Shopify VIP Programs: A Blueprint for Success in Ecommerce

by | Nov 10, 2023 | Ultimate Special Offers

Do you want to build lasting customer relationships and secure their loyalty? Then make it worth their while by harnessing the potential of VIP programs

Seventy-eight percent of consumers surveyed say they are more likely to do business with a brand if they offer a loyalty program. The same survey reveals that 74% of consumers are more likely to recommend businesses that have great loyalty programs, and 72% of them believe that customer loyalty programs are an integral part of their relationship with a company.

When it comes to customer loyalty, you can make your Shopify VIP programs really stand out. When set up effectively, Shopify’s VIP program can encourage repeat customers and convert them into brand advocates.

Are you ready to discover how VIP programs can launch your business into orbit? Let’s explore what VIP programs are, how they work, their benefits, and how to get started!

What Is a VIP Loyalty Program?

VIP rewards programs offer key benefits to loyal customers. Often, these perks include things like early access, exclusive rewards, free gifts, and discounted pricing.

Despite their name, VIP programs aren’t about exclusivity; they lay the foundation for a proven path to cultivating a devoted customer base and driving sustainable growth for your business. With the right insights and strategies, any business can create, implement, and manage a highly successful VIP program that benefits customers and adds value to your brand. 

However, the secret sauce of the most successful VIP programs lies in their ability to build a sense of belonging and recognition among customers. You’re not just offering discount codes and freebies; you’re creating a community where customers feel appreciated and become an integral part of your brand’s journey.

How Do VIP Programs Work?

Some brands, like Lululemon, have one VIP program for all of their customers. Signing up is free, and once you do, you unlock a handful of perks

Other programs use a VIP tier reward system to distribute perks, with numerous ways that points can be earned, including:

  • Bonus points for signing up
  • Making repeat purchases
  • During celebratory events (e.g., your birthday)
  • Following the brand on social media
  • Leaving a review on their website
  • Making customer referrals 
  • Supporting brand advocacy by using specific hashtags during their marketing campaigns

Another effective tactic many brands use is gamification. For example, some ecommerce businesses will encourage customers to play games or compete in challenges to earn more points, climb the tiers, and receive increasingly better customer rewards. If you’ve got a new product launch, adding a game as part of your marketing strategy is an excellent way to boost sales, attract new customers, and retain your best customers.

After earning a certain number of points, customers can advance their VIP status by progressing to the next level, where they’ll have access to high-value, more unique rewards.

Let’s say you’re starting a loyalty points program. Here’s an example of how you might format it.

Loyalty points table

Why Are VIP Programs Important to Your Business?

VIP programs provide you with a great way to improve customer retention and extend your average customer lifetime value. These programs enhance the overall customer experience, which makes them more likely to stay loyal to your brand. After all, better perks are right around the corner!

While you’re busy retaining your loyal customers, you’re also saving time and money by not having to constantly acquire new ones. Research shows that the average customer acquisition cost for B2B ecommerce companies is $274, and for other ecommerce businesses, the average acquisition cost is $70 per new customer.

The Pros of a Shopify VIP Program

VIP program: excited entrepreneurs looking at a laptop
Shopify VIP programs offer no shortage of benefits. Here are some of their best perks.

Improve Customer Engagement and Boost Sales

The Harvard Business Review found that businesses that prioritized customer loyalty for three or more years increased their revenue 2.5 times compared to their competitors.

In return for prioritizing them, your most loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, increase their average monthly orders, and refer more high-value customers to your store.

Deliver Excellent Customer Experiences With VIP Deals

VIP customers are the heart and soul of a business. Often, businesses follow the Pareto Principle: The top 20% of your customers generate 80% of your business’ revenue. While these numbers aren’t an exact science, the concept rings true.

Reward customers by creating a loyalty program specifically tailored to them. By doing so, you’re showing them that you’re paying attention to what they like about your brand, which will make them appreciate it even more.  

Encourage Specific Customer Actions

Your VIP customers are your most steadfast supporters and can provide you with a golden opportunity to encourage them to take specific actions based on whatever metrics you want to improve.

For example, if you want to increase your number of total reviews, you can run a special promotion where your customers will earn more points by leaving a product review on your company’s website. If your goal is to increase referral traffic, increase your number of social media followers, or boost sales for your new product, you can run a campaign to improve these metrics.

Gain Valuable Data

Online stores depend on receiving valuable customer data that they can use to analyze and optimize their ROI. Your VIP loyalty program can collect this information for you so you can understand customer behavior. 

For instance, if you’re running a Shopify store, you can answer questions like:

  • How often do they use the Shopify app?
  • What products are your Shopify customers engaging with most?
  • How much are they spending?
  • What is the average order value for a customer?
  • How often do they make a purchase?
  • How often are they abandoning their carts at checkout?
  • What are your customer segments or demographics?

Understanding and learning from this data can help you tailor your campaigns and substantially boost your sales.

Understand Customer Segments

With Shopify, you can segment your customers and create marketing lists based on purchasing behavior. For example, you can separate wholesale customers from retail or segment them based on loyalty tiers.

By creating customer tags, you can filter customers based on whatever criteria is relevant to your business. This will help you identify how and when different segments of customers are making purchases as well as many other patterns. The more you understand these, the more you can tailor your future marketing campaigns.

How to Set Up a VIP Program in 3 Steps

Man happily using his laptop and headphones
There’s no single way to create a VIP program. But here are the steps you can take to start your Shopify loyalty program.

1. Decide on Your VIP Program and Offerings

First, you need to decide on the best loyalty program for your business. Choose how you’re going to assign VIP status to customers. Are you going to have a subscription-based program? A reward-points-based one? Are you going to create a single VIP group or opt for a tiered system where each level enjoys increasingly better benefits?

You’ll also want to decide which loyalty rewards you want to offer your customers, such as free gifts, special discounts, and more.

2. Set Up Your Offers in Your Shopify Store

You can set up your VIP offers with the Ultimate Special Offers Shopify app. With Ultimate Special Offers, you can choose from nine different promotion types, including gift offers, BOGO offers, discount offers, and more. 

With the customer tagging feature, create customizable rewards based on the loyalty tier your customer belongs to. So you can offer different perks to distinct tiers of customers.

You can also create unique offer links. These links allow you to give exclusive access to a reward via email marketing or even social media.

3. Encourage Customer Enrollment

Create a marketing strategy to entice customers to join your loyalty program. If your program is rewards-based, you can automatically enroll customers in a free plan when they make a purchase and have them receive notifications via automated emails, pop-ups, and nudges about the points they’ve earned and how to redeem them. 

If it requires a membership subscription or initiation fee, showcase the exceptional value of the rewards to persuade customers to buy into it.

Send Your Shopify VIP Program Into Orbit

VIP programs are an excellent way to attract and retain customers and build brand loyalty. With apps like Ultimate Special Offers, there’s no shortage of ways to create a loyalty program, and you can personalize the perks so that they’re unique to your brand and customers. All you need to do is figure out what types of programs and deals work best for you, and then start enrolling customers!

And that’s where we come in. 

At Orbit, our suite of Shopify apps helps merchants like you push the frontiers of your online sales — and that includes helping you set up the perfect VIP program for your ecommerce store. Whether your goal is to boost sales or create a referral program, we’re here to empower and expand your capabilities as an ecommerce entrepreneur.

Are you ready to launch your VIP program or improve upon the one you have? Install Ultimate Special Offers via the Shopify App Store, or reach out to customer support for more information!

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