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Loyalty success stories: How Shopify brands conquered customer retention with examples

The past few years have been interesting for ecommerce stores. While ecommerce spending increased dramatically in 2020 and is still increasing (the U.S saw a 30% increase from circa $1.5 billion to $2 billion in Q1 2020 alone), a 2023 global pulse survey by the Pragma Group shows the impact of inflation has caused 22% of consumers to generally shop less and cut down on spending.

However, in a different 2023 PwC global survey, half of the respondents suggested they intended to boost their online spending over the next six months.

Despite the conflicting economic outlooks, one path to ecommerce success has always been clear — customer loyalty.

In a new 2024 Global Consumer Trends study from Marigold, more than six in ten consumers said they would pay more to shop with the brands they’re loyal to. However, you’ve got to work for it. In the same study, Marigold also found that while 68% of consumers said they habitually shop with the same brands, they “don’t actually feel loyal.”

As a result, to encourage customers to emotionally connect and feel loyal to a brand, you need a dedicated loyalty strategy using one of the best loyalty programs for Shopify.

Over 10,000 ecommerce stores use LoyaltyLion to help them implement a loyalty strategy and achieve (in many cases, surpass) their goals.

So, in this guide, we thought we’d cover a few Shopify stores using LoyaltyLion with great success — but we won’t just be tooting our horn. We’ll also use the case studies to get valuable insights and actionable strategies you can implement for your store (including how one brand has driven over $200k in earned rewards purchases).

Shopify success stories: Unleashing the power of LoyaltyLion

This guide will cover case studies from five brands, each in different but common ecommerce industries.

We’ll tell you a little about the brand, its target audience, its challenges, the loyalty features and strategies they implemented, and their respective results. Then, we’ll highlight a point of action you can take away from each case study.

Manuka Doctor

In the Health and Wellness category, we have Manuka Doctor. The personal care industry is huge — the industry is projected to generate a revenue of $646.20 billion worldwide in 2024 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.33%.

The folks at Manuka Doctor are a family-owned Manuka honey company based in Auckland, New Zealand, with origins dating back to 1901. They oversee 60,000 individual hives spanning over 11,000 hectares of land — which means they can trace their products down to the unique hive site the honey came from.

The traceability, transparent supply chain, and strict testing of their products are what help them stand out in a market with copycat, fake Manuka honey products.

Seeing the industry’s growth potential, Manuka Doctor saw the opportunity to expand and wanted to focus on customer acquisition to increase revenue. The challenge was that they wanted new customers with a higher customer lifetime value (CLV) and retain existing customers for long-term sustainability.

The solution

They implemented a referral strategy using an on-brand loyalty program. To make sure they got eyes on the program, they decided to give it a dedicated link on their navigation menu. When customers click on the Loyalty tab, they’re directed to the program information page, with a further link to the referral program.

The referral program is a strong offer — if the referred person spends over £40 on their first order, the customer gets 2,000 “Hive Points” (which leads to a £20 discount).

Manuka Doctor honey company

The results

Thanks to their loyalty and referral strategy, Manuka Doctor sees almost 100% of those who are referred convert into customers. They also drive impressive retention results: 47% of revenue is now generated from loyal customers, and they’ve achieved a 53% increase in repeat purchase rates.

Action point

While a loyalty program can improve several important metrics for your store, focus on the features that most align with your goals — if you’re looking to boost customer acquisition, like Manuka Doctor, focus on building a great referral offer and promoting it.

Pacifica Beauty

In the Beauty and Cosmetics category, we have Pacifica Beauty. Pacifica Beauty is a well-established, mature brand that has been on the scene for almost 30 years. They have an unwavering commitment to compassion for customers, animals, and the planet — their entire product range is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, with sustainability credentials, too.

However, the folks behind Pacifica Beauty felt they needed to strengthen customer relationships with a loyalty program that reflected their values, which would hopefully help them increase brand affection and drive higher repeat purchase rates.

The solution

Pacifica Beauty created an on-brand tiered loyalty program structure with exclusive benefits on the higher tiers. Tiers are named “Friend Status” (entry tier), “Girl Crush” (middle tier), and “Bestie Forever” (highest tier). Plus, they included a gift box icon on their navigation menu to create intrigue.

Pacifica Beauty cosmetics

Pacifica Beauty also made it as easy as possible for customers to redeem rewards by using the In-Cart Rewards feature, saving them time in applying voucher codes manually — which is significant because research shows that allowing customers to earn and redeem rewards within the checkout can increase basket size by as much as 36%.

Finally, they leaned in on their email marketing by integrating LoyaltyLion with Klaviyo to send customized loyalty emails that keep customers engaged with the program between purchases.

The results

Today, Pacifica Beauty’s team is generating 35% of their revenue from their loyal customers, achieving their goal of greater brand affection (i.e., loyalty). They also achieved their goal of increasing repeat purchase rates, which saw a 47% improvement and a 46% increase in customer spend.

Taking loyalty to the next level and beyond! LoyaltyLion is a game-changing loyalty platform that up-levels our customer experience. LoyaltyLion provides suggestions and insights that soar with marketing potential to help maintain, engage, and even win back our customers. We love it. — Kimberli Harvey, Social Media Marketing Director.

Action point

Using a tiered loyalty approach is a great way to help your brand increase repeat purchase rates and overall spending because it gamifies the experience, which research shows has a positive impact on engagement value.

Also, when creating a tiered program, customize the tiers to reflect your brand and the type of language or self-expression your customers use, and use that language in your promotional material in emails and social channels.

Edgard & Cooper

There’s no denying, we love our pets and want the best for them — so moving into the Pet Care category, we have Edgard & Cooper. The brand is named after the dogs of the two founders and was born because of their frustrations with the quality of existing pet food.

