Go Back Buyer's Guide to Enterprise Loyalty

Vendor Criteria & Considerations

Understand the most important criteria considerations when it comes to evaluating a loyalty program vendor.

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Start your vendor evaluation by acknowledging your desired outcome(s): acquire new customers, improve retention, increase lifetime value, maximize AOV, drive engagement from existing customers, or another goal that fits your needs. As you assess loyalty vendors, certain criteria may help your business achieve these objectives. Consider the following as you evaluate:

Strategic partnership

Your loyalty vendor should be able to provide strategic guidance throughout your partnership.

The vendor should offer the right technology, but you also need to ensure that the team can leverage their industry expertise to achieve your business’ long-term goals. Their team should be able to provide a data-driven framework and proven methodologies to help you connect your customer motivations to your business objectives.

Assess how well the team understands the market and the vertical. Even if the vendor is not a managed services provider, they should be able to support at the granular level of your program as a strategic partner and solutions expert.

Program logic

The right loyalty program type for your business can be determined by a few key factors: what type of products you sell, your customers’ buying cycles, and your customer behaviors.

Consider how your customers act now, and how you want them to act. Establish the vendor’s logic capabilities when it comes to building out rewards, both for transactions and cross-channel engagements with your brand.

Adaptability

The brand-customer relationship is constantly changing. Your approach to loyalty needs to be dynamic enough to adapt.

Choose a vendor that enables your team to be agile. You want to be able to iterate on the program as needed to take advantage of industry news, market shifts, and time-sensitive campaigns.

Implementation

While building a loyalty program does require resources, taking the program to market shouldn’t be overly time-intensive. Out-of-the-box programs may seem like the obvious choice to avoid long-term implementation, but they’re often lacking in customization capabilities, a key loyalty component for enterprise brands. The right vendor won’t make your business choose between a custom-build and speed to launch.

Choose a loyalty solution that takes a modular approach. Step-by-step, the right vendor should provide the guidance and technical support to enable your brand to build an on-brand, customized program without an extensive implementation process.

Integrations

Ensure the vendor has a clear process for integrating with the other systems in your technology stack, including both your online and in-store solutions.

If the vendor does not offer a current integration for an essential technology solution in your stack, the team should be willing to discuss a custom build, a plan for an integration, or another solution to ensure your program operates seamlessly.

Omnichannel capabilities

If your business has retail locations, consider a vendor that provides a solution that will work in-store as well as online.

Discuss what types of solutions the vendor offers to engage your loyalty program in physical stores, including point-of-sale integrations, receipt scanning, and QR codes. The solution should simplify enrollment and redemption via mobile devices, and users shouldn’t have to rely heavily on a store associate.

Comprehensive analytics

Your vendor should offer comprehensive, real-time data on your loyalty program, as it ensures you can gauge the effectiveness of the program and optimize as needed. Basic metrics include repeat purchase rate, average order value, and loyalty participation rate, but your vendor should go beyond these data points.

Choose a vendor that also offers detailed analytics on individual VIP tiers and program ROI. Financial success is often a pressure point for enterprise brands looking to launch a loyalty program. Built-in revenue and performance reporting can help you easily understand the top-line revenue impact from loyalty programs.

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