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Make your customers feel special by introducing VIP Club Memberships

by Tim Rimington | October 12, 2010

When I started writing this article it was intended to be a focus on VIP member pricing for e-commerce websites. But as I began to think more about the various incentives to become a club member, it became obvious that non e-commerce websites could also benefit from some form of VIP Club Membership.

We've recently focused on demonstrating ways for our non e-commerce clients to enable credit card payments on their website. As a brief re-cap, if your organisation's primary focus is some form of service as opposed to a "shippable" product, there should be no reason why you can't introduce a paid membership for access to some form of periodical information (the means in which it's made available is entirely up to you and what best fits your organisation). For example, I have paid subscriptions to members-only e-newsletters that are delivered to my inbox. Further to this, I recently saw a website offering phone advice and support for paid members only. So regardless of how you deliver information or services, there's bound to be some way that you can charge for a special service or access to members-only information. If your offer's of good value, people will pay for it.

But let's get back to your customers. Most fashion retailers these days offer some form of loyalty card (my wife has a stack of them and takes each and every one with her when she goes shopping, only visiting the stores where she knows a discount is waiting in some form or another). A VIP Club Membership goes a long way to establishing loyalty to your store or brand, and again, regardless of whether you're selling t-shirts or financial advice, your customers will hover towards the business that shows them some love. If you had an opportunity to grab a discount on something you need you'd jump at it, right?

SiteSuite's e-commerce store platform can be configured to allow different price levels for your products so that club members can gain access to members-only pricing. As your store's administrator you can set different club price levels as a further reward for members who spend over a set amount each month. Club members can also be granted access to password-protected pages that feature members-only information. You can also group members into special newsletter subscriber groups to make good on offers of members-only e-newsletters filled with special offers, discount e-vouchers and so on.

But without getting bogged down in the nuts and bolts of administering club memberships, the focus should be on introducing at least some form of VIP membership, whether it's access to special information, special product offers, special pricing, etc. Because if you don't offer your customers something special and beyond the norm, your competitors most certainly will.

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