Today, most consumers keep several loyalty cards for their favorite retailers, cards that they either stuff in their wallets or tether to their keychains. Swiped or scanned at the start of a transaction, these cards can give customers discounts while also providing the retailer trackable data about customer shopping habits. But the most important aspect of loyalty cards is that they keep customers coming back for more.
Retailers love customer loyalty programs because it’s easier and less expensive to generate revenue from an existing customer than it is to try to attract unfamiliar consumers and try to wring sales from these new customers. Of course, retailers still want to attract these new customers. The longer-term goal is to turn these new customers into repeat customers, perhaps with the help of a loyalty card. For example, Starbucks claims its My Starbucks Rewards program was as a key revenue and profit driver for the coffee chain, notes Entrepreneur magazine. In a similar approach, Best Buy tweaked its rewards card program with a small points percentage boost in rewards that a customer could apply to future purchases.
While loyalty cards have been successful, they do have limitations. From the perspective of a consumer, a loyalty card is just one more thing to pack in an already bulging wallet. It’s also one more thing that could easily get lost. But there’s a loyalty card replacement on the horizon. The consumer migration toward mobile transactions will make loyalty card worries a thing of the past.
Customers are always looking for deals — that’s one of the reasons that they sign up for loyalty cards. But customers are also looking for convenience. Mobile loyalty programs give them that convenience. When the loyalty program is managed as mobile app on a smart phone, the customer no longer has a card to carry around and worry about losing.
In today’s digital world, most people are never without their smartphones. And having a digitally deployed loyalty programs means that consumers can take advantage of all of their programs from the convenience of their phones. No longer will they need to carry around multiple cards in a wallet. From the retailer’s standpoint, the constant digital interaction provides more detailed information about customers’ preferences and purchases.
These mobile loyalty programs are not far away. Netclearance offers an app called Bounty, which gives consumers access to coupons as well as information about places for food and entertainment. The app works with Netclearance’s multi-mode (Wi-Fi + BLE) proximity beacon technology, which provides to retailers tracking and location capabilities. By knowing the location of a customer, retailers can then offer customized content and promotions intended to drive more sales. Furthermore, analytics of browsing habits and purchases can help retailers plan and manage their inventory more efficiently. The future of digital loyalty is already here. Contact us to learn more.