Using a loyalty program with local currencyCustomer loyalty programs, like local currency, work best when everyone participates.  The great thing about loyalty programs is that they can work in collaboration with local currency, and getting your fellow community businesses on board is a great way to advertise for each other.

But where to start?


Creating a Customer Loyalty Program

Do you already have a few loyalty cards cluttering up your wallet or keychain? There are so many out there because they work. According to Access Development, 84% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a website with a loyalty program. They also found that loyalty programs can increase a brand’s market share by as much as 20%. Why do you think all the big companies have them?

Rewarding people for shopping is a great way to keep your customers coming back, and whether you put these suggestions into effect on your own or seek help from the local chamber or Main Street program, the savings are bound to get noticed. 

Here are several ways to implement community customer loyalty programs:

Discounts Cards: People love discounts. Create a card that features all participating local businesses, and the percentage off offered at each establishment. You can also do discount referral cards, where patrons can pick up a discount card at another shop when they buy from you.

Your chamber may already have a member-to-member discount program but this type of offering can really benefit foot traffic in an area. If you have a street with many businesses on it you could try to put together a discount card for your area of town to encourage more foot traffic and leisurely shopping.


A Local Business Coupon Book: For $20 (or whatever amount you decide), people can pick up a coupon book filled with hundreds of dollars in savings at businesses throughout the community. You can also partner with a local charity to sell the coupon books, and a portion of the proceeds will go to that charity. Students at the local schools can also sell the books to raise money for their school.  A coupon book is a great way to advertise your business and show you support the community.

It also helps people get the most out of their local currency, which is always appreciated.


Multi-Store Punch Card: Just like you can have your own business punch card, consider partnering with other stores to create a punch card that can be used at any local store. Customers get a punch for every $20 spent, then they get $20 off a future purchase at a participating store of their choice.

One note of caution: this can be a bit of an administrative headache because you’ll likely have to track where they spend what. But if you make the reward a simple discount, it would function no differently than working as a coupon.

By creating and participating in a community customer loyalty program, you are ensuring customers return to your business while supporting your fellow business owners. It may likely introduce your business to a new audience.

This creates an environment of mutual success, and patrons are being rewarded for shopping local. Your entire community can be brought together with these simple loyalty program ideas.