Punchcard “Flips Funnel” on Customer Loyalty

For Punchcard CEO Andy Steuer, his philosophy on customer loyalty is the reverse of several marketers around the world.

“We have all been trained as marketers that the transaction is the end point of the conversion funnel,” Steuer explained to Loyalty 360. “At Punchcard, we have flipped the funnel on its head, changed this end point of the transaction and turned it into the entry point to the next transaction by creating ways that retailers can incentivize consumers to buy with them again.”

Loyalty, Steuer said, is an “expression of how customers feel about your business. It’s a confluence of the quality of product they get, at the price point that works for them, and the overall customer experience that they have that drives loyalty.”

But the tricky part, Steuer explained, is that “loyalty is always in motion and is always up for grabs.”

Consumers can be fickle and switch frequently, which is why it’s important to have an offensive and defensive solution in place to hold on to your customers, Steuer said.

“We provide both a defensive and offensive solution by being able to both acquire customers and hold on to them,” he said.

Steuer said there are several keys to customer engagement, but they all boil down to the following: “Give them what they want.”

Consumers want to engage under the right circumstances, Steuer said.

“We have found that by building alignment around the transaction, as opposed to the check-in, that time becomes a magic moment of engagement where a retailer can surprise and delight that customer by either rewarding them, thanking them, or if they’re not a customer yet, by putting branded dollars into the consumer’s pocket as an incentive to come in and spend those dollars with them,” Steuer explained. “Consumers will give retailers the opportunity to engage with them at the time of transaction.”

As far as trends for retailers, Steuer said he sees “lots of disruption. It started with the check-in, and has evolved quite a bit since in the past few years.”

Typically, Steuer said he sees three types of companies who are startups disrupting the loyalty space: check-in based companies; companies who have hardware in the store (primarily to track check-ins); and card-linked loyalty solutions, where consumers connect their credit cards to earn points and/or rewards from participating businesses.

Steuer believes Punchcard is a unique solution in the marketplace because it provides consumers with ubiquity, and the ability to earn rewards everywhere they shop, and simultaneously provides businesses with transaction data tied to the user, business intelligence, and a dashboard to make that data actionable through a communication system creates value on both sides of the table.

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