We’ve all been there — you go to buy a new pair of jeans from your favorite online store and before you know it you’ve got ten other items in your cart that you didn’t think you wanted. While you love everything you bought, you end up asking yourself how all of those other items got there.

This is nudge theory at work. Whether you realize it or not, there are tons of subtle cues while you browse online that are designed to guide your shopping experience. These cues could be something as simple as customer reviews that offer social proof, limited time offers like a bonus points event, or even a warning that inventory is low.

All of these motivators influence the items that land in your cart because they’re also all rooted in emotion. You’ll add something to your cart to make sure you don’t miss out on the same value other shoppers have experienced.

Tapping into these emotions can be a powerful way to drive engagement with your reward program. In all of the excitement of discovering your brand, browsing your shop, or making a purchase, it can be easy for customers to forget that your rewards program exists, even if could add significant value to their shopping experience.

This is why keeping your program top of mind is so incredibly important, and the best way to do that is with on-site reminders.

How nudges help you build a more effective loyalty program

On-site reminders can also help you tap into the benefits of nudge theory to drive more engagement with your rewards program. Guiding customers to take valuable program actions while they’re browsing your site can help you add new members to your program, and engage the members you already have.

Nudges make it easy to add these visual site cues to guide your rewards program experience. These on-site reminders are designed to keep your rewards program top of mind in the moments your customers are most likely to engage with it. When it’s easy for customers to see how your rewards program can add value to their shopping experience, they’ll have every reason to engage with it.

We’ve highlighted three ways that you can use nudges to help drive on-site engagement with your rewards program.

Make joining your program super simple with an account creation nudge

When customers join your rewards program, you’re given an incredible opportunity to build lasting relationships with them. By adding value to every interaction they have with your brand, they’ll feel like they have just as much to gain from each purchase as you do. It’s these feelings of reciprocity that help you turn one-time purchases into lifelong customers.

While there are a number of great ways to add new members to your program, one of the simplest ways to do this is actually on-site. Every new visitor that checks out your store is an opportunity to add a new member to your program. Since they’re new to both your brand and your site, it’s likely they don’t know about your rewards program and all it has to offer. Adding an account creation nudge to your site makes it easier for these new site visitors to discover your program and prompts them to learn more about it. By guiding new users to check out your reward program, they’ll be more likely to join and stay engaged over time as a result.

Program information is easier to find

An account creation nudge is shown once to first-time site visitors on the first page they visit. Your customers will see a nudge message that encourages them to join your program, and once they click on it your program panel will automatically open. From there, they can easily  learn more about your program and, ultimately, sign up.

Pure Nature Account Creation Nudge

New Zealand-based natural products company Pure Nature makes it really easy for new site visitors to discover their program with a nudge. By guiding new site visitors to join their program and making their program information easier to find, they’re effectively able to grow their community.

Make it easier for customers to turn points into rewards with a points spending nudge

When your customers earn points for completing a purchase, they’re excited about the value you’ve added to their shopping experience. However, the more time passes so does that initial excitement.

Customers will be more likely to get excited about their points if they can easily visualize how to use them towards a purchase. Reminding customers they have an unused points balance and encouraging them to use it towards a reward before they check out will increase the chances they actually use their points.

That’s what makes a points spending nudge so powerful! Simply letting customers know they’ve earned points that they can use right away towards their purchase will get them excited about your program again. When using their rewards is this easy, they’ll have every reason to return to your store to make another purchase and will be excited to do so.

Show customers the value of spending points when they’re most likely to

A points spending nudge is shown to logged in program members who have enough points to use towards a reward. Your customers will see a nudge message on your cart page that encourages them to use their points towards a reward. Engaging with the nudge will show them all of the available rewards they can purchase with their points in your program panel. In just a few clicks, they can redeem their points and add a reward code to their cart.

Jimmy Joy Points Spending Nudge June

By simplifying the process, Jimmy Joy makes it easier for every member to engage with their program. With nothing more than a simple nudge on their cart page that encouraged customers to use their points, they'll significantly increase customer engagement and help their members get more out of their program at the same time. Talk about reciprocity!

Get your brand in front of more new customers with a referral nudge

It’s no secret that your best customers are often your best advocates. Offering these advocates a reward to share your brand with others is a powerful way to not only strengthen your relationship with your best customers, but also get your brand in front of new ones.

Unfortunately it’s not enough to just offer a referral reward — you need to make it easy and obvious for customers to follow through if you want them to share your brand with others. As a result, your referral program will be more successful if you it and the rewards up for grabs top of mind when your customers are most likely to share your brand after making a purchase.

Adding a referral nudge to your thank you page right after your customers have headed to the check out will accomplish both of these tasks. By nudging customers to share your brand when they are most excited about it, you will be able to get your brand in front of more new customers while retaining more program members in the process.

Make referrals easy and valuable

A referral sharing nudge is shown to logged in program members on your thank you page right after they’ve completed a purchase. They’ll see a nudge message that lets them know what they could earn for referring a friend, and will be prompted  to share their referral link in your program panel.

Facetory Account Creation Nudge

By encouraging customers to share their program post purchase and making it super easy to share, skincare brand Facetory has empowered their best advocates to help them reach new customers.

Make it easier for your customers to engage with your program when they’re most likely to

Nudges are an incredible way to encourage your program members to engage with your program in the moments that they are most likely to on your site. Using them to provide your customers with subtle cues to engage with your program will make them more likely to do so and help establish valuable customer behavior patterns that ultimately improve program engagement over time.

Encouraging your customers to join your program, use their points towards a purchase and refer their friends will help you build a profitable, thriving community that helps you grow your business and grounds every customer relationship in real emotional connections. By showing every member that they have just as much to gain from every interaction as you do, they’ll be more likely to continue engaging with your program in the future — even without a nudge in the right direction.