Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

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Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

The apparel industry has been on a steady track of growth ever since it recovered after the pandemic, with the market revenue globally expected to hit $1.7 trillion in 2024. The Fashion and clothing industry is gigantic and, especially in the online retail market, the competition is extremely high.

Customers today have a diverse number of brands to choose from and all of this has made winning customer loyalty more challenging for retail clothing brands. To win them over you need to keep engaging customers and invest in nurturing and solidifying the relationship you have with them. 

This is where building a great loyalty program comes into play. In this blog, we will be talking about everything you need to know to build your retail clothing brand loyalty program.

What is a retail clothing brand loyalty program?

A customer loyalty program is when a brand rewards the customers who engage with them recurrently. Simply put, a retail clothing brand loyalty program is when a clothing brand recognizes its loyal customers and decides to reward them with special benefits, perks and incentives. The benefits might be locked behind loyalty levels or could be won with points.

Benefits can include special prices, rewards, discount coupons, free products or other perks like free shipping, early access, one-day delivery etc. 

These incentives help to make regular visitors into even more regular shoppers, or even brand promoters who could spread the word about the retail clothing brand to their peers.

What are the benefits of a customer loyalty program for retail clothing brands?

Before we get into further details on building brand loyalty in the apparel industry, let’s have a look at some of the key reasons to consider customer loyalty programs for fashion brands.

1. Minimize dependence on discounting

Fashion brands constantly have to rely on discounting to keep their customers interested and improve sales. With effective loyalty plans for clothing retailers, this reliance on discounting can be reduced while still incentivizing and improving retention by introducing newer, practical and more sustainable alternatives.

2. Increase year-round sales

Selling during quiet periods can be tricky, but loyalty programs can remedy this. Members of customer loyalty programs spend more and purchase more, around the year compared to usual customers. You will be able to boost your sales even during quiet periods of the year, as the incentives and loyalty rewards can convince them to make repeat purchases.

3. Gather important customer data

A customer loyalty program offers an ingenious way to collect customer data on their interests, preferences, purchase behaviors and more. These insights allow you to further improve the loyalty program experience and tailor your product offerings and strategies to align with customer demands.

4. Improve customer retention

Retaining customers is harder than ever in the present marketplace. Loyalty programs offer a solution to this by giving you a structured way to nurture, grow and retain your customers, and make them come back to your brand for more.

5. Gain a competitive edge

Building brand loyalty in the apparel industry can ultimately set your brand apart from your competitors. In a highly competitive industry where the battle for customer attention is at its peak, winning over long-term customers makes all the difference. A good loyalty program can differentiate your brand as unique compared to the other brands in the industry.

How do fashion retailers build loyalty?

With immense competition in the industry, top-notch customer service and a masterfully built loyalty program are critical for fashion retail brands to improve customer retention and engagement. Tracking customer preferences and creating personalized promotions that are tailored to make for the most unique and seamless shopping experiences can help greatly in enhancing customer experience in fashion retail. This makes your promotions and interactions relevant and effective.

Customer service is just as critical as a loyalty program in improving brand loyalty. Customers respond positively when their issues are resolved efficiently and they feel that the brand cares about their issues. And by satisfying your customers they become active brand promoters who can bring in more prospects with word-of-mouth marketing.

A loyalty program works at its best if it is well-designed and offers the best value to the brand’s most loyal customers. If done right, it can help create and maintain engagement with any fashion retail brand’s customers, consistently.  By regularly tracking, and improving your customer loyalty programs and providing exciting incentives, you can nurture and build a strong customer base while creating lasting customer relationships.

Examples of loyalty programs for fashion retail

Before we delve into more specifics about creating compelling loyalty programs let us take a look at a few fashion brands showcasing some of the finest loyalty programs in the industry.

1. H&M

Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

H&M features a good combination of discounts, early access, and sustainable fashion initiatives in its loyalty program that strikes a chord with its users. With a powerful mobile app that makes accessing the program extremely convenient, as well as benefits like free delivery, money-off vouchers and experiential perks like exclusive events, H&M promises value to its customers that goes beyond mere discounts.

