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How to Structure a Customer Loyalty Program for Bubble Tea Shops

Bubble tea is certainly starting to become more and more popular with modern consumers. It is a trend that is spreading rapidly as the wildly popular drink from Asia grows in global popularity. Despite that, if you run a bubble tea shop, you still have to deal with competition, which is why you’re probably thinking about starting a customer loyalty program for your business.

After all, not only will you have to compete with other stores on this market, but you’ll also have to deal with bubble tea businesses that are in a Franchise Agreement with one of the more well-known bubble tea brands.

So, it’s easy to see how every single person you attract to your own store and turn into a customer becomes extremely important. What’s more, turning them into repeat clients who prefer your shop over other options becomes paramount.

Repeat Customers

Now, we’re aware there’s a chance you might not be familiar with how loyalty programs work, or that you just don’t know how to go about structuring one. No need to worry, though, as we’ve got you covered with all the info you need.

But before we get to that, the first thing you need to understand is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in this situation. A restaurant loyalty program might follow some of the steps we outline in this article, but some approaches will still be significantly different from your bubble tea customer loyalty program.
So, with that in mind, here’s exactly what you need to do to structure the best loyalty program for your business in 4 steps:

1. Choose Which System You Will Use

Basically, you have to decide what type of customer loyalty system your program will use, and how accumulating loyalty points will work. Naturally, you aren’t just limited to loyalty points, as you can also use other indicators (like stars, for example). But do keep in mind that loyalty points are the most common and popular loyalty indicators out there.

With that out of the way, here are the main loyalty systems you can choose from:

  • The Cashback System – The idea is that for every dollar a customer spends at your place of business, a certain amount will be redirected to their loyalty account. You decide what the amount will be, naturally (the standard is usually %5).
  • The Visits-Based System – Every time your customers will visit your bubble tea shop, they’ll get a certain number of loyalty points. The amount is not influenced by how much money they spend. Once they visit a specific number of times, they’ll be able to redeem a reward as well.
  • The Points-Based System – This is the most popular system out there. Essentially, for every dollar a patron spends at your shop, they get a certain number of loyalty points (2 is the standard). Once they accumulate a certain number of points (100, for example), they’ll be able to redeem a reward, or hold on to the points to unlock better rewards.
  • The Product-Based System – A versatile customer loyalty program system, the product-based model means that once your clients buy a specific bubble tea type a certain number of times, they’ll get a free one the next time they do it.

So, which one should you choose? Well, a product-based system usually works very well for your type of business. Still, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to it. You can (and we highly recommend you do this) combine it with points-based system too. Why? Because you’ll get to enjoy more flexibility this way when it comes to marketing strategies, promotions, and even rewards.

Loyalty Software

Of course, if you’re interested in a visits-based system, you can use that method since most of your customer will re-visit your bubble tea shop quite often. Just remember that you will need to offer them a decent amount of loyalty points per visit to really give them a more powerful incentive.

As for cashback systems, we don’t really advise choosing them in your situation since they’re more geared towards restaurants.

We also need to discuss loyalty system tiers but – before that – we have to go through the rewards phase first.

2. Decide What Type of Rewards You Will Offer

The rewards associated with your customer loyalty program have to be appealing enough to get people to sign up and accumulate loyalty points (so, spend money), while also being able to attract new customers to your business.

We realize it’s not very easy to come up with reward ideas on the spot, so here are a few things you can offer people:

  • A discount on a client’s purchase (or their next purchase)
  • A BOGO (buy one, get one free) deal
  • A free bubble tea cup
  • A free dessert or snack (if your shop offers such products)
  • A free cup upgrade (letting clients enjoy a large bubble tea cup instead of a medium/small one)
  • A free bag of the kind of tapioca balls you use at your shop

Customer Rewards

That doesn’t stop there, though. You should also think about special offers. For example, you could choose a day of the week (say one that doesn’t have too much foot traffic) during which you’ll let people redeem 2 bubble tea cups instead of 1.

Another idea is to choose a day of the week or month when patrons can earn double loyalty points for each dollar they spend.

What’s more, if you really want to drive engagement, you can also offer referral rewards. Basically, customers would be able to redeem a reward or get a discount if they bring one of their friends with them (the person in questions should also receive said reward/discount).

