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Creating a best-in-class pets loyalty program
Creating a best-in-class pets loyalty program

Our top tips for optimizing your pets loyalty program

Harriet Bingham avatar
Written by Harriet Bingham
Updated over a week ago

With 86% of pet owners shopping for their pet online it’s important to stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking to optimize your pet brand’s loyalty program, we’ve got the perfect blueprint for you to follow. A typical best-in-class loyalty program for pet brands includes:

Free product rewards

Best-in-class pets loyalty programs often include free product rewards. We recommend using free product rewards because:

  • Products provide a more exciting and compelling reward for members than discounts, increasing the likelihood of redemption

  • Product rewards provide another way to clear excess inventory

  • Product rewards enable you to introduce customers to more of your product range.

The most innovative pets loyalty programs include free product rewards that customers can redeem in exchange for their points. For example, you may offer customers with 100 points the opportunity to add a free product to their basket with their next order.

Typical free product rewards that we see in a loyalty program include:

  • Mini or sample-size products

  • Branded merchandise, for example tote bags

We recommend that you use free product rewards in a way that aligns with your product strategy. For example, if you are launching a new product that you want as many of your customers as possible to try, include a sample-size version as a free product reward. If customers like the sample they will then return to but the product at full-size. You can also use free product rewards to clear excess inventory of products that didn’t sell as anticipated.

Find out how to set up free product vouchers.

Zero-party data collection

Best-in-class loyalty programs incorporate opportunities to collect zero-party data that can be used to personalize customer experiences. This zero-party data collection is increasingly important as we lose the ability to collect data via cookies.

A best-in-class pets loyalty program incorporates zero-party data collection because:

  • The zero-party data collected by the loyalty program can then be used to personalize communications to pet owners such as emails and SMS

  • The zero-party data collected by the loyalty program can also be used to make personalized product recommendations for pets

  • When zero-party data is collected and used responsibly, a greater level of trust is established, and 40% of pet owners will pay more for products from a brand they trust.

The most effective way to collect zero-party data via a loyalty program is to offer members points in exchange for sharing information about themselves and their pets.

Typical ways that we see brands incentivize data sharing include:

  • Awarding points in exchange for sharing their pet’s birthday

  • Awarding points in exchange for completing a pet profile

  • Awarding points in exchange for taking a quiz about their pet

We recommend being explicit and targeted about the information you are collecting to further increase trust. For example, if you want to personalize marketing materials around dogs, then launch a specific skincare quiz that helps customers to identify which breed of dog they own and what products would suit them. Then use that data to send relevant emails that demonstrate responsible data usage.

Personalized loyalty experiences are proven to increase program performance as customers feel recognized as individuals. And trust us, they love it even more when their pets are recognized too. However, the increased trust associated with responsible data usage is also hugely valuable in securing customer loyalty.

Find out how to set up custom activity rules such as quizzes here.

Double points days

Best-in-class loyalty programs help brands to reduce their reliance on discounting and motivate customers to return and buy again sooner. Double points days or weeks are an extremely effective way of re-engaging loyalty program members without an immediate financial incentive.

We recommend pet brands run double points days because:

  • Double points days can be used during sales events as an alternative to discounts, helping you protect your profit margins

  • Double points days help members to build up their points balance and unlock their next reward faster. This then speeds up the time to their next purchase

  • Double points days can be designed to align with your wider marketing calendar - for example, running a double points day on Interntional Pets Day.

Typical ways that we see brands using double points days include:

  • Running double points promotions on newly launched products or collections to increase exposure

  • Running double points promotions on high margin products to incentivize sales on the products that generate the most revenue

  • Running double points promotions on all products for all members across a limited timeframe to create a sense of exclusivity and bring back returning customers.

We recommend promoting your double points days across email and SMS. Ideally you would promote the event ahead of time so that members have time to browse and decide which items they may select once the promotion lands. We also recommend posting about double points days on social media so that non-members can see what they’re missing out on.

When it comes to your loyal customers and their pets, double points days or weeks can be just as effective in driving a sale as discounts. They also work more effectively in the long-term as they help members unlock rewards that they return to redeem sooner.

Find out how to set up double points days here.

Social media

The vast majority of pet brands are using social media to connect with their customers in between purchases, and to drive the next purchase. The best loyalty programs sync loyalty and social media strategy to drive greater engagement.

We recommend pet brands use their loyalty programs to support social media activity because:

  • Your loyalty program can help you increase your social media following by incentivizing members to follow your channels with points

  • If loyalty program members opt out of email communications but continue to follow you on social media, then you can continue to reach them with new products and promotions

  • Your loyalty program members are typically your most satisfied customers and therefore the most likely to post about you and your products, increasing your reach to their audiences. This can be encouraged with points.

A best-in-class pets loyalty program will offer members points in exchange for following the social media channels that are important to your brand strategy.

Typical social media channels that we see brands building into their loyalty program include:

  • Instagram

  • Facebook

  • Pinterest

  • Twitter

  • TikTok

We recommend that you also use loyalty points to incentivize and reward customers who tag your brand on social media as this will also significantly increase your reach. Particularly if they combine a mention of your brand with a photo of their perfect pooch.

Integrating your loyalty program with your social media strategy allows you to reach more or your members, more of the time. It also helps you to get your products and promotions in front of a wider audience, and keep in touch with any customers who opt out of email or SMS communications.

Find out how to incentivize social follows here.

Loyalty tiers

Finally let’s talk about loyalty tiers. Tiers are a fundamental part of any successful pets loyalty program because:

  • Tiers motivate customers to engage with the program more regularly in between purchases in order to unlock bigger and better perks for their pets

  • Customers in higher tiers typically purchase more frequently and have a higher average order value

  • Tiers can be used to reward your most valuable customers with experiential rewards that are perceived to be of very high value.

A best-in-class pets loyalty program should have no more than three tiers, and the rewards available should become progressively more exclusive as a customer moves through the levels. For example, you may give customers in your lower tier rewards such as early access to sales, while customers in higher tiers also get early access to new items and collections as they launch. You may also give customers in your higher tiers more VIP rewards such as invitations to exclusive petcare events or webinars, or the ability to access a free grooming session.

Typical rewards that we see in loyalty program tiers include:

  • Free shipping

  • Double points days

  • Early access to sales

  • Early access to product launches

  • Event and webinar invitations

  • Free products

  • Birthday gifts

  • Invitations to join focus groups

We recommend that you brand your loyalty tiers in a way that aligns with your loyalty program. For example, if LoyaltyLion were to launch the Pride Points loyalty program, we might have a Cub tier and a Lion tier.

Loyalty program tiers are a great way to encourage increased program engagement and participation, but they also provide a more rewarding experience for members and their pets.

Find out how to set up tiers.

Do you need help creating a best-in-class pets loyalty program?

Need a hand setting up any of these tactics within your pets loyalty program? We’re here to help - just contact

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