Top 5 strategies for implementing a successful channel loyalty program in 2024

Maximise your channel engagement in 2024 by building on some of 2023’s most successful tactics with the channel engagement experts from Gratifii.

Keeping a channel engaged is hard. Inspiring them to take action is even harder. In 2024 we’re encouraging businesses with supply channels to take advantage of recent insights to build programs that really deliver results.

Here are five of the best channel engagement ideas we’ve seen this year.

1. Using points to engage and reward your reps

The Distributors are Australia’s leading national independent wholesale distributors to petrol and convenience, corner stores, pharmacy, newsagents, schools and the route market, and specialise in beverages, confectionary, snack, grocery and customer service.

In 2022 The Distributors implemented an engaging, fun rewards program across their entire national sales force. This year they further refined their program and it has gone from strength to strength, returning $33 in additional sales for every $1 invested.

So how did they do it? They turned to Gratifii who designed a rewards program that guaranteed engagement of their branches by rewarding members for connecting with supplier brands. The incentive stretched across all sales influencers including branch owners, sales managers and sales reps.

Reps were kept motivated to continually sell products into outlets throughout the year with bonus points for new product distribution. The points-based program saw a broad number of reps rewarded by exchanging their points for bids in prize-filled online auctions. Additionally, competition between national branches and reps were fostered with the lure of generous leaderboard prizes.

The use of direct communications, website dashboards and gamification further helped The Distributors create an engaging, personalised relationship with their reps.

2. Using promotions to supercharge your trade incentives

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-Conditioners Australia were looking to drive loyalty in their highly competitive industry, targeting dealers and a large network of self-employed “man in a van” installers.

Gratifii built a platform to manage a sophisticated level-based limited time rebate program for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ dealers and rewarded their accumulated purchases with cash rewards and tickets to an annual customer trip.

Gratifii also hosted a smart claim form for the installer network to earn cash rewards for supply and install of eligible Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ units and processed payments and managed all customer support. This support effectively took away the heavy lifting that comes with running large scale trade incentives and allowed Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to get build a deeper relationship with their installers.

These initiatives resulted in 27,000 claims and over 2.4 million in rewards issued to members in 2023.

3. Scale up your rewards with the help of sponsors

Looking again at The Distributors’ Advantage All Stars loyalty program, one of the keys to success was the support of 26 sponsoring supplier brand partners including Nestle, Smiths and Mars.

With their suppliers’ support, The Distributors were able to scale up the rewards on offer for their reps, with $120,000 in prizes up for grabs through online auctions, $60,000 in cash back offers, $45,000 in sales prizes and $10,000 of ‘surprise and delight’ gifts.

For sponsoring suppliers, the program enabled them to encourage focus on specific product sales and drive greater interactions with stores to create more selling opportunities, turning their reps into brand ambassadors.

Pivotal to the success of the program was providing all stakeholders (client, branches and sponsors) with transparency via performance dashboards which provided timely, granular detail of reps’ engagement scores and completed activities.

This strategic collaboration helped achieve business goals for all parties and could be replicated in other B2B loyalty programs where there are suppliers looking to engage sales reps.

4. Bring your promotions together for maximum impact

Gratifii has developed and implemented many incentives for B2B channel partners and their customers. In our experience, these offers and promotions work best when they are grouped with support and resources to create an engaging immersive experience which drives deeper connections with your target audience.

A leading personal technology and print solutions provider partnered with Australia’s largest information and communications technology distributor to reach and incentivise their reseller channel this year. Gratifii’s team worked closely with the distributor to design a high impact program which is the destination for all their promotions and rewards in the one portal for maximum impact.

The results speak for themselves. 347 new resellers joined the program and made $50 million in sales in 2023.

Working with a partner like Gratifii can mean saying goodbye to the headaches of coordinating rewards disbursement for multiple offers and promotions and focus instead on building the great relationships needed to drive your business.

5. Incentivise your reps to advance their product knowledge

Turning again to The Distributors’ Advantage All Stars loyalty program, another success was the use of monthly training and resources, including videos, to drive further engagement and awareness.

Feedback from suppliers showed that the completion of product training and enablement activities achieved sales growth and accelerated new product uptake.

More than 14,000 training sessions were completed between July and October 2023, with more than 8,000 resources accessed during the same period.

Training resources were supported with regular, engaging comms to keep the program front of mind and called out new campaigns providing freshness and new challenges for program members.

The fun, engaging nature, impactful creative and custom narrative worked, with member communications experiencing an average open rate and click to open rates of more than three times higher than the industry average.

Incentivised training can be an effective engagement tool for boosting any sales teams’ motivation and knowledge which should deliver an uplift in revenue.

We invite you to learn more

Gratifii loves seeing loyalty best-practice in action and is delighted to be sponsoring the best sustainable initiative at the inaugural Asia Pacific Loyalty Awards in Melbourne next March. We believe supporting loyalty excellence helps raise standards in the industry, benefiting all within the industry.

If you’d like to learn more about how to apply best practices to your channel loyalty program, we’d love to help. We invite you to talk to Gratifii today about how you can inspire your sales channel to work harder for you using the best ideas in the market.