How to leverage a mobile loyalty program for better customer retention
April 27, 2015

Gift card and loyalty programs have been around for some time, and many retailers have successfully launched rewards that help them retain customers in the long run. However, the most effective program benefits have changed over time. Because mobile has changed how people shop, many customers want rewards they can earn and redeem with their mobile devices.

Loyalty programs are key to gaining insight
Customers have higher expectations than ever before, which makes it more difficult for merchants to win lasting loyalty. A report from Econsultancy and IBM found only 37 percent of consumers believe their favorite retailers have a firm understanding of what they want. Because of this gap in understanding, just 35 percent of customers think brands regularly send relevant marketing communications.

The consumer experience brands provide is becoming paramount for long-term engagement. Loyalty programs that are structured around benefits customers really want drive the bottom line, and these programs can be a valuable source of customer data that can increase the relevance of all marketing efforts.

Enabling loyalty in an omnichannel world
Shoppers have more ways to interact with their favorite brands. Between mobile and social media, many interactions may not take place in a physical store. For merchants that also sell their products online, it can be challenging to offer a meaningful customer experience through every channel. Mobile loyalty programs may be more engaging traditional programs, especially when customers can redeem rewards in person or online. In fact, many consumers want mobile-first interactions with brands, according to Convenience Store and Fuel News. Mobile devices have had a significant impact on shopping behavior across many different markets. People often use their smartphones to compare prices while shopping at a brick-and-mortar retailer.

Companies can gain a competitive advantage by establishing a mobile app that helps customers collect loyalty rewards. Depending on the business sector, rewards can be offered in different ways. For example, consumers may be able to earn points that can be used for future purchases every time they buy. One of the benefits mobile loyalty programs have over others is they make it easier for merchants to communicate with their customers. Mobile programs allow retailers to send text messages and geo-targeted offers, opening the door for more innovative promotions.

Customers have more options for when, where and how they shop. Traditional retailers can offer a more unique experience by adopting a mobile loyalty program.

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