Rewards App on your Shopify store today!

About the author

Appstle | A Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs for Food and Beverage Brands

Vanhishikha Bhargava

Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Marketer for Appstle Solutions. You’ll always find her creating content or reading up on the industry with a cup of coffee in hand, which makes her anxious at times! But stay tuned for insightful pieces. Always.

If you are looking to understand more about Appstle Inc’s products and solutions, you can get in touch with us. Our 24x7x365 available experts will be happy to assist you further.

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