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Founded in 1989, CarltonOne started as an advertising company. In 1998, the company shifted from advertising to technology development when it created the first online customer engagement platform in the Canadian market. With its background in marketing and communications, the company continues to focus on developing new and innovative technologies in the customer loyalty and engagement industry.
Through the CarltonOne Reward Management Platform, the company provides its clients with a robust network of vendor partnerships featuring over 650 vendors in 185 countries. Leveraging a simple API connector, CarltonOne clients get up and running quickly and access 10 million products across all different rewards spectrums: merchandise, gift cards, prepaid cards, travel, experiences, mobile top-up, and even charitable donations.
As a leader in customer loyalty technology, CarltonOne has experience helping its clients stay relevant and engaged by navigating trends in customer loyalty. By creating richer, more personalized experiences for loyalty members, CarltonOne boosts interactions with the program.
Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Rob Purdy, Founder and CEO of CarltonOne, about the company’s insights into the current state of customer loyalty, what trends brands should follow or invest in, and how to create holistic, global loyalty programs.
Celebrating Brands: Creating Engagement Outside of Transactions
CarltonOne’s platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) to collect and act on customer data, enabling CarltonOne to personalize the member experience more effectively, boosting redemptions and program engagement.
The machine learning element allows the platform to improve the overall experience as it learns more about which rewards users engage with the most. The goal of gathering this data is to better understand each member and then provide them with the products they want.
“We look at loyalty as the ability to reach out and connect with an individual member to make sure we can access and provide what they’re looking for,” says Purdy.
Using customer data, CarltonOne builds unique programs for its clients that help drive brand loyalty beyond just a discount or transactional reward. The platforms help drive meaningful customer engagement by presenting unique brand storefronts, like the Apple Rewards Store, which delivers a curated shopping experience that is entirely designed to look and work like a native Apple store, from product selection, configuration right through to checkout. As a result, CarltonOne has seen significant growth in the merchandise stores it builds for clients.
“Our sites are all about celebrating the brand and bringing a much richer look and feel around the brand than simply offering a $50 card,” says Purdy. “The brand creates more excitement and makes the site more interesting than the card, which helps build engagement with people.”
These brand celebrations help build emotional loyalty with consumers, as they feel more connected with the brand beyond its products and services. One of CarltonOne’s services is Kart – a shopping storefront that enables members to save on everyday merchandise, gift cards and travel. It features its own cooking shows, cookbooks, and health and fitness shows… developing more ways for members to experience the brand products on sale.
While brands can customize and fully curate the content they offer in CarltonOne rewards programs, they typically allow the platform to curate itself. Using AI, the platform listens to customer interactions and behaviors and automatically determines which rewards to show. The goal of this AI curation is to drive experiential engagement with the brand, helping personalize the member’s experience.
“We like the notion that we’re creating experiences for people,” says Purdy. “That seems to be what resonates with members.”
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