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The benefits of rewarding non-transactional activities

  • Opinion
  • May 23, 2019
  • Ros Netto
The benefits of rewarding non-transactional activities

Product and price is all very well, but retailers are increasingly seeking to avoid discounting by incentivising non-transactional behaviours instead. Ros Netto, consultant at Truth Customer Academy, shares some advice.

Over the past few years we have explored the rising trend of rewarding loyalty members for non-transactional behaviours and according to this year’s data, consumer interest and attitudes are improving.

The popularity of incentivising and rewarding desired behaviours beyond transactions is understandable. From a brand perspective, advantages from non-transactional rewards are reaped in the form of increased consumer engagement and data gathering. Consumer insights surmised from actions such as online surveys, reviews and social media activities are invaluable.

Rewarding beyond transactions is frequently used as a mechanism to drive specific consumer behaviours. Higher usage of an app may be encouraged and rewarded in order to reduce postage costs of statements or incentivising consumers to update contact details will ensure the business’s database is up-to-date, containing correct information.

It is, however, not solely the brand that benefits from non-transactional behaviour; consumers do too. 

Rewarding customers beyond transactions ensures the consumer feels valued by the brand outside of monetary exchange. The interaction becomes more personal and consumers, who may not have the spending power to earn frequent points and instant rewards traditionally, feel a sense of inclusivity when given the opportunity to earn through action-based activities.

A great example of how a brand has seamlessly incorporated this into their loyalty programme is Vans. The Vans loyalty programme, Vans Family, is a programme designed to recognise and reward members for who they are and what they like to do. Members receive points for shopping and for engaging with the brand.

“As a part of the Family, members get insider information, access to member-only contests and experiences, and sneak previews of upcoming product releases. As an added bonus, Family members will also have access to exclusive patterns to customize footwear and accessories in the Vans Customs platform.”
– Vans press release


Upon signing up, members are asked a series of questions to customise their profile. If a member doesn’t want to answer these at sign up, he/she can do so at a later stage.

Engagement opportunities include answering poll questions, sharing photos and stories, and more, for which points vary.  With their points, members redeem for things like members-only branded items, opportunities to win athlete-autographed products, as well as partner and sponsor-associated digital rewards.

The programme was built not as a transactional driver, but as a brand initiative to drive a deeper connection between the brand and consumers.

  1. Upload a photo and win a pair of Vans

Members earn 75 points when writing a brief story about their first pair of Vans and uploading a photo. They also stand a chance to win a custom pair of Vans.

2. Select your preferred music genre and earn 25 points

Members earn 25 points when sharing which music genre they prefer.

Once your answer is submitted, they inform you what other Vans Fans had selected, thus creating further interest and relevance to the programme.

3. Update your profile (via email):

Redeeming your points:

Redemption of points can take place online for Vans merchandise. 

Gathering and effectively utilising data captured through non-transactional activities and social interactions helps brands to develop a real-time, holistic view and understanding of the consumer throughout the purchase cycle. In Vans’s case, they have the ability to build an informed profile about their members, helping them truly understand them and offer relevant & tailored offerings. 

Lancome’s Elite Rewards has also incorporated the ability for members to earn additional points for online activities. 

Members of Lancome’s Elite Rewards rewards programme are able to earn points for shopping, connecting and sharing their information with Lancome. In addition to earning 10 points for every dollar spent, members can earn across a variety of non-transactional activities. These interactions help keep members engaged, as well as provide Lancome with valuable customer information.

By doing this, effective customer-centric buying experiences can be delivered based on strategic insights. The more tailored the buying experience becomes, the more likely repeat purchases will occur.

​ ​

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