2. Lululemon

Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

Lululemon doesn’t only boast stylish athletic wear, but also an exceptionally good loyalty program. The best part about their program is the sense of community that is being achieved. With benefits like exclusive access to products and events, receipt-free returns, free hemming etc. as well as community events like special events, workout sessions etc. Lululemon creates a unique experience for its loyal customers.

3. Lucy and Yak

Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

Lucy and Yak’s loyalty program is coherent and extremely aligned with the brand’s personality. Customers get to see the real people behind the program and with this kind of transparency, personality and light-hearted branding, Lucy and Yak succeed in creating a meaningful loyalty program experience.

4. Taylor Stitch

Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

Taylor Stitch, the popular menswear company, approaches brand loyalty as a means to encourage brand advocacy to reach more people. They do this with a clever referral program that directly communicates the value. They further take this into a community-building structure, with a page providing details on the community. They also feature intriguing on-brand welcome emails for their loyalty program members showcasing what the brand stands for.

5. Abbott Lyon

Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing Brands

Abbott Lyon shows that besides discounts, there are other ways to express gratitude and appreciation to customers. This brand provides its most loyal customers with free products, as a way of “Thank You”. The prospect of free tangible gifts has more appeal and does a better job of convincing buyers to consider the brand.

How to make your fashion rewards program stand out?

There’s no particular formula to apply or a specific model of a loyalty program that would work for all fashion retail brands. But there are a few important areas to focus on, that can help you differentiate your brand from the competition and improve customer loyalty.

1. Create a well-structured program

Consider different strategies and combine them to create a well-structured and effective loyalty program. Here are a few strategies to consider:

  • Points and rewards: Create a point-based system for customers so that they can earn points for actions and redeem them for rewards such as discounts or free products.
  • Tiered loyalty programs: Create a tier-based system where customers rise up the tiers through spending and engagement. The lower tiers will offer standard benefits and the benefits can get more desirable as one progresses through the tiers.
  • Personalized rewards: Customize loyalty rewards for specific customers based on their interests, behaviors and preferences. These can include birthday discounts, access to limited edition products or customized recommendations.

2. Unique reward experience

A loyalty program should be memorable and for this, you need to provide a unique reward experience that provides customers great value. Here are a few suggestions.

  • VIP Club: Create an exclusive club for your most valued customers. VIP membership can provide elite benefits and perks such as priority access to new products, invitation-only events, one-day delivery etc. to reward top-tier, high-value customers.
  • Gamify: Add gamification elements such as puzzles, contests, quizzes etc. into your loyalty program to make it more engaging, interactive and fun for your customers.
  • Experiential rewards: Reward customers with unique experiences like designer meet-and-greets, exclusive fashion event invitations, behind-the-scenes tours etc. to strengthen their emotional connection with your brand.
  • Social media: Engage customers and create excitement around your retail clothing brand loyalty program with social media platforms. You can also use social media platforms to host influencer/model collabs, user-generated content campaigns, online contests etc.

3. Seamless engagement

Another key area to focus on, for driving loyalty is to build seamless in-store experiences to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. For this, you can try the following techniques:

  • Push notifications: Send real-time updates, event alerts, flash sales alerts, personalized offers, reward points information etc. to customers using push notifications.
  • Digital loyalty cards: Use digital loyalty cards that can be scanned during purchase to earn rewards and monitor their reward program. This eliminates the need for any real cards and streamlines checkout for loyalty program members.
  • Loyalty Apps: Have a dedicated app for loyalty programs, from where customers can easily track their status, view and redeem reward points, access exclusive offers, engage with the business etc.
  • Integration: Make sure that your fashion brand loyalty program is well integrated with both your offline and online channels. It should align with your brand and its objectives, and allow your customers to access the program seamlessly.
  • Receipt scanning: Allow customers to earn reward points when purchasing from retail partners or third-party stores, by simply uploading receipts through your loyalty program app or website.

