September 28, 2018  •   Momentum News

Can next generation loyalty programs save traditional retailers?

Momentum Protocol News

Matt Hampshire, Ecommerce & Retail Guru, mentions Momentum Protocol in his insightful article below.

Follow Matt or read the original article here.

Can next generation loyalty programs save traditional retailers?

Nearly any product or service is now a mere mobile phone search away. Some products and services require less than four micro swipes on an app to eventually arrive at a customer’s door. If that’s the case, what hope do traditional retailers have of remaining relevant?

Fortunately, while many pundits have declared the death of retailing in Australia, these predictions may be premature. Brand loyalty hasn’t disappeared completely in light of recent changes in buying habits, and there’s an opportunity for retailers to digitally transform their loyalty programs and shopping experiences to capture a new breed of shoppers.

Thanks to their ability to collect vast new sources of data, retailers can now generate loyalty more effectively by creating more engaging and personalised experiences.  SAP’s Customer Experience suite, for example, offers a highly scalable platform for capturing a vast number of data points about customer activity in real-time. Stephanie Waters, global retail industry principal at SAP Customer Experience, recently said to Adweek magazine “Each time a consumer swipes their card or enters their email, data from each touch point aggregates into a singular profile, giving retailers a consistent view of each customer and the ability to deliver contextualised experiences.”

We’re seeing gamification principles being included in many loyalty programs to further collect data and build these experiences. According to JWIntelligence, 51% of consumers say that if a layer of competition were added to their shopping activities, they would pay more attention to their behaviours and actions. Retailers can then use the information they collect through loyalty programs to see which gamified activities motivate customers and incentivise these actions appropriately.

Rather than just reward customers for purchase, we can recognise them for their behaviour, such as their social media sharing, their referrals, and their in-store visits.   LIke retail, the mobile app was declared dead by vendors pushing responsive websites … but the immersive capabilities of apps provide compelling rewards for retailers looking to engage customers through these means.

Specifically focusing on the in-store experience, beacon networks using Bluetooth, and geo-fencing allow retailers to understand exactly where a customer is physically located, and then deliver a personalised experience through an app on their mobile phone.

In Bengaluru India, a start-up called Interaction One has deployed over 300 beacons to create an IoT enabled shopping district where retailers send real-time notifications of new products, deals, and discounts to customers in the immediate area. Much of the focus of traditional loyalty programs has been on the accumulation of points, but we know that outside of airlines, industries struggle to create a value proposition because their customers simply don’t use their points or they forget they have them.  In the US it is estimated that there is cumulative value of $100B of unused points.  This can create a significant balance sheet problem as businesses must carry these reward obligations in their books.

A solution to this could be in the use of blockchain loyalty programs that reward customer behaviours with crypto tokens that can be readily exchanged into other programs or even cash.  MobileBridge Momentum, a new infrastructure platform for loyalty, allows companies to reward customers for their attention, business, brand advocacy and data insights. Customers can earn tokens by investing their time, attention and good-will to promote the companies they like. The tokens can then either be redeemed in a company reward program, exchanged into real-world money or into other company’s loyalty programs.

What’s important to remember with all of these opportunities is that brand loyalty can no longer be taken for granted when your customers have instant access to nearly any product or service at the touch of a button. Loyalty programs need to take into account customer behaviour, and leverage big data, mobile apps and location data to provide the fantastic personalised experiences that customers expect today.

 Momentum Protocol - Matt Hampshire - loyalty & retail

About Matt Hampshire

As the Sales Director at Oxygen Digital, I help my customers create digital customer-facing solutions that build customer loyalty, drive revenue and reduce costs. If you would like to have a discussion about how we can make you easy to do business with, please contact me at [email protected]