The loyalty program industry has been growing at a fast speed over the past few years as more and more brands realize the value of keeping customers engaged and happy. Several businesses like airlines, hotel and restaurants, gyms, retailers and grocers, beauty salons etc are using loyalty apps to widen their customer base and retain existing customers. According to market studies, the loyalty management industry, in US alone, is expected to reach USD 7.3 billion by 2022. Loyalty apps truly help brands engage customers and build brand stickiness. The good news is that there are many tools available today to help app developers build loyalty apps quickly and easily. Due to the simplicity of loyalty apps and the easy availability of tools, loyalty app development also doesn’t cost much.
But to be successful and popular with users, a loyalty app must have certain features. Here’s an indicative list of some must-have as well as desirable features that every loyalty app developer must consider:
- The UI and first screen must be customized for each customer, and must truly reflect your brand’s identity
- The loyalty app must be integrated well with POS and eCommerce companies
- The app should be easy to customize so that brand owners can frequently tailor loyalty programs for different segments.
- Push notifications must also be enabled in the loyalty app
- Unless you can monitor and improve your app and its performance, you will not be able to improve it in any manner. That’s why your app should be able to capture and send out detailed and aggregated analytics
- Compliance with industry standards for quality and security requirements, like PCI DSS, is essential for loyalty app development
- From the user perspective, the loyalty app should be easy to navigate and use
- Additional features like Geo-location-based search for location-specific rewards and coupons, easy connectivity to customer care are also very attractive in a loyalty app
An Ideal Loyalty Program App Development Team
If you decide to hire loyalty app developers, your team should be a mix of business analysts, project managers, UI/UX experts, iOS and Android developers and app testers. The PM should know key project management methodologies well.
Factors affecting the cost of loyalty app development
To ensure you get a high-performance app, make sure you smartly hire a loyalty app developer or a loyalty app development company. Pick one that has deep expertise in the domain and can help you provide with concept analysis and industry-knowledge driven guidance in manifesting your app idea.
Choice of App Platform
Once you decide to build a loyalty app you need to select the app platform that best suits your needs. You can pick one platform or opt for cross-platform loyalty app development. iOS and Android are the most popular app platforms, wherein Android development costs more than iOS. Web apps, as compared to native apps, are cheaper to build and deploy. Hybrid platforms combined with native and web app. There are three frameworks PhoneGap, Ionic, and Sencha Touch which are used for hybrid development.
Features and functionality
The number of features defines the complexity of an app. There are different features like admin panel, third-party integration, in-app purchases, etc. that add to the cost of loyalty app development. Simply put, the more features you include in your app the more it will cost. Similarly, complex wire framing, UI design, animation etc make development more complex and increase the cost of loyalty app development.
Why you need a Loyalty App?
If you own a business, you need loyal customers who will always choose you over competition. To ensure they stay loyal, you need a solid loyalty program that can be easily offered to your customers via an app. Reasons to develop a loyalty app include:
Loyalty programs are effective no doubt, so in a digital world you cannot offer your customers paper-based loyalty programs. A loyalty app then becomes essential. Moreover, everyone today uses mobile phone for almost every task, so a loyalty mobile app seems apt.
Personalization and analytics
A loyalty mobile app is good for both the brand running the loyalty program and the consumer. Consumers get personalized offers and content, based on usage analytics that brands use to refine their loyalty programs using location, hobbies, shopping trends, product preferences and much more. It’s a clear two-way street. Brands can target their customers better by gathering consumer data, while users benefit from relevant offers and promotions. In fact, a lot of consumers are willing to share their usage patterns and purchase preferences in exchange for discount coupons and freebies.
Features of a loyalty app
Easy, secure sign-up
- Email/ phone number
- Social media
- Loyalty card number
- Information about the subscriber – demographics etc
- Location-based data for geo-specific content
- Personalized offers, coupons, new product launched as per their preference
- Special offers
- Rewards for surveys
- Internal currency (points, stars etc)
Social media integration
- Easy connection to social media channels
- Sharing of content, pictures, videos
- Notify your users about app updates
- Share info about new products, offers, discount sales
- Provide multiple payment options, i.e. cards, mobile wallets, online accounts
- Airtight security of the payment gateway is a must
- Install a high-speed, reliable payment processor
- This is a must have feature for brand owners
- Integrate analytics for user behavior insights
- Monitor loyalty app performance as well
Building a loyalty app with such features does not cost as much as say healthcare apps (read our blog on Digital Transformation in Healthcare industry ) or financial apps. You can budget for USD 15,000 for a full-blown app with all the bells and whistles. Digifutura, a leading loyalty app development company, can speak to you and share more insights on how much a loyalty app will cost you and how you can build an app that ensures success of your loyalty program.