Mobile has taken off in recent years as far as its wide-ranging impact on customer engagement and, ultimately, brand loyalty.

Loyalty360 hosted a webinar on Thursday titled, “The State of Mobile Loyalty: Bridging the Gap Between Consumer Expectations and Current Brand Strategies,” which was presented by 3C Interactive.
Current research shows that 52% of consumers say that mobile loyalty rewards motivate them to purchase more often, but only 35% of brand marketers say they know how to launch a mobile loyalty program. 
 

What’s more, consider that:

U.S. households hold memberships in 29 loyalty programs, but are active in only 12

Engaged consumers buy 90% more frequently

Returning customers spend on average 67% more than first-time customers

92% of the general population trust brand advocates

“Mobile adds boundless opportunities,” Brian Heikes, Vice President, Product, 3C Interactive, told attendees during the webinar. “It is still a nascent and innovative space, but mobile does provide a multitude of opportunities for engaging members of your loyalty program.”

Some of those opportunities include: Social sharing, coupon codes, deep linking, alerts/notifications, data capture, mobile wallet, and interactive coupons.

Here is what mobile has done for customer loyalty:

Increase lifetime value: Higher basket size, increase in visit frequency, enable in-store engagement

Reduction of cost: Less operational administration; eliminate costs of print and mail, reduce unused and irrelevant offers

1-to-1 engagement: Drive targeted engagement, integrated with existing back-end CRM systems, relevant content leads to higher return

Separation from competition: Meet customer expectations for loyalty offering, adapt to new technology and trends, decrease customer churn

Mobile wallets are becoming increasingly popular as well.

Here are some of the benefits associated with mobile wallets:

Enables Easy Mobile Access: Lightweight, app-like functionality, conveniently stored in background, no user-initiated updates necessary

Integrated with Loyalty Platform: Real-time loyalty points balances, dynamic updates to reflect loyalty status or offer expiration date

Location-aware: Allows for location-relevance to trigger lock screen notifications, drive store traffic, deliver contextually-relevant content

Multichannel Delivery: Issue mobile wallet loyalty cards through existing email campaigns, integrate easily with SMS broadcasts, can be delivered proactively or on-demand

Margie Kupfer, Vice President, Marketing, 3C Interactive, told attendees that consumers spent 24% of their digital time on mobile devices in 2014 while just 8% of digital ad spend went to mobile campaigns; 52% of consumers are motivated by mobile loyalty, but 65% of marketers say they lack IT resources or knowledge to mobilize their loyalty programs.

“This represents a huge opportunity for brands,” Kupfer said. “Used correctly, it can be a game-changer.”
Here are some other key statistics:

48% of consumers prefer to receive loyalty communications via SMS vs. other channels

21% of brands use SMS to send loyalty communications to consumers  

Barriers to loyalty signup:

Too frequent communications

Irrelevant offers

Too much information required

Inconvenient signup times

Kupfer said brands need to make the signup process to join a loyalty program easy, considering that 70% of consumers do not sign up for a loyalty program due to the amount of time required and inconvenience; and 72% of consumers are more likely to sign up for a loyalty program if the process was simplified by text message.

“It’s important to remove as much friction as possible throughout the loyalty signup process,” Kupfer said.

Give them customers want they want:

Rewards (40%)

Events (22%)

Deals (20%)

Content (11%)

Points (5%)

Mobile touches all points of the customer journey and it provides marketers toe ability to empower their customers.

Heikes said mobile is always in flux and “you’ll see a lot of innovation in the space.”

Personalized offers that brands can track can go a long way toward effectively building out CRM and customer profiles.

“Seeing which calls to action drive individuals can be very powerful,” Heikes said.

What’s next?

The convergence of wallet and loyalty

Beacons (deployments continue to grow as well as the capabilities they offer)

Chatbots

Kupfer offered some best practices:

Make It Simple  
Simplify signup process, add SMS CTA and in-store signage, assemble data gradually

Make It Convenient        
Most customers won’t make a purchase without a coupon, empower clients with mobile wallet, take advantage of in-store Wi-Fi. “Think like a customer, not like a brand marketer,” Kupfer said.

Make it Rewarding
Surprise with customized offers, reach out at the opportune time

Make It Fun
Add gamification elements, inspire social sharing, boost overall brand image

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