Loyalty Rewards Ideas for B2B and B2C
Loyalty program ideas for B2B and B2C rewards. Creative rewards inspirations for customer loyalty programs. Material and non-material incentive ideas.
Loyalty Rewards Ideas for B2B and B2C
Whether you want to develop a loyalty program for customers, employees, or contractors, you will need rewards. Ultimately, it is the loyalty rewards that act as a magnet for potential program members. Offering exciting and creative loyalty rewards can differentiate your customer loyalty program from your competitors' customer loyalty programs. It might also help you generate buzz around your company if the benefits are buzz-worthy. Coming up with a rewards catalog that is at the same time aligned with your brand image and business goals and provides value for customers is no easy feat. Luckily, the following article will equip you with a list of both standard & more creative loyalty rewards ideas to make your program more engaging.
Loyalty Rewards Ideas for B2C
The main difference between catering for B2C and B2B audiences is that B2C purchases tend to be more emotional and impulsive. Unlike B2B, there is no long decision-making process behind B2C sales. Also, B2C clients are usually the users of your product, while B2B clients may not be the direct users, making a world of difference regarding which incentives will speak to them most. This is why, when creating a rewards catalog for your loyalty scheme, you should make sure that the rewards are attractive and their value is clearly visible for your particular target group.
Here is a list of both standard & more creative loyalty rewards ideas used by small-scale and global B2C enterprises.
A list of rewards ideas in B2C
Free products or samples
Especially if you are a manufacturer, free samples and products cost you much less than the market price, so your costs are lower than their perceived value. This may be a relatively cheap reward type. As your customers like your products, they should be happy with getting additional packages. The best approach would be to offer the products and samples from categories they use and like. Such a flow requires having a CRM system in place and tracking customer preferences.
Similar to free products, free services are an obvious reward choice. If you are a service provider, additional free services or service upgrades can be an excellent reward for returning customers.
Discounts & promotions access
You can offer discounts and promotions only for the customer loyalty program members, for example, a -15% off a selected product category or a BOGO promotion. This is a trick you probably all have seen in supermarkets, where some products are discounted only for the loyalty/supermarket’s credit cardholders.
You can offer points, or other currency, as a reward. Those points could be exchanged for cash, products, discounts, or any other rewards, depending on what you choose to include in your product catalog. Points are a reward that is great to include if you offer loyalty program tiers (levels). You can offer a higher multiplier of points for customers who have a higher loyalty level. For example, offer 1 point for each $1 spent to a basic level, 2 points for medium, and 3 points for advanced level.
Apart from your merchandise and services, you can offer other products or services, for example, a trip to Hawaii, flip-flops, sunglasses, or partner products. The selection here depends on the type of business and offers you provide.
Recently, charity donations and sustainability-related rewards that do not reward customers directly but support the environment or other causes grew in popularity and became a great idea for a reward. Customers feel that they make a difference while purchasing from you, and your brand image is better in their eyes.
You can learn more about the customer psychology behind this phenomenon in our post about the Licensing Effect.
Priority access to new products and services, new software versions, or simply a priority queue (imagine airports and those priority lanes) is a great reward that costs you close to nothing but makes your customers feel valued and unique.
Similarly, offering exclusive products only to the loyalty club members motivates genuinely loyal customers to participate in the program and purchase from you even more. For example, Sephora offers exclusive products as rewards in their rewards catalog, and Nike offers special editions of products to their loyalty club members.
Some companies offer product personalization at an additional cost. For example, Nike’s sneakers or Timberland boots can be personalized. If you have such products, you could provide personalization only to the loyalty program members or offer it to the loyal customers free of charge instead of the paid option for the public.
You can invite your loyal customers to VIP events like, for example, annual meetings with the staff, tickets for events (concerts, games), special content and videos especially for them, an invitation to a showroom, and many more.
For example, additional customer support or help from the staff to choose the products (very often seen in beauty and fashion stores). For the hospitality business, extra services can mean washing and ironing service, breakfast to the bed, help to bring the luggage up, calling a taxi, organizing a hairdresser and manicurist.