Louis and Koen (the founders) set out on a journey to create fresh, delicious, healthy dog food that “played nice with nature” with sustainability in mind. Today, the brand sells products in 13 countries, and because of popular demand, they also launched a range of cat products.

However, like Pacifica Beauty, they also aimed to strengthen customer relationships and wanted to use a loyalty program to help them do it.

The solution

Edgard & Cooper used LoyaltyLion’s loyalty program, with some customized development, to create a four-tier program around earning “belly rubs” (loyalty points). What’s particularly different about the Edgard & Cooper loyalty program is how much it feels like a game.

Members have “challenges” to complete to earn belly rubs, and they don’t reveal the next tier until you’ve earned enough to level up your friendship.

Edgard & Cooper pet food

Additionally, Edgard & Cooper designed its loyalty program around its brand’s values. Customers can exchange belly rubs to feed rescue dogs, plant trees, or earn a discount. This matches their company-wide pledge to donate 1% of all sales to pets in need.

The results

The folks (and pets!) at Edgard & Cooper smashed their goals by achieving a 22% AOV uplift, a 35% increase in active customers, and a 38% increase in their retention rate.

Action point

As well as customizing your loyalty tiers to match your brand, consider customizing reward offers that align with your brand’s and customer’s values. For example, one in four consumers pay more for brands that commit to environmentally sustainable and ethical practices, which is why the “plant or give” rewards work well for Edgard & Cooper.

The Organic Butchery

We have The Organic Butchery (previously named Coombe Farm Organic) in the Food and Beverage category. The Organic Butchery is on a mission to promote “nose-to-tail” eating and make sure no parts of the animals they butcher go to waste.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, organic food sales increased worldwide — in the EU specifically, sales rose by 15%, reaching $52.5 billion. The folks at The Organic Butchery saw this trend in action, with new customers and orders coming in daily.

However, with so many new customers, The Organic Butchery had the challenge of making sure these customers turned into regulars — so it was time for them to look at a loyalty strategy.

The solution

To help them build relationships with new customers, The Organic Butchery wanted to understand customer buying behavior, and with the help of Morphsites, they used LoyaltyLion’s API and took their loyalty program from concept to launch in just two months.

Customers who created an account automatically became loyalty members (with a 250-point account creation bonus) and earned five points per pound they spent. They decided to keep it simple, with the only other way to earn points being to add your birth date for a birthday reward of 350 points.

The Organic Butchery

The team also integrated LoyaltyLion with Mailchimp to help them promote their loyalty program at launch. They also set up automated tailored emails to highlight available point rewards and create personalized promotional campaigns.

The results

Thanks to The Organic Butchery Rewards program, over half (53%) of their revenue is from loyalty program members today. They also saw a 70% increase in spending from loyalty program members and a 30% click-through rate with loyalty emails.

Working with LoyaltyLion has transformed our approach to loyalty. The result has been a clear increase in customer retention and spending — Lizzie, General Manager at The Organic Butchery.

Action point

As you can see, for some businesses, the simpler, the better. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should go all out with a multiple-tiered loyalty program if it doesn’t make sense for your brand. Sometimes, a simple points program is all you need.

To help you decide which approach would work best for your brand, conduct some customer research to see which style your customers would prefer (you can look at doing design surveys, for example, or a simple questionnaire.)

Pulse Boutique

Finally, in the fashion category, we have The Pulse Boutique. Mackenzie and Mallory opened up the Pulse Boutique for mothers (or others going through big life changes) who find they now have less time to devote to themselves, to provide them with “cute, comfy, casual clothes that are easy to wear and easy to put together in the morning.”

While the brand was doing well, Mackenzie and Mallory (and the team) wanted to offer their customers opportunities to engage with the brand and build a friendly fashion community to build longer-term customer relationships. According to research in the Journal of Brand Management, this significantly impacts how customers feel about your brand.

The solution

Partnering with Swanky, a Shopify Plus agency, they created a three-tier loyalty program named “Pulse Perks.” To foster a brand community in mind, the program they designed the program to encourage members to engage with the brand on social media and increase user-generated content on the website through customer reviews (written and reviews with photos).

The Pulse Boutique

As you can see, the program has five methods of earning points: spending, creating an account, following the brand on Instagram, a written review, and a review with a photo.

The results

Remember the teaser we gave in the introduction? The Pulse Perks program has driven $200k in earned rewards purchases to date — but perhaps more importantly for their goals, the program has delivered a 39% uplift in returning customers and a 19% increase in average order value.

Action point

It’s worth reiterating one of the key takeaways from all the case studies we’ve looked at, including The Pulse Boutique — create your loyalty program with a specific goal in mind.

If you want to focus on customer acquisition, for example, leaning in on referral features is the best approach. If you want to focus on long-term relationship building, creating a tiered system with exclusive rewards would be a better area of focus.

Get started with LoyaltyLion today

As you can see from all the case studies we’ve looked at in this guide, implementing a loyalty strategy with LoyaltyLion has proven to have a huge positive impact on these Shopify businesses — it’s helped them increase:

  • Repeat purchase rates
  • Customer spending
  • Average order value
  • Convert referrals
  • Drive overall revenue

All while helping them offset the rising costs of customer acquisition.

If you want to see other Shopify success stories, check out the LoyaltyLion case studies and get inspiration to implement similar strategies in your store.Otherwise, if you’re ready to build a loyalty program for your store, check out LoyaltyLion’s features and pricing to find the right plan for you.

About the author

Alexander Boswell

Alexander Boswell is the Founder/Director of SaaSOCIATE, a B2B MarTech and eCommerce Content Marketing Service, and a Business PhD candidate. When he’s not writing, he’s playing baseball and D&D.

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