Promotions and Loyalty Strategies that Win During Difficult Economic Times [Op-ed]


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2022 was an exceptionally tumultuous year for local brick and mortar businesses, largely driven by the last wave of COVID lockdowns and towards the end of the year, rising interest rates pressuring consumer spending.  Businesses that survived the pandemic are now looking for the most effective ways to keep their businesses growing while fighting against the pressure consumers are feeling economically.

In times of economic strain, consumers typically look for ways to save money. This was the case during the recession in 2009-2012 when discount platforms such as Groupon and LivingSocial saw tremendous success due to shoppers searching for bargains.

Today’s consumer is no different: they still harbour a desire to find savings wherever possible, and is back en vogue. For businesses looking towards promotions or discounts there should be two main focuses – enticing customers into taking action while also making sure it correlates with their brand values and bottom line margins are met.

Ren’s Pets Rewards Program (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Businesses all over Canada are turning to time-tested strategies when it comes to engaging customers and rewarding their customers. Here are the top 3 growth strategies we see implemented on our platform:

  1. Customer loyalty: I suggest focusing on common purchases that customers are heavily incentivized to return for and make sure your staff is driving this strategy forward with a smooth enrollment process at the till. By providing rewarding experiences when individuals come back again and again, not only will their loyalty increase but so too your profits!
  2. Increasing number of orders placed directly: The cost of delivery services can add up quickly. To help savvy customers save money, many businesses now offer discounts when direct pick up or delivery orders are placed with them instead of third party apps like Uber or Skip The Dishes. A trend we’re seeing more often is promotions offering 10% to 15% off for ordering directly from the restaurant – which helps reduce costs for both you and the customer!
  3. Attracting new customers: Drawing in new customers is essential for business growth. To be successful, your promotion needs to stand out from the crowd and offer something that truly disrupts existing habits. Consider offering a substantial discount or freebie—up to 30% off their total bill! For less aggressive customer acquisition tactics, loyalty rewards are more likely to result in returning clients while still providing an incentive they won’t find elsewhere.

As we enter 2023, businesses looking to excel must navigate the complex seas of digital commerce and shifting economic conditions. With perceptive marketing strategies that strike the right balance between promotion and profit coupled with intelligent innovation, local merchants can take advantage of this season’s opportunities amidst its many challenges – unlocking success for their business along the way!

By Matt Crowell, Founder & CEO GetintheLoop

Matt Crowell
Matt Crowell
Matt Crowell is Founder, CEO at Loop Media Group.Matt is a passionate Entrepreneur and out of the box thinker. Matt founded Loop Media's first product, GetintheLoop, on an $800 budget fresh out of playing professional hockey in Europe. Matt and his team, alongside a group of advisors, has grown Loop Media into a technology platform with global partnerships working with some of the worlds largest media organizations, sports teams and brands. Matt holds a Masters in Innovation from Antwerp Management School and a Bachelors of Science, Marketing from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.


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