Free shipping is an excellent reason to become a loyal customer, as it increases convenience and decreases the costs compared to ordering from your competition. Various companies offer that as part of their customer loyalty program, like H&M. Free shipping is vital for customers, especially on multi-vendor platforms like Amazon. They are even ready to pay upfront, not to worry about the shipping costs later (e.g., Amazon Prime).
Free curbside pickup
This is a good feature that can bring in more customers and make them loyal, similarly to free shipping. This option became very popular during the coronavirus pandemic and might be a good addition to your rewards catalog.
Better return policy
Providing better returns conditions is a great perk that does not cost your business much and removes one barrier customers worry about when shopping “what if it does not fit”? H&M and IKEA, for example, provide 365 days return policy for rewards program members.
That is especially important if you offer physical products that are supposed to serve longer, like electronic equipment, mobility solutions, electronic devices, furniture, etc. An example of this is BOSCH that offers three instead of two years of warranty if you register your tools online, or Kinderkraft, a child equipment (strollers, beds, bikes) provider that offers ten years of warranty if you register your purchase (instead of two). Both companies ask for additional personal details and consent to receiving marketing content. It is not a loyalty program per se, but they use it as a reward in exchange for personal data. It could be offered as a perk for rewards program members.
Partnership rewards (coalition rewards)
You can offer the rewards program together with your partners and allow the rewards redemption at your partner’s stores as well. An example of such coalition programs can be Miles and More and other frequent flyer programs where rewards are often offered by hotels, travel agencies, taxi companies, restaurants, and other hospitality and travel players.
Cashback & store credit
Cashback is one of the most motivating rewards, especially in grocery stores and supermarkets. On the other hand, this is also the most expensive one, although it depends on the exchange rate from points to cash that you apply.
Pay with points
Similar to cashback, but it requires users to exchange the points for cash (so it is not applied directly but on request or upon adding this option at the checkout). It is slightly better financially for your company as the cashback is deferred in time instead of immediate, and some points will never get cashed out, making the liability lower than in the case of direct cashback.
Instead of giving a reward to all the loyalty program participants, you can give them a chance to win a reward. Giveaway entries are a great reward because you do not need to provide a huge prize to each customer to motivate them to participate in your loyalty scheme. You can offer one (or a couple of) great rewards. Imagine a gift card worth $1000, a bicycle, a trip for the whole family to some exotic place, and your customers will be motivated to win them, as these are high-value gifts. The overall cost for you will be low, as you will pay for just a couple of such incentives. For example, a US-based streetwear retailer Jimmy Jazz lets customers participate in a raffle, while members of the LVR Privilege program can bid on certain rewards.
Meet & Greet
Sometimes it’s not about the material prizes. Sometimes the loyal customers just want to be more involved in your brand. Meeting with the staff, having some drinks and snacks is something companies often offer to influencers. Treat your loyal customers like you would treat influencers because they are your best advocates and micro-influencers. Also, if you run a bookstore or a CD shop, you can organize special meet & greet sessions with well-known authors or musicians, available only to program members.
Creating an online community for your loyal customers where they can exchange their opinions and get some expert advice from your team is a great way to reward them for being with you and boost their engagement.
Free try (or try-on)
In businesses where usually testing the products has a cost, offering the loyal customers a free try-on or a free ride may be a great way to encourage them to purchase more from you.
What is more flattering than an exclusive event made just for you? Create an exclusive shopping experience for your loyal customers by, for example, reserving one day just for them or opening out of opening hours (a night shopping spree maybe?)
Have a product named after them
Well, that can be more flattering than an exclusive event. We have heard of “weekly drink” or “weekly sandwich” named after the most loyal customers in the restaurant/bar. You can also expand it to a real product, like shampoo or chocolate. For example, Lay’s chips increased sales by asking their fans to come up with a new chips flavor.
Extra service upgrade
If you have a service-based business, like a hairdresser salon or a SaaS company, you can offer a free service upgrade, like an extra hair styling free of charge or free account limits upgrade.
