Why digital loyalty offerings are the way forward for retailers

By Philippe Duchene, Head of Marketing & Communication for Ingenico Enterprise Retail in Europe 

The day of the physical loyalty card is behind us. Today’s consumer is so accustomed to quick and easy mobile payments that they may not even extract their wallet to pay, let alone accept a physical loyalty card to sit in it, forgotten.

Indeed, as payments advance, retailers are doing a great job of keeping up with the latest offering. However, many are overlooking the benefits that virtual loyalty schemes can provide. Physical loyalty cards are cumbersome when you have everything else on one device, so they often end up left at home. This leaves customers missing out on great deals, and merchants losing a prime opportunity to reinforce brand loyalty and collect vital customer data.

Convenience is everything

Technology advancements have made most processes seamless and simple, and it is this convenience that consumers crave today. With a range of companies offering next day delivery and 4G allowing people to shop anywhere at the drop of a hat, consumers are increasingly accustomed to the most convenient offerings.

One area that is lagging behind is loyalty programmes. Many merchants are great at offering a range of preferred payment methods, but they’re missing out on many pertinent benefits by neglecting to update their virtual loyalty offering. Gone are the days of stamping a paper card for a free coffee. Now, as payments capabilities are housed in digital wallets, consumers want everything all in the same place. Solutions such as Ingenico’s Tap & Connect can greatly assist merchants and customers with making this change. With this technology, customers are made aware of existing retailer loyalty programmes at checkout, and either prompted to join or informed of deals via a notification on their phone.

Retailer rewards

A positive customer experience is a sure-fire way to keep them coming back. By offering digital loyalty systems customers will be more likely to sign up in the first place, then enjoy repeat benefits as special offers come in to play. Solutions such as Tap & Connect also reduce retailer admin, with the technology sending a push notification directly to the user’s smart device. The technology will do work while your staff can focus on other things!

These solutions provide an easy way to collect data, too. By collecting data insights – such as regular purchases, latest visits etc. – you can forge unique, more personal relationships with customers, offering them a better consumer experience which they then spread via word of mouth.

Finally, these solutions enable discounts and benefits to be calculated and implemented automatically and in real time, reducing friction for both shopper and retailer.

Unique shopper, unique experience

If you’re serious about reducing friction and improving the shopping experience for your customers, loyalty schemes should not be overlooked. Customers will benefit from better deals and a personalised experience thanks to better data insights on the merchant side, and retailers will enjoy increased new custom, improved return rates and more simplified loyalty processes. Ultimately, mobile wallet innovation and ‘tap and connect’ capabilities transform merchants’ ability to offer more, develop their processes and expand their customer base.

To find out more about how you can benefit from a digitised loyalty scheme and transform your relationship with consumers, get in contact with Ingenico Enterprise Retail today at www.ingenico.co.uk/omnichannel or get a copy of our Forging Fidelity paper https://business.ingenico.com/en/forging-fidelity-position-paper

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