Originally at http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/2543714

Posted by MiriamEllis

St. Valentine’s Day is on the way, and I’ve been thinking about love and loyalty as they apply in the local business world. It’s been estimated that it costs 7x more to acquire a customer than to retain one; in my city, most of the major chains offer some type of traditional customer loyalty program. Most rely on a points-based system or an initial sign-up investment to receive benefits, but I wondered about Main Street.

I picked 15 locally owned businesses at random to see if they had created loyalty programs, and then I checked Google and Yelp to see if any of these programs had been inspiring enough to generate mentions in reviews (the most obvious online signs of devotion or dismay) in the past year. Here’s what I found:

Business Model

Loyalty Program

Mentions in Reviews

Toy store

$10 coupon for every $200 spent; $5 birthday card gift; teacher discount

1 mention

Grocery store

Grocery purchasing card that donates to local schools

0 mentions

Video store

Rent 12 videos, get 1 free

0 mentions

Craft store

Senior Tuesday 10% discount; birthday discount of 20%

0 mentions

Hardware store

No program

N/A

Bookstore

Purchase $25 rewards card and get 10% off of purchases for 1 year

1 mention

Restaurant

Complimentary birthday or anniversary dessert

0 mentions

Deli

No program

N/A

Café

Get 10 stamps for beverage purchase and get a free drink

2 mentions

Clothing boutique

No program

N/A

Kitchen store

No program

N/A

Bike shop

Spend $6,000 and receive free flat repair, swag, free event entry, and more

0 mentions

Hair salon

Get 7 cuts and receive ½ off on merchandise

0 mentions

Bakery

No program

N/A

Pet supply

Buy $5 card, get 5% off of merchandise for the year

2 mentions

At a glance, 2/3 of the independently owned businesses in this city have created loyalty programs, and in the last year, there were 6 total mentions of these benefits in …

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