Virtual badges or collectibles hold less emotional and physical value but are received instantly, feeding into people’s desire for instant gratification. This is incredibly “valuable” if visible online, for example, on the community forum or the company’s website. Imagine a whole page featuring the most loyal customers and, for example, their pictures using the products. A virtual reward can also include virtual products, instead of badges, like a hip background image for desktop, calendar design for print, pictures for print, a diet plan, exercise plan, e-book, access to additional content, etc.
An opportunity to do something out of the ordinary with notable figures in your organization
Imagine a parachute jump with the company owner or going out for dinner with them.
Giveaway with instant win
For example, every 100th person joining the loyalty program wins something.
Give customers a bit of excitement and awaken their curiosity by offering a mystery gift. It can be a mystery reward, where customers do not know what they will receive until it arrives at their door.
Loyalty Rewards Ideas for B2B
Loyal customers are precious in the B2C sphere. Various studies made in the B2C industry mention that loyal customers are five times more likely to make a purchase, five times more likely to forgive mistakes, and seven times easier to upsell.
Loyal customers in B2B business are even more valuable. First of all, there are far fewer potential customers on the market for B2B than for B2C companies. Also, their average spend is usually higher, and their acquisition cost is way higher than that of B2C clients. Retention is everything for B2B companies.
The rewards for B2B clients, from SaaS company clients to dealers buying from a manufacturer, tend to be very different from the B2C rewards. As the client is usually not the end-user of the product (either they resell it further, or other employees are using it in the case of SaaS company), product-related or personal rewards will not be of interest. What is important for B2B companies are usually price discounts, volume discounts, preferential purchase or delivery terms, and user training that can help them use the tool or boost their sales (in the case of dealers, for example).
In some cases, B2C rewards like branded swag, birthday gifts, etc., could make sense – if the B2C company is small and the client you have contact with is the direct user of the product. In that case, they may be interested in such benefits.
A list of rewards ideas for B2B clients
If your product is subscription-based, like SaaS, then you can offer, for example, a free first month of the subscription to foster sales.
Discounted subscription fee
For example, you could offer as a reward to loyal customers that each year they stay with you, they will get a percentage off their subscription. For example, the first year gets -1% off the yearly subscription fee, and the second year gets -2% off the annual subscription fee.
You can see a subscription discount created in Voucherify here.
If you are selling products to dealers or B2B companies, like fresh produce to restaurants, for example, you can offer volume discounts. Those could be tiered, for example, 5% off all orders above $5000, 10% off all orders above $10000, etc. Such discounts may foster upselling and help you become the only supplier for those B2B clients. Why? Simply, it may be cheaper for them to order larger quantities from you than to diversify their supply chain (although they may choose to do so anyway, for safety reasons, as it is often with car manufacturers, for example).
Free services, e.g., storage & delivery
This is a crucial part of the B2B sales of products. Storage and delivery of physical goods tend to be quite expensive. All delivery terms are upon negotiation when it comes to B2B deals, and taking more costs or risks on yourself can be an excellent incentive for more prominent clients.
Terms of payment
The delay of payment, possible payment ways, different currencies accepted – all payment terms that are preferential for the B2B clients can be a good incentive.
Besides volume discounts, you can offer product discounts, so a percentage off the product price for some of your B2B clients. If you have long-term clients that you consider loyal, you could offer preferential prices for them.
Product upgrade free of charge
This is especially important for SaaS companies. Product or service upgrades can be a good reward for B2B clients.
Cheaper product upgrade
You can also offer a discount on the product or service upgrade.
If your B2B clients are smaller companies, you could also offer gift cards for your products on special occasions. This is relevant primarily for small companies where the buyer is the direct user of the product.
This is a massive benefit for the B2B companies, whether it’s about educational training on your product (especially relevant for software companies) free of charge or educational, sales and marketing training for sales reps for selling products to dealers. The sales reps training is a win-win, as the more sales your dealers generate, the more they will buy from you, so it’s worth the investment.
