Customer Loyalty programs: Which one is perfect fit for your business

Monetary Rewards vs Experiential Rewards vs Loyalty Marketplace

Loyalty programs are a popular way for businesses to retain customers and increase their lifetime value. However, not all Loyalty programs are created equal. Some focus on offering monetary rewards, such as discounts, coupons, or cash back. Others emphasize experiential rewards, such as personalized services, exclusive access, or VIP treatment. And the nowadays trend is for some to combine both types of rewards in a loyalty marketplace, where customers can choose from a variety of options expanding to a variety of partners.

But which type of Loyalty program is more effective? And how does customer experience play a role in influencing customer loyalty? In this blog post, we will explore these questions and provide some tips on how to choose the right loyalty program for your business.

Monetary Rewards vs Experiential Rewards vs Loyalty Marketplace

      • Monetary rewards are the most common and traditional form of Loyalty program. They appeal to customers who are looking for tangible and immediate benefits from their purchases. They also tend to be easy to implement and measure for businesses. However, monetary rewards also have some drawbacks. They can be costly to maintain and may erode profit margins. They can also create a transactional relationship with customers, where they only buy from you when they get a good deal. And they can be easily copied by competitors, reducing your differentiation and loyalty.
      • Experiential rewards are a newer and more innovative form of Loyalty programs. They appeal to customers who are looking for emotional and memorable benefits from their purchases. They also tend to be more engaging and personalized for customers, creating a stronger bond with your brand. However, experiential rewards also have some challenges. They can be difficult to design and deliver consistently and may require more resources and training. They can also be harder to quantify and communicate to customers, especially if they are not aware of the value they are receiving. And they can be less appealing to customers who are more price-sensitive or rational.
Monetary Rewards
Experiential Loyalty Programs
Focus on tangible benefits such as discounts, coupons, and points-based systems.
Emphasize unique and memorable experiences for customers.
Transactional in nature, primarily driven by financial incentives.
Aim to create emotional connections and foster brand affinity.
Can drive short-term engagement and encourage repeat purchases.
Foster long-term loyalty and create a deeper sense of connection with the brand.
May not necessarily create a lasting emotional connection with customers.
Tap into customers’ emotions and create positive associations with the brand.
Lack differentiation and may not differentiate the brand from competitors.
Differentiate the brand by offering exclusive experiences and building a distinct brand identity.
Primarily offer tangible and immediate benefits.
Focus on providing unique, personalized, and memorable experiences.
May not generate deep loyalty or foster strong brand advocacy.
Drive higher levels of customer satisfaction and encourage brand advocacy.
Easily replicable by competitors, leading to less loyalty.
More difficult to replicate, creating a competitive advantage and fostering long-term loyalty.
Limited in their ability to create a memorable customer experience.
Create emotional engagement and leave a lasting impression on customers.
Often result in a transactional relationship with customers.
Foster a deeper emotional connection and establish a long-term relationship with customers.


Please note that the table provides a general comparison between monetary rewards and experiential loyalty programs. The specific outcomes and impact may vary depending on the nature of the loyalty program, the target audience, and the industry in which it operates. It’s important for businesses to consider their unique circumstances and customer preferences when designing and implementing loyalty programs


  • Loyalty marketplace is a hybrid form of Loyalty program that combines monetary and experiential rewards in one platform. It allows customers to choose from a range of options that suit their preferences and needs. It also gives businesses more flexibility and control over their loyalty offerings and costs. However, the Loyalty marketplace also has some limitations. It can be complex and confusing to manage by yourself and may require more integration and coordination with partners and it can be less effective if you do not segment your customers and tailor your rewards accordingly. But if you use a user-friendly platform like Pobuca Loyalty Marketplace you can have a comprehensive 360-degree solution, taking care of the intricate details so you can focus on what matters most – your customers.

How Customer Experience Is Key for Loyalty Programs

Regardless of which type of Loyalty program you choose, customer experience is the key factor that determines its success or failure. Customer experience is the sum of all the interactions and perceptions that customers have with your brand throughout their journey. It influences how they feel about your brand, how loyal they are to your brand, and how likely they are to recommend your brand to others.

According to a study by Forrester Research, customer experience leaders outperform customer experience laggards by 80% in revenue growth, 77% in customer retention, and 66% in customer advocacy. Moreover, customer experience leaders have higher loyalty scores across all types of loyalty programs than customer experience laggards.

Therefore, if you want to create a Loyal customer base, you need to focus on delivering a positive and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints and channels. You need to understand your customers’ needs, expectations, preferences, and feedback. You need to design your products, services, processes, and communications around your customers’ pain points and goals. And you need to measure and improve your customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy on an ongoing basis.

How to Choose the Right Loyalty Program for Your Business

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing the right Loyalty program for your business. You need to consider several factors, such as your business objectives, target market, competitive landscape, budget, resources, capabilities, and risks. By understanding the differences between monetary rewards and experiential loyalty programs, brands can make informed decisions about which approach aligns best with their overall business objectives, customer base, and brand identity. Some businesses may find a combination of both approaches to be effective in striking a balance between tangible benefits and emotional connections.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a Loyalty program that not only drives short-term engagement and repeat purchases but also fosters long-term loyalty, emotional engagement, and advocacy. A customer-centric approach that prioritizes exceptional experiences is key to building lasting relationships with customers and reaping the benefits of Loyalty programs.


In the realm of customer loyalty programs, the significance of customer experience cannot be overstated. While monetary rewards have traditionally been the primary focus of loyalty programs, experiential loyalty programs have gained prominence due to their ability to create emotional connections and foster lasting loyalty. By shifting the focus from transactional benefits to providing unique and memorable experiences, brands can differentiate themselves, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive advocacy.