Is your loyalty program skipping the post-purchase phase?

January 13, 2022 | 4 minute read
Becki Francis
Associate Director Client Strategy, Retail at Movable Ink
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When everyone was forced online during the global pandemic, privacy concerns prompted Apple and other tech brands to change their data practices. Brands have responded by shifting how they view the customer journey, as data simultaneously becomes more abundant with the increase of digital shopping and more difficult to use with the sunsetting of third-party cookies and the introduction of Mail Privacy Protection

Now, customer loyalty is at the heart of nearly every digital marketer’s 2022 objectives. Yet as Nikki Baird argues in Forbes, the customer journey has largely focused on new customer acquisition leaving post-purchase strategies and loyalty to the wayside. It’s time for savvy brands to extend that journey past acquisition by focusing on personalization that builds real relationships with consumers post-purchase.

Dedication to loyalty

Brands have always been focused on building customer loyalty. And their focus increased dramatically after the release of Mail Privacy Protection, which limits marketers’ ability to personalize emails based on someone’s IP address. Almost overnight, many marketers were forced to adjust tactics and there was a goldrush on sophisticated zero- and first-party data strategies. 

Loyalty programs are an excellent way to build customer relationships while collecting important zero- and first-party data you can then use in sophisticated personalized email and mobile campaigns. With so many marketers using loyalty programs, customers may be inundated with new offers, which could then drive up the costs associated with perks and rewards—a 10% off coupon or free month of streaming doesn’t sound all that enticing when another brand offers twice that. So how do you better understand exactly what your customers want and build real value that goes much further than a discount ever could?

One place to start is the post-acquisition phase, when customers have the warm glow of that new purchase still dancing in their head. Brands should focus on the wants and needs of consumers at this moment, by understanding the questions customers ask themselves and building marketing personalization strategies that provide the answers. It’s time to build more loyal customers by breaking down their journey from purchase to loyalist. 

Integrating loyalty into customer journeys

As previously mentioned, many marketers tend to focus their customer journeys on the acquisition phase: What do customers need to know about our brand before they buy and how do we build digital marketing and personalization strategies around these questions? Yet acquisition is only the start of the customer journey. The real value lies in understanding the customer’s needs once they’ve purchased, subscribed, invested, or booked a flight.  

The truth is many post-purchase customer journeys were completely upended by the ease that eCommerce introduced. Suddenly, consumers who were unfamiliar with or uninterested in online shopping learned how simple it is to compare prices across many different websites and brands. Marketers banking on loyal customers to weather the pandemic quickly learned the fickle nature of their new reality. 

It’s up to marketers to stem the tide and build loyal, personal relationships with consumers that increase average lifetime value. That will require a certain understanding of a customer’s thought and decision-making process as well as cross-channel personalization that addresses these needs. 

Much like every customer is unique, customer journeys will differ from industry to industry and even brand to brand. For an outdoor retailer, personalized emails that offer instructional content on a customer’s favorite activities could help strengthen the relationship in ways that a promotional offer never could. For quick serve restaurant brands, a sophisticated mobile loyalty program could answer questions of convenience that solve real-world issues for their customers. 

Personalize the omni-channel path

Personalizing every step of the customer journey, across multiple channels builds customer loyalty. However, when you integrate the post-purchase journey into digital marketing, personalization can help create more lasting relationships that build revenue and keep customers happy.


To learn more about personalizing the customer journey to create loyal, happy customers, and deepen customer relationships, check out these resources,  

Visit out website to learn more about Movable Ink

Becki Francis

Associate Director Client Strategy, Retail at Movable Ink

Prior to joining Movable Ink, Becki worked client-side in a variety of marketing and CRM roles within retail. She joined us from Revolution Beauty, where she managed the brand’s digital marketing activity and global retention strategy. Prior to that, Becki led the CRM team at House of Fraser, focusing on the rollout of a series of highly automated lifecycle programs. It was in this role that Becki first worked with Movable Ink, using the platform to drive process efficiencies and 1:1 personalization at scale through the email channel. Becki now leads our retail strategy practice in EMEA.

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