Customer loyalty programs foster loyalty, increase customer retention and spend, and diversify revenue streams. But in which industries do they work effectively? There are many widespread misconceptions when it comes to answering that question. In this article, we help you find out those industries where companies should offer robust customer loyalty programs to remain competitive or possess a new competitive advantage.

Read on to check out our list, how we arrived at it, and an example of a customer loyalty program for each industry from countries across the globe.


The Selection Criteria


Here’s what we mainly took into consideration when determining which industries should make it to our list:


  • How saturated the industry is with customer loyalty programs and solutions


  • Insights from numerous customer loyalty programs across a variety of industries


The List

1. Oil and Gas: BP Group US and BPme Rewards


The Customer Loyalty Program

In this example, the multinational London-based oil and gas tycoons at BP Group rolled out ‘BPme Rewards’ this year. It offers customers a 5 cent per gallon discount at their stations as they use it for the first month. Subsequently, if customers buy $100 of gas per month, it offers them 5 cents off each gallon. Finally, customers who open a BP Visa Credit Card or BP Credit Card and enrol in BPme Rewards receive a discount of 30 cents a gallon.


As an extra layer of convenience, the rewards program functions through a mobile application that allows customers to purchase gasoline without having to swipe credit cards or the fuelling stations’ pin pads. Furthermore, the mobile application helps customers track their rewards and purchases.


The Benefits

The seamless digital customer experience of the BPme rode the wave of accelerated digital communications and cashless payments in a time when it is needed the most. But apart from the convenience, it also helped drive more loyalty and repeat business to the brand’s stations while acquiring new customers.


2. Banking: CIB Egypt – CIB BONUS


The Customer Loyalty Program


The banking giants at CIB in Egypt introduced an innovative customer loyalty solution called, ‘CIB BONUS’. Designed to guarantee credit card and debit card holders of CIB get the best out of their banking experience, ‘CIB BONUS’ rewards the bank’s customers with a wide range of banking products that can be redeemed instantly using an e-voucher at the participating merchants. As for the banking products, the rewards include credit cards purchases, debit cards purchases, digital banking third-party transfers, and even unsecured personal loans top ups!


The program’s participating merchants, on the other hand, included esteemed brands that provided groceries, consumer electronics brands, fashion apparels, food and beverages, health and beauty products, household products, jewellery, watches, products for kids, eyewear, and others. Additionally, allowing customers to shop with their CIB BONUS points online became more popular during the pandemic when digital transformation took over on a global scale.


The Benefits

This customer loyalty program’s impact definitely included attracting new customer to CIB’s banking products and services. It also boosted the loyalty of existing customers, increased their spending using CIB’s debit and credit cards, and improved their likelihood of referring the bank’s cashless services to their friends and family.


3. Automotive: Chevrolet Egypt – Mansour Plus

The Customer Loyalty Program


The automotive industry may seem like a tricky one when it comes to the adoption of customer loyalty solutions, but it’s definitely not a stranger to it. Not so long ago, the owner of the Chevrolet franchise in Egypt, Mansour Group, introduced the ‘Mansour Plus’ loyalty program to their customers.


The easy-to-use program allowed their customers to earn loyalty points whenever they purchased any of Mansour’s maintenance services. In exchange for these points – and as they accumulate over time — customers can get discounts on their future invoices of Mansour’s services from any of their service centres around the country.


The Benefits


According to Statista, during 2019, the automotive industry witnessed a global drop that was exacerbated by the novel coronavirus-induced economic downturn. This meant that the industry had to mainly rely on automotive maintenance services. And this acted as the trigger for the conception of this customer loyalty program. The results were that – in this case – the loyalty of Mansour’s customers increased because of the program’s added value. This drove repeat business at their service centres that allowed them to maintain their market position and become leaders when it comes to car services.


4. Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) and Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPGs): Unilever UK – Unilever VIP

The Customer Loyalty Program


In the United Kingdom (UK), the world-famous FMCG and CPG brand, Unilever, had a mobile application under the name ‘Unilever VIP’ put out. Why? To invite consumers to give the company feedback on brand initiatives, such as advertising campaigns, promotions, branding, and packaging. But it was also a loyalty program!


In exchange for their opinions, which Unilever promised would be incorporated into their future decision-making, the brand’s customers received rewards and incentives that range from access to new products, money-off coupons for their Unilever brands and invites to VIP events.


The Benefits


Aside from the usual benefits of a customer loyalty program, this type of engagement with customers allows Unilever to continually develop their understanding of their customers and would certainly give them an edge during COVID-19 times when consumer behaviour is rapidly changing.


5. Telecommunications: Orange Jordan – Tikram

The Customer Loyalty Program


The telecommunications industry is a fiercely competitive playing field when it comes to customer loyalty and rewards programs. Orange, the renowned French multinational telecommunications corporation, continually manages to stand out amongst the rest. In Jordan, they did so through the rather simple but appealing and convenient loyalty program; ‘Tikram’.


‘Tikram’ offers and recommends the best monthly deals from top brands to Orange’s customers. The telecommunication giant’s customers, through this program, have access to mind-blowing deals and discounts from local and international brands that cover restaurants, retailers, hotels, and a lot more.


The Benefits


‘Tikram’ allowed Orange to add essential value to their customers that goes beyond telecommunications and covers their fashion and FMCG needs. As is the case with such customer loyalty programs, it increased their customers’ loyalty and spend.


6.  Retail: Sephora and Sephora Beauty Insider



The Customer Loyalty Program


The multinational French personal care and beauty retailer, Sephora, boasts a diverse range of products that are adored by millions around the world. Beside quality and innovation, their products are also known for being quite expensive. Through a customer loyalty program, however, they found a way to make their products more affordable without decreasing their perceived value. The answer was in their customer loyalty program.


This program is known as the ‘Sephora Beauty Insider’. It allows Sephora’s customers to collect points for each purchase, and then these points can be exchanged for rewards.  These rewards could be gift cards, discounts, or more premium items like limited edition products and in-store beauty tutorials. Most notably, the program now has around 25 million customers and allows a great deal of flexibility for its members when it comes to what they could do with their earned points.


The Benefits


As we’ve seen, customer loyalty programs are widely popular throughout many industries in both Egypt, the MENA region, and around the world. Emerging with a customer loyalty program in an industry where they’re not popular could give you a great advantage over your competitors. On the other hand, not offering innovative and tech-enabled customer loyalty programs in markets where they’re immensely popular will put your company at a competitive disadvantage.

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