Mobile is such a massive topic these days among loyalty marketers. Loyalty cards are the No. 1 most requested application of mobile wallet passes, according to a 2016 study of 2,000 consumers in the U.S. and U.K.

In fact, 67 percent of consumers want to use mobile wallet to keep track of loyalty benefits, ridding themselves of unnecessary cards and taking advantage of added mobile convenience. What’s more, nearly 70 percent of respondents stated that they would be more likely to use their loyalty programs if the cards were on their phones.

On Dec. 14, 2016, at 1 p.m. EST, Loyalty360 will host a webinar titled, “Using Mobile Wallet To Drive Loyalty And Action: Today’s Opportunity For Brands,” presented by Urban Airship.

Judy Chan, director of product marketing, Urban Airship; and Jonathan Rueda, mobile wallet strategist, Urban Airship, will review the results of The State of Mobile Wallet Marketing survey and talk about the potential impact of those findings.

Loyalty360 caught up with Chan to learn more about this intriguing webinar topic.

Mobile is such a pervasive topic these days in the loyalty industry. How can brands use mobile wallet to drive loyalty?

Chan: It’s no surprise that mobile is an important driver of loyalty as it’s typically the customer’s first point of interaction with a brand, and it’s always at their side. We found that consumers are more likely to participate in loyalty programs if they are offered through mobile wallets. We surveyed 2,000 respondents in the U.S. and U.K. and found that 69 percent are more likely to use their loyalty card if it’s on their phone. Strikingly, that number jumps to 82 percent for millennials and 78 percent for those with household incomes above $60K.

Brands and businesses that adopt a long-term strategy for mobile wallets will not only be able to drive revenue and foot traffic, but nurture customers with personalized communications delivered to their lockscreen and mobile wallet cards. Every field on a wallet passes can be personalized to include things like the customer’s name, loyalty point balance, special rewards and sales. In addition, lockscreen messaging can be personalized to individuals, or to segments exhibiting any combination of preferences and behaviors.

What are some of the big takeaways from The State of Mobile Wallet Marketing survey that Urban Airship conducted?

Chan: One of the key takeaways from the survey is that mobile wallet marketing is becoming mainstream. The survey found that 54 percent of smartphone users have used mobile wallets, with 30 percent of them doing so in the past week. There are still large gaps between what people want in their mobile wallet and what they have, so there's more demand than supply for a wide variety of capabilities like order delivery updates, mobile payment, ID cards, event tickets and reminders (expirations, balances), providing a compelling opportunity for businesses to serve customers better.

The even bigger realization is that millennials and those with household incomes above $60K skew higher in their desire for mobile wallets and the benefits they provide. In the past three months, 67 percent of millennials have used mobile wallets compared to 51 percent of respondents who are 35 to 54 years old. 62 percent of respondents with household incomes greater than $60K have used mobile wallets in the last three months, compared to 39 percent with household incomes below $60K.

What was the biggest surprise from the survey?

Chan: There were several surprising findings, but the fact that mobile wallets have now joined decades-old communications channels, like email and websites, as a top preferred channel to hear about a brand’s sales/coupons was amazing.

In addition, while the vast majority of consumers feel positively about brands that offer mobile wallet loyalty cards, nearly half of consumers feel that benefits like birthday messages and double/triple point days are now expected.

What are brands doing well when it comes to driving customer loyalty via mobile wallet and where do the challenges lie?

Chan: Brands that are building a strategy to manage mobile wallets as an ongoing communication channel are getting it right. Consumers want updates about new offers on their phones and mobile wallets provide that with much less friction than downloading an app or opting in to an SMS program. Mobile wallet passes themselves are dynamic, offering the opportunity to transition from one offer to the next. In fact, 84 percent of millennials are interested in having expired coupons automatically update to new offers on their phones.

Another key component to driving loyalty adoption is personalization. Brands that create personalized loyalty passes are more likely to have them downloaded onto consumers’ phones. Once a pass has been downloaded, brands can nurture customers over time, as 80 percent to 90 percent of passes are never deleted.

They’re building excitement in mobile wallets, driven by payment ecosystem investments, and brands have many different ways to engage customers using mobile wallet marketing -- as a loyalty card, coupons, order delivery updates, ID cards, and location-aware reminders. One piece of advice we give our clients is to think about mobile wallets incrementally. Once brands determine the best way to get a mobile wallet pass on consumers’ mobile devices, there are many opportunities for dynamic engagement as they’ve essentially opened up an ongoing communications channel.

What factors make it easier and faster to implement a mobile wallet-driven loyalty program?

Chan: Adding a pass to your mobile wallet doesn't have nearly the same considerations and barriers as adding a brand’s app; from its sheer size and available space on your phone, to being more purpose-built, rather than all encompassing. These differences with mobile wallet marketing put true mobile engagement within reach of literally any size and type of business, which is extremely exciting.

Look for mobile wallet marketing solutions that allow you to easily pull in customer information from other systems to personalize mobile wallet passes. The solution should make it easy for you to dynamically update mobile wallet passes and personalize messaging to individuals or segments.

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