From Safeway to Petro Canada, Chapters to Starbucks …everyone seems to have a loyalty program. Loyalty programs tell your customers that you appreciate the fact that they choose to buy from your store, and you offer them a reward in return.

But there is a variety of ways for small businesses to create loyalty programs without the overhead cost and data configurations most of them require.


Customer Appreciation Day

Utilize your newsletter, and buzz about a customer appreciation day where you will be opening early, or staying open late, for an RSVP only event. Serve some food, play some music, and take the opportunity to show your customers why they continue to shop local …because it’s a personal experience.

In addition, this is a great opportunity to take pictures and gain permission to “tag” them in these images on your Facebook page. Which, in turn, creates exposure for your business to 100’s of their Facebook friends.

Facebook Referral Program

Create a 1st time customer coupon – also something you could put in your newsletter and on your social media sites.

Hold holiday events …specifically for your customer base.

Hold classes or clinics …about your product or service.

Host a Employee Appreciation Day …this gives them the opportunity to invite friends and family …yet another potential untapped customer base.

Create a “Birthday Bonus” database …offering a special coupon or gift on their birthday. This is an excellent way to generate a “friendly” database.

Hold a tax-free event …as a customer appreciation day.

Host a charity day …where part of the proceeds go to a charity. This is a great media exposure opportunity, and a reason for your regular customers to come by.

Host “Happy Hour” …pricing for your regular customers.

So there you have it. Loyalty programs can be as diverse as you, the business owner, makes them. Everyone like’s to be appreciated …and having fun while doing so is all the better!