Industry analysts and researchers have predicted for several years that mobile will transform loyalty programs and increase consumer engagement with brands. Now the time has come when new innovations in engagement techniques and app technologies are redefining the ways that consumers can earn and redeem rewards through their mobile devices. And brands are capitalising on this technology shift to simplify access and management for their loyalty programs.

In my work with customers, I’ve become increasingly involved in this rapidly growing area, and I’ve been receiving more and more questions about this topic. In this post, I shed some light on the biggest opportunities and advantages for mobile loyalty programs today. Please read to find out more about this exciting and fast-moving area of mobile, and then stay tuned for part two of this post.

Mobile devices are such an integral part of our everyday lives. What opportunities does this create for customer loyalty programs?

Up until recently, loyalty programs were built on the use of physical cards designed to be kept in wallets and purses. But now that the mobile device has become such an indispensable part of our daily lives, and now that mobile apps have reached such a level of sophistication that they enable a wide range of transactions, we’ve been able to transfer our loyalty program interactions directly to our devices.

One of the most common technologies that consumers are turning to for digital loyalty program participation is their mobile wallet. The key value proposition for the mobile wallet is that it provides consumers simplified and immediate access to important program information, through just a swipe or touch of a button. Consumers no longer have to worry about bringing a separate card to earn loyalty points. They can monitor their loyalty activity and points balance in real time on their devices, and they can immediately redeem rewards. For brands, there is an amazing opportunity to foster long-term customer relationships through mobile and provide personalised engagements with their customers, through customised coupons, sales, games, and birthday gifts, just to name a few rewards.

What other advantages does mobile offer for loyalty programs?

One huge advantage lies in the use of geolocation. For example, when a shopper who has opted to allow her location to be used walks into a bookstore, the store can detect her smartphone’s location and then use data on her loyalty points and shopping preferences to alert her of a special reward or offer that matches her interests. This loyalty interaction is much different and more direct than the traditional way of relying on a shopper to bring her card to a store and use it in a transaction to receive points and rewards. Capabilities such as geolocation are helping brands reduce friction during their customers’ journey by offering anytime, anywhere loyalty participation.

What has the rising use of mobile payment meant for mobile loyalty programs?

Thanks to the rising adoption of mobile wallets and payment platforms, like Apple Pay and Android Pay, more and more consumers are being persuaded to pay with their mobile devices, and this is opening a new opportunity for the use of mobile loyalty programs. Figuring out how to seamlessly combine payments with rewards offers a new level of engagement between brands and customers: In return for customers registering for a loyalty program and agreeing to share personal data, brands can gain invaluable insight to deliver more customised offers and more valuable rewards to their customer base.

In part two of this post, I provide examples of how brands are using mobile loyalty to overcome app saturation along with some best practices.


By Lisa Paccione at Syniverse


You can find Syniverse's presentation on mobile wallets in the Social, Video & Mobile Theatre at 10:30am at Integrated Live on 16 November, but you'll have to register for your free ticket first:

Eventbrite - Integrated Live

PrivSec Conferences will bring together leading speakers and experts from privacy and security to deliver compelling content via solo presentations, panel discussions, debates, roundtables and workshops.
For more information on upcoming events, visit the website.

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