Please enter your username or the email address associated with the account so we can help you reset your password.
For brands with loyalty programs, customer interaction is an integral part of the total customer experience. Brands benefit when their programs are easy to join, and customers can effortlessly earn and use rewards.
vPromos works with clients to minimize barriers to program participation by simplifying the loyalty experience for brands and their customers. Loyalty360 spoke with Peter Vogel, Chief Revenue Officer at vPromos, about how payment terminal technology can improve program performance, facilitate customer communications, and open the door to innovation.
Can you tell us about your background and current role at vPromos?
Vogel: I joined vPromos about six months ago as Chief Revenue Officer, and my primary responsibility is building our client roster, especially in the restaurant and retail sectors. For several decades, I’ve helped build loyalty programs and card-linked programs for multiple start-ups and tier-1 brands, so loyalty has been a key component of almost every company I’ve worked with.
For those who might not be familiar with vPromos, how do you support your clients’ loyalty programs?
Vogel: Our technology turns clients’ card payment terminals into marketing tools for their loyalty programs. When customers swipe their cards, the terminal invites them to join and start earning rewards on the spot. From then on, the terminal will recognize the card on every subsequent visit and automatically credit the purchase to their account. Customers can have unlimited credit or debit cards linked to their account at one time. The process is fast and seamless for the customer.
What are the main challenges for brands that your software is designed to solve?
Vogel: The first challenge is getting customers to enroll. With our technology, brands don’t rely on the counterperson to sign up customers. The terminal does the asking, handles the enrollment, and collects permission to send offers to the customer.
We’ve found that employees are reluctant to bring up loyalty programs because they don’t want to come off as too “salesy.” They want to serve customers and aren’t always comfortable soliciting enrollment. Our technology removes this issue.
As for customers, they don’t have to hunt for their loyalty cards or input their phone numbers. They simply pay with a card that’s connected to their account. Purchases are automatically tracked, points or program credits are automatically allocated, and rewards are provided when thresholds are met.
How do you define customer loyalty, and what does it mean to your company?
Vogel: From our perspective as a vendor for brands, we see loyalty through a mathematical lens. We’re interested in program ROI and overall economic benefit for them. When we drill into the numbers, we can see whether the program is producing true incremental spending through both increased average order value and increased frequency of purchases. It’s not unusual for loyalty program members to spend 30%–50% more per average purchase and for brands to see overall revenue increase by 25% or more.
We recently conducted a survey in which 70% of brands said they have focused more on data compliance and privacy over the past 18 months than ever before. What challenges do brands face in this area?
Vogel: The biggest challenge today is getting permission to send text messages to customers. With many brands, customers must opt-in on the company website before they can receive messages. Few customers will bother to do that. A lot of brands still don’t have a sizable audience they can text. We know that about 98% of people open every text they get, whereas only 15%–20% open every email.
The solution is allowing customers to opt in the moment they sign up and when they’re most excited about the program. Our software captures permission, with TCPA compliance, at the terminal, which gives brands a larger audience to text while supporting compliance.
Loyalty programs in some industries are starting to look the same. How can brands make their programs stand out from the crowd?
Vogel: Personalization is key. Brands must offer benefits that are related to a customer’s previous purchases or their expressed interests. Personalized rewards mean more to customers than generic offers. American Express is one brand that understands this. They might offer a gourmet cooking class if that’s your thing or a backstage pass at a concert if you’re into music. Personalization can be more challenging for sectors like retail and restaurants, but brands can still add personalization to set them apart.
Thank you for signing up, please check your email for more information.