Great Examples of Customer Loyalty Programs

As a business owner or someone on the marketing team, you know that you want to start a customer loyalty program for your organization, but where do you start? The task can seem daunting, and if you’re looking for something a little more efficient than a simple punch card, there are a ton of questions you have to ask yourself. What will I reward customers with, and what will it look like? A great way to receive a starting clue or at least a foundation on what you would like to build your program on would be to observe other successful programs within your market or vertical. In this post, we’ve examined a couple of programs that you may view in order to get an idea of where to begin.


Starbucks Loyalty.png

The Starbucks loyalty program is one of the most talked about customer loyalty programs in the United States as of recently as they’ve switched from a 1 point per purchase system to a dollar to point conversion rate. This has caused a major uproar with Starbucks loyalty members who were benefiting from the program by purchasing cheap drinks, however, the change benefits customers who buy more expensive drinks. The move was a great way to incentivize customers to buy more, however, it’s risky to make changes once your program had already been established. One of the great features, that is technically a gamified feature, are the Starbucks status levels. With a gold status level, which you achieve by spending a certain amount of money with Starbucks, you receive certain benefits that people who aren’t of that status level otherwise wouldn’t receive.

Papa John’s of Russia

Papa Johns

Papa John’s of Russia uses a customer loyalty program that is both viable for their in-store and eCommerce platforms. Since their system feeds into both channels customers have the ability to benefit from purchases they make from whichever way they decide to purchase their pizza. One of the great things about the Papa John’s program is that they make it easy for customers to gain extra points by sharing their purchases on Social Media or inviting friends to the program during the actual ordering process. This makes it easier to incentivize customers and benefit both parties. Papa John’s of Russia’s program is a great example of gamification being utilized. 



Gilt Insider.png

Gilt is another great example of a customer loyalty program as they are solely an eCommerce shop. Gilt’s program is labeled as the “Gilt Insider” program. One of the great things about giving customers the illusion that they’re an “Insider” by being part of the program is that it gives customers the feeling that they’re part of an “exclusive” club. The Gilt program allows customers to receive points based on dollars spent, and in turn, they can exchange their points for discounts on purchases.


Walgreens Balance

Walgreens is one of the loyalty programs that I use the most, even though my interaction with it is primarily through Duane Reade, which is popular in the New York City area. This program is a great example of a loyalty program simply because of how little it requires for the customer to do. I walk up to the counter, input my phone number into the credit card reader, purchase my products, receive my points, and after I reach a certain number of points I receive a discount on the items I’m purchasing. There is very little thought and action that is required from the customer in order for them to benefit from the program. 

Best Buy

Best Buy Rewards Zone
The Best Buy Reward Zone program is another great program to view due to their use of both the dollar to point conversion rate and multiple tiered status systems. For example, if you spend over a certain amount a year with Best Buy then you can become an “elite” member. The “elite” member status level includes benefits such as free standard shipping on all purchases. This is a benefit that does make a difference for the customer but isn’t extremely costly for the business. As shown with some of the other programs mentioned above, Best Buy makes the program as easy as possible for customers to participate by automatically associating points achieved to the customer’s account by prompting customers for their phone number at the point of purchase.

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