Oh, and here’s a thing you can (and should) definitely try. Before you start putting together the rewards for your program, ask your staff to run an in-store survey where they ask clients what type of rewards they’d love to receive.

3. Segment the Customer Loyalty Program into Tiers

Offering loyalty rewards is great, but you need to make sure they can be redeemed in a gradual and convenient manner. That’s why it’s best to split them into tiers:

  • Easy Tier (up to 100 loyalty points)
  • Moderate Tier (100-300 points)
  • Difficult/VIP Tier (300-500+ points)

The first tier is usually more geared toward the customers who visit your bubble tea store a lot but don’t spend too much every time. The rewards should be something these consumers always need (a free bubble tea cup, a free snack, a free upgrade, and so on).

The second tier usually attracts loyal clients who like spending money at your store(s), and who want to advance to the next tier. Brand-specific rewards work best for them.

The last tier should always target the most loyal and most profitable customers. So, you need to offer high-value rewards, like a unique, quality bubble tea cup, or a personalized watch or bracelet.

Bubble Tea Customers

The list and the short explanation above are a basic example of how customer loyalty program tiers look like, and what amount of points is usually required to unlock each tier.

Ultimately, you decide how many tiers you’ll have, and what the requirements to unlock each tier are, but our example can help you better visualize how it all works.

4. Design Quality Bubble Tea Loyalty Cards

What’s a customer loyalty program without a loyalty stamp card, right? Just be sure to design said card in a way that perfectly represents your brand image. Here are some pointers:

  • Make sure the card has your company’s logo on it.
  • Add your store’s schedule and contact info on the card.
  • Have an accurate graphic that clearly shows people how many points they need to accumulate to unlock a certain reward/tier.
  • Make sure your bubble tea loyalty cards have thematic colors and designs that remind people of your brand.

Now, one way to make your cards stand out by being engaging is to make them personalizable. Essentially, give customers the chance to make the cards feel like their own, such as letting them add a photo or personal quote on them.

At the same time, you should also have customer convenience in mind. So, remember to ensure the cards have a keychain hole so that they’re easier to carry around.

And, lastly, don’t forget to add a barcode to each loyalty card. This way, your staff can scan them to check each customer’s loyalty points balance.

Of course, you shouldn’t stop there. We also recommend developing a mobile version of your bubble tea loyalty cards. Some people just find that option more convenient, so you should offer it to your customers.

Mobile Phone

It’s not just convenience, though. Around 57% of consumers want to interact with a loyalty program through a mobile device, and those numbers are likely to go up in the future.

In fact, that’s actually something we can help you out with.

What You Need to Make Sure Your Customer Loyalty Program Is Truly Successful

A mobile presence – it’s quite paramount, as we’ve just mentioned. And yes, we know that developing an app can be expensive and very time-consuming.

That’s where the good news come into play. Our platform, Spoonity, can already provide you with a turnkey, fully white-labeled loyalty program app for your brand, so there’s no need to deal with any hassle.

Moreover, our platform can be integrated with any POS system, and it lets you take advantage of mobile payments and mobile ordering features. Thus, people will be much more likely to sign up for your loyalty program since it will make buying from you much more convenient.

On top of that, Spoonity will provide you with valuable customer insights, and help you instantly run highly-targeted marketing and customer loyalty program campaigns with just a few clicks. Reaching your clients has never been easier too, as you’ll be able to engage with them through:

  • In-app notifications
  • Push notifications
  • Text messages

Mobile Marketing

Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that Spoonity provides social media marketing tools, and will also incorporate referral program features in the future – all that to help you enhance your brand’s image online and drive customer retention.

Plus, our platform makes it even easier to drive phone number loyalty since patrons can give your staff their phone number when paying for their products so that they can also earn loyalty points.

And if you’ll ever encounter any issues (highly unlikely), we’ll be right there for you – 24/7.

Max Bailey

Max Bailey is CEO and Co-Founder at Spoonity, a highly successful loyalty rewards company that specializes in customer engagement programs for restaurants and retailers. With Spoonity, Max focuses on expanding marketing operations, resource management, and data analysis. His diverse background and international experience contribute heavily towards the resources and the direction of Spoonity.
Specialties: Entrepreneurship, Loyalty Marketing, Online Ordering, Loyalty Programs Business Development, Management