An Interview With Charlie Casey, CEO and Founder at Loyalty Engagement Platform: LoyaltyLion

LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that helps fast-growth ecommerce brands use insights to retain and grow their loyal customer base. Via our platform, merchants can give their shoppers points for purchases and positive engagements (like social follows, referrals, or newsletter sign-ups).

These points are then redeemable for rewards – including money-off vouchers, free gifts, and exclusive experiences. As a result, brands that use LoyaltyLion gain loyalty program members who have a 28% higher purchase frequency than regular customers.

But, in our world, loyalty programs are about more than just points and rewards. They’re an opportunity for brands to build long-lasting relationships and emotional connections with their customers. While at the same time making every ecommerce marketer’s job easier.

Today, over 10K merchants are using LoyaltyLion worldwide. This means millions of shoppers are getting online experiences that make them feel special and valued by the brands they love.
 
 
LoyaltyLion | EcommerceTech
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
We love that platforms like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce have enabled so many entrepreneurs to launch their own companies by lowering the barriers to entry. Ecommerce today is like the high street before it became dominated by a handful of generic, impersonal businesses. We came up with the idea for LoyaltyLion because we wanted to help entrepreneurs succeed, and stop ecommerce from going the way of the brick-and-mortar store.

We believe that relationships are the foundation of commerce. And, for us, great customer experiences and emotional connections are the key to differentiating in a world dominated by brands like Amazon. LoyaltyLion exists to help fast-growth, ecommerce merchants succeed in one of the most competitive markets in the world. We give brands the customer engagement and loyalty platform they need to build emotional relationships with shoppers. These, in turn, power their ecommerce growth.
 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
Over the pandemic, the ecommerce market saw tremendous growth. And this acceleration is going to be permanent. Adobe recently published that the pandemic boosted online spending by $183 billion over the past year.

With ecommerce on the up during the pandemic, we also saw loyalty program adoption boom. Last year, 68% of consumers said they wanted to return and buy from brands they already knew and trusted. Meanwhile, brands needed to work harder to retain all the new customers they acquired. We saw the number of points earned and redeemed through our loyalty programs was 44-56% higher than the amounts we would classically see. Plus, Sephora, 100% PURE, and Bloomingdale’s all rehauled their loyalty programs.

To meet this demand, LoyaltyLion has gone through a huge expansion. We’ve significantly increased our Customer Success team to ensure that we continue to support all our merchants effectively. We’ve also extended our c-suite, hiring both a Chief Finance Officer and a Chief Technology Officer.

We’re also focused on making sure that LoyaltyLion integrates with as many other marketing tools and technologies as possible. For instance, we’ve deepened our integration with Klaviyo and launched new SMS and helpdesk integrations to help merchants use loyalty to drive greater ROI from all their marketing channels.
 

 

What can we hope to see from LoyaltyLion in the future?

 
Into 2022, we’re continuing to hire quickly across our Product and Engineering teams to ensure that we’re always developing exactly what our merchants need. This will help us continue on our journey to be the best-in-class loyalty platform on the market, supporting fast-growth brands as they scale.

We’ve settled into our office on Fleet Street, London, now life has returned to some kind of normality in the UK. Plus, we’ve already started hiring team members in the US and are looking forward to significantly expanding further.
 

What emerging trends within ecommerce excite you the most?

 
There are two that come immediately to mind.

First is the changes to first-party data collection. Some brands might see this as a blocker. But, I think of it as an opportunity. The changes mean that if a customer gives their personal data over to you, they’ve done it because they trust you with it.

Data points extracted from loyalty programs build this trust. When a customer has created a loyalty program account (and shared their personal data) they’re saying they trust you and want to hear from you. This is extremely important in an increasingly opt-out era.

The second trend I’m excited about is the potential for merchants to refresh their discounting strategy – especially around key retail peaks (like Black Friday). Discounts on their own can damage profits and brand reputation. In fact, our recent research showed that 60% of customers feel that Black Friday discounts aren’t as good as they expect them to be.

To combat this, there’s potential for merchants to offer alternatives to discounts that protect their profit margins and improve the lifetime value of their customers. These alternatives will make customers just as likely to buy from brands over key seasonal periods (like Black Friday Cyber Monday) as discounts do. 76% said that discounts would make them buy from a brand this Black Friday. But equally as lucrative were perks like free shipping (76%) and loyalty points (73%).