As a marketer, you’re probably well versed on the benefits of a loyalty program for your brand. Research shows that consumers are 85 per cent more likely to shop with a brand that recognises long-term loyalty than brands without a rewards system.
But when was the last time you actually used a physical loyalty card yourself, either during your weekly grocery shop or at the local café? Chances are, you forgot to bring it with you. Or maybe it’s long gone after falling out of your wallet on your morning commute. If you don’t use physical cards, your customers don’t either.
And they’re set to become a thing of the past with the arrival of new and innovative technologies. Mobile wallets do away with plastic or paper cards altogether, transforming them into easy-to-manage files stored right on your customer’s smartphone, making them a natural extension of your current loyalty program.
No More Plastic
Mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay house all your loyalty cards in the device that customers are using all day long. Because these are all default apps, your customers don’t need to jump through hoops and download an app to sign up to your loyalty program.
Because the loyalty card is on their phone, users can monitor things like their card balance and how many points they’ve earned any time they want. Plus, a digital loyalty program is a great way to ease your less tech-savvy customers into the world of mobile wallet technology.
Seamlessly Earning Points
The easiest and most common way to get people to join your loyalty program is providing loyalty points. The more money they spend, the more points they earn that can be used for future purchases.
Everyone forgets their wallet from time to time, and might leave the house without other necessities, but most of us never forget our phone. This means that whether they’re buying online or in-store, customers can easily earn points without clinging onto a flimsy card.
For example, The North Face has a brilliant points system that’s easily explained to new members. For every dollar spent online or in-store, customers earn ten points. Users can then manage their account, check their status and put these loyalty points towards future purchases.
It’s important to not put any time-sensitive restrictions on your points system, as according to Code Broker, 56 per cent of shoppers have changed or abandoned a purchase when they realised their loyalty points had expired. Keeping it unrestricted also means you can nudge customers to return to store or re-engage if they’ve been quiet for a while.
The 2018 MasterCard Asia Pacific Study highlighted that nearly half of all Australian loyalty members go six months or more without hearing from their program operator.
By putting your loyalty program into a mobile wallet, you’re creating a direct communication line with each member and it’s easy for both parties to engage consistently.
One of the best features of mobile wallet technology is the ability to send push notifications to loyalty program members. Your brand lives on a member’s smartphone and you can send messages straight to their lock-screen. These messages could be based on their purchase history, alerting them of a special offer that may interest them, or you act as a reminder about rewards points they’re yet to redeem.
One of the biggest online retailers in the world, Amazon, combined push notifications with customer data to deliver unique customer experiences. It used purchase and browsing history to send personalised discounts straight to their lock-screen, preventing the offers from getting lost in an inbox. Personalised push notifications have massive swaying power with consumers, with some suggesting that the tactic can increase sales by up to 30 per cent.
Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers have professed an allegiance to brands, so it’s a no-brainer for companies to take advantage of this and create a reward-centric loyalty program. While there are numerous pitfalls to plastic loyalty cards, a digital loyalty program that uses mobile wallet technology gives customers complete autonomy over their account, while providing you with more chances to engage them than ever.