Building a loyalty app for your business is more like building a customer retention plan. Small and mid-sized businesses were badly hurt during Covid times in 2020.

“77% US consumers adopted new shopping behaviors i.e. new channels, stores and brands since the initiation of Covid” – McKinsey

There is always a struggle for businesses to acquire new customers or retain existing ones, no matter the business size. In case they want to retain the existing customers, nothing is better than introducing a loyalty or reward app/program. 

You must be using some of the loyalty programs yourself online as mobile loyalty apps are getting common day by day. No need to search for a wallet and get that physical loyalty card for discounts. The good thing about loyalty programs/apps is that ‘people get attracted to shops offering loyalty programs no matter how tough the market competition is.’

In this blog post, we will cover loyalty program app development steps, best loyalty apps, features, and cost.

What is a loyalty app/program?

A loyalty app is meant to incentivize regular customers, increases customer engagement, and motivates them to buy more. It could be in the form of reward points, special offers, discounts, etc. Such apps are part of a marketing strategy designed to encourage buyers to engage more.

Main features of a loyalty app with time estimates

Loyalty app main features Feature description Estimate in days
Customer onboarding/ signup/ profiles Onboarding via email, social media accounts, loyalty card number 4-5 days
Reward system Bonuses, special offers, discounts, personal offers 4 days
Social media integration Allow users to leave reviews and earn bonuses 1 day
Gamification Design games where users can earn internal currency in exchange for discounts 4 days
Push notifications Notify users about new bonuses, offers 4 days
Maps/ geolocation Send personalized deals when a customer is nearby 4-5 days
Mobile payments Payment processors for various payment methods 4-5 days
Pre-ordering Integrating mobile payments 7-8 days

Loyalty app development

1-Pick a layout, build an interactive prototype

First, you need to pick a layout of the loyalty app and then go for an interactive prototype. Why so? Simply because this will help you list down all possible user flows. After which, you can move on with the wireframes and high fidelity prototype showcasing how the app will look in real life. 

How can i build a prototype?

There are many free tools out there in the market. One popular choice is ‘InVision’ where you can put all user flow screens in a single interactive design/prototype. 

2-MVP, architecture code, features

Previously we were focused on user flows now a step ahead we will get that prototype into the architectural flow. The architects and developers will tell how they will translate the prototype into code. Here are few major steps involved in this phase of the loyalty app development. 

Agile development methodology 

Follow agile methodology where you can seek a development progress report every 2 weeks or whatever frequency suits you. This method helps in getting to bugs early.

Location

Loyalty apps rely heavily on local locations. Geofencing feature integration helps in sending timely push notifications. 

Headless CMS

Use an open-source off-the-shelf CMS solution, no need to reinvent the wheel. Ready-made UI for admin portal. 

Mobile payments

Different payment processors can be integrated, this helps customers to choose from a variety of options. 

Profiling

Personal profiles in loyalty apps help in accumulating customer-centric data like name, DOB, location (we do not recommend asking too much information, just the one you need the most)

-Reward program

Reward on placing a review, making a purchase, sharing on social media, leaving a comment under the company’s post, etc.

3-Launching an app

After the development process, do test your app in a testing environment in order to check if all user flows are in place. Here is a checklist we suggest.

-Set measurable goals

-Consider cross-platform and browser versions of the app

-Send notifications

-Partner with affiliates to promote your app

Some loyalty programs for inspiration

Some loyalty programs Reward system Perks
Baskin Robbins mobile app Sign-up reward, free regular scoop Receive deals, coupons, pay from app, track events, gift cards
Dunkin Donuts app Redeem 200 points for a free drink Free birthday beverage, exclusive bonus-point offers, fast check-out
Pizza Hut Earn 2 points for every dollar spent, redeem points for select rewards like breadsticks, wings and pizzas Exclusive offers, discounts, fast checkout, birthday reward
Expedia rewards Blue member

Save extra 10% & more on hotel stay, earn points

Silver member

Stay 7 hotel nights or spend $5000/yr – free breakfast, spa credits at VIP access hotels, 10% more points on booking, Blue benefits

Gold member

Free room upgrades, 30% more points on booking,

Blue and Silver benefits

Lower member price, earn Expedia points, earn points i addition to your airline lines and credit card rewards, earn 3x points at VIP access hotels, hotel price guarantee, early access to sales and other exclusive member offers, free perks at VIP access hotels, 10% more points on booking
Delta Airline ‘SkyMiles’ Eligible for unlimited complimentary upgrades to First Class and Delta Comfort. 

Multiple your miles.

Waived fees.

Get more miles at each Medallion Tier

Enjoy your first checked bag free for yourself and your companions.

Marvel Insider 200,000 points – NYCC Iron Man Pin Pack

 

60,000 points – digital comics collection: Black Panther: Vol.1

Get points for the things you do as a marvel fan
Nordstrom Rewards  Join- Shop- Get rewarded Earn 1 point per dollar you spend on Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and HauteLook.

Earn more on bonus points days.

Loyalty program app development cost

Custom enterprise-level loyalty program app 

1-Custom loyalty app from scratch – average cost $100,000-150,000 for development and maintenance cost per month would be $15,000-20,000.

2-Use existing solution – customization within an already existing solution could cost around $30,000 on average and $2000 approx per month as licensing fee. 

Loyalty app for Point-of-Sale 

Loyalty app plugins come in the form of Saas monthly subscription model. Costs between $40-500/ month / device. If you have several operating devices then the cost could be as much as $2000/ month.

In case you have an older POS version, this solution won’t do any good for you. Plus developers would easily charge you $100-250/ hour.

Loyalty card app

There is no setup cost and the average range is between $15-50/ month. 

Final verdict

If you are convinced enough that your business needs a loyal app program, having a development partner is essential. Either you want a custom-made or ready-made app with tweaks, we can develop a fully functional app that’s set to win. 

Schedule a free consultation with one of our Business Development Analysts. Surely, you’ll be answered with all your queries in mind. Are you ready to give your business a little uplift? Don’t overthink, reach out.