7 steps to build a loyalty program

Usually, loyalty programs can be set up in minutes, but to ensure your loyalty program is working at its best, it is better to plan and execute it carefully. We have listed out the major steps for creating fashion loyalty programs that can give the best results.

1. Define your goals and objectives

Before you start with your loyalty program, it is important that you define the goals and objectives. It is important that you set out with a clear picture of what your loyalty program should be achieving. Some common loyalty program objectives include:

  • Improving customer retention and reducing churn by increasing loyalty.
  • Improve sales by incentivizing customers with offers and other benefits for their repeat purchases and loyalty.
  • Make existing customers your active brand promoters who will advocate for your brand and refer it to other customers.
  • Collect crucial customer data to better personalize campaigns and carry out more relevant and impactful marketing.

By clearly defining what you want to achieve with your loyalty program, each decision relating to the development of the loyalty program can be more targeted and effective.

2. Choose your loyalty rewards

After defining your objectives, it is time to get to the specifics of your rewards program. Rewards make the core of your loyalty program and they can determine the success of it in a significant way. Start by deciding what rewards you are going to provide to your customers. Keep in mind that the rewards should be relevant to your customers and should align with your brand persona. The rewards can include:

  • Offer percentage-based or fixed discounts for customer purchases.
  • Allow customers to use collected reward points in exchange for free products.
  • Provide benefits like exclusive events, early access sales, limited edition products, free shipping etc.
  • Send surprise gifts to loyal customers to show appreciation.

3. Select a loyalty platform

The next step is to choose the right technology for managing your loyalty program. You should take the following things into consideration when doing this:

  • The platform should be scalable so as to grow along your loyalty program, as it expands with your business.
  • The loyalty platform should be user-friendly for both your team and your customers.
  • The loyalty platform should integrate with both your online store and your existing set of tools seamlessly.
  •  The platform should offer deep customer data and analytics features to monitor the performance of the business.

4. Set up the rules for your loyalty program

Set up explicit program regulations, rules and guidelines to prevent any possible misunderstandings. You will have to specify how customers can earn points, and redeem rewards, and also explain the program’s terms and conditions. You can clearly communicate these rules on your website and promotional materials.

5. Personalize the program

Personalizing simply with first names is not going to cut it anymore. Collect important customer data to create unique customer journeys, where you can utilize automation and triggers for targeted messaging. You can also send out birthday messages, share loyalty point updates and provide personalized gift bundles for a more personal experience.

6. Launch your loyalty program and promote it

After you are done with setting up your loyalty program, you can launch and promote it to your audience. To promote it, utilize multiple channels such as email, social media and your website to let people know about your fashion brand loyalty program. A sign-up bonus would be a compelling incentive to get people on board the program.

7. Monitor performance

Once your loyalty program is up and running, you should start monitoring it to measure success. Metrics for clothing brand loyalty such as retention and churn rates can give an idea of how effective the program is. Use the collected data and customer feedback to recognize what areas require improvement. Constantly assessing the program, testing strategies, seeing what works and adjusting accordingly is the only way to ensure your fashion loyalty program is directed towards success.


The above steps and the examples of successful loyalty programs that we have listed can be the inspiration you need to take the first step towards a path of long-term success in the fashion industry.

Nurturing retail clothing brand loyalty with the right strategies and cleverly crafted loyalty programs is key to surviving and thriving in a highly competitive industry. Loyalty programs, by enhancing customer experience in the fashion retail industry, ensure that you are building lasting and meaningful customer relationships and a strong customer base.

The easiest way to achieve this is with Appstle.

Appstle, by enabling you to set up highly engaging and innovative loyalty programs, helps you build a perfectly engaged customer base and improve your brand’s CLTV, while also providing you tools such as in-depth performance analytics to track the effectiveness of your campaigns.Get Appstle today!

About the author

Appstle | Complete Guide to Customer Loyalty for Retail Clothing 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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