A new day is dawning! Gone are the traditional cardboard loyalty cards weighing down your wallet – now, there’s an app for that!
As the use of smartphones, apps and other digital technologies becomes more widespread and mainstream, many retailers are opting to replace their physical loyalty cards with mobile apps. And with good reason, too. Digital loyalty apps benefit the customer – no more loyalty card to lose, forget, or weigh down your wallet, plus access to great rewards and promotions online; moreover they benefit the company utilising the app through the ability to collect data and information on their customers and their purchases, thus learning more about their target market and shopping trends. Retailers can also use data to target specific promotions to customers and further increase sales.
Additionally, many loyalty apps are allowing retailers to take it to the next level, with inbuilt payment systems allowing instant redeeming or earning of points to take place at the same time as purchase occurs.
With consumers belonging to an average of 18 loyalty programs, those that can offer greater personalisation are gaining favour and cut through. In store sensors or beacons are being used to identify shoppers via their devices and can let shop assistants know when a loyal customer enters the store. Tracking technology also triggers promotions/specials/reminders to customers who may have picked up or tried on certain items but for whatever reason put them back on the shelf did not actually purchase them.
Other data that can be collected through digital loyalty is average basket size, frequency of customer visits and information on additional or impulse items shoppers add to their primary order. This data is extremely rich and powerful and provides retailers with a wealth of knowledge and ability to analyse promotions and marketing efforts and test which ones are most likely to be taken up and generate the highest return.
Nick Houldsworth, Chief Marketing Officer of Vend, a cloud point of sale maker, says the return on investment scheme can be as high as 500% for retailers – the benefits are only increasing as technology expands more and more. The key to success is giving something to get something. The brand delivers an exciting experience for the customer, often in a public arena that either includes a product giveaway or the chance for a customer to wine something of real value. In exchange, the consumer generates owned content for the brand, earned media that they spread on their own social channels and parting with personal information. And that, seems like a pretty good reason to ditch the cardboard loyalty card and go mobile!