Educational and marketing materials
Apart from training, you can also send the materials to your clients to help them use the product or foster their sales. Think marketing POS materials and product catalogs for supermarkets or specialized stores, online materials for online players, etc.
Including your dealers in your e-shop
That is a fantastic opportunity for your dealers. If you have a website and you do not sell directly to consumers, you can include your dealers’ offers on your website to direct more customers to them. That is a big perk for the dealers and can be part of your price negotiations or a reward for being loyal to your brand.
Early access to new products or new releases
This is especially important for manufacturers, as having a new product in stock is a competitive advantage for your dealers. You could ship your products, or product sneak peeks to your best performing or loyal dealers. That can be somehow applicable for service-based or software companies too, giving the product upgrade to a new version or newly launched services only to the most loyal customers.
Involvement in testing new products
Asking your clients for opinion, letting them test your beta version of the software or a product prototype will not only help you make a better product or service overall but also make your most loyal customers feel special.
In the case of software companies, an essential part of sales is adjusting your product or service to the needs of your customers. Being flexible about your roadmap for the biggest and most loyal customers can pay back in them staying with you for longer or paying a premium price.
Extra support & support priority
Giving extra support or priority in support is a big reward both for physical and software products. SLAs are an important part of the deal and can be a differentiating factor for boosting customer satisfaction and customer retention.
Help with implementation
Especially for software companies, support during the integration process is an important factor for B2B companies. You could add it as a perk for the most prominent clients.
Partnership rewards, like events, branded swag, retreats, and material gifts like chocolates, calendars are still a big part of B2B sales. On occasions, like Christmas, your account manager’s birthday, or company anniversaries, B2B sellers tend to send some gifts to their contact person from the B2B company or invite them for a personal meeting to congratulate them. Even though you sell to a B2B company, you usually contact one or a few people. Do not forget they are human beings, and you need to build a personal relationship with them.
Offering a referral program
If your B2B clients can get rewarded for referring other companies and reduce their bills, that is a great perk for them. Moreover, you can get new clients from those referrals. This is a great addition to your loyalty program or retention-focused activities.
What to keep in mind for both B2B and B2C rewards?
If you are launching a rewards program, whether for B2C or B2B, there are a couple of things you should think about when deciding on the earning rules (how the customers can earn the rewards) and the rewards themselves.
In many cases, the customers’ preferences can differ per customer. Therefore offering one reward to all may be suboptimal. If you do not know enough about your customers to fit the rewards to them fully, it can be a good idea to give them a choice. You can offer loyalty points in your program and a catalog of rewards customers can exchange their points for. That way, they can choose the rewards that motivate them most. Eventually, you will also gain valuable insights into customers’ preferences.
Some rewards may make sense in the summer, some in the winter. You should update your rewards offering seasonally if your rewards are bound to a specific season, for example, offering sun lotions as a gift in the summer and thermoses in the winter.
You can also may your retention-focused promotions seasonal. For best practices, follow our blog post on this topic.
Do not trust your gut when it comes to which reward performs best and motivates your customers most. Analyze the use of rewards, which ones are redeemed, which ones are not, and change your offering accordingly.
If you have enough data collected about your customers, you should offer personalized rewards. Offering different rewards for different customer segments is a good starting point, especially in B2C, where the customer base is probably giant, and 1:1 personalization may be complex. If you have a powerful promotion engine that allows you for 1:1 personalization of the rewards and the messaging, you should go for it. Nothing makes such an impact as a gift fully personalized to you, like a gift card with your name on it, for your favorite product category or a free product that you often order anyway. In B2B, if you have fewer customers, you can choose the rewards manually to fit the client and adjust their value to their annual spend level.
Update the catalog & conditions
You should not “set it and forget it.” Analyze the performance of your loyalty program, change up the rewards and the rules, see what works best. Remember to change the program’s terms and conditions regularly to avoid legal problems.
Do you need a loyalty program software with a flexible rewards catalog?