Customer engagement is always a priority to any brand or company Loyalty360 talks to on a regular basis. Some loyalty marketers take different paths to achieve that customer engagement. Nevertheless, customer engagement is the overarching goal among loyalty marketers.

For Cassie Boutelle, vice president, loyalty products, FIS Global, real-time customer engagement at the POS is a lofty, yet totally attainable, goal.

Boutelle offered her thoughts on the topic to Loyalty360.

So many brands aspire to engage customers in real time at the POS. What are some of the ways that brands can and are doing this now?

Boutelle: Many brands are finding new ways to engage consumers. Real-time POS engagement is sort of the holy grail, but we are also seeing brands create pseudo point-of-sale redemptions, where consumers are reimbursed after the fact. Many of these are initiated at the point-of-sale or through a mobile device. Additionally, we are seeing issuers add in new low point redemption options and gamification to engage more low point earners.

What are brands doing well as far as real-time customer engagement at the POS and where do the challenges lie?

Boutelle: The challenge always lies in getting to a real-time integration into the POS. FIS has solved this in several verticals and continues to drive that initiative into new verticals. In terms of what is working well, variety is key. Presenting varied options that align with cardholder profiles. For instance, having full pay options, but also having options for discounts, will meet a broader array of needs.

What types of current technologies can help loyalty marketers elevate their real-time customer engagement presence at the POS?

Boutelle: A variety of technologies and reporting tools are helpful to marketers to elevate programs and engagement. More importantly, having access to data quickly can allow marketers to change parameters on the fly to test and implement new offers quickly. It can also help with targeted offers to engage subsets of the card base.

What have some of the results been for brands using real-time customer engagement strategies at the POS?

Boutelle: In our most recent evaluations, we have seen benefits for both retailers and financial institutions. Retailers have seen a shift of 1.8 percent of consumers, who have never transacted with the retailer, are now beginning to transact with them. Additionally, 2.8 percent of previous transactors at the retailers are now transacting at least one more time per month. From a financial institution’s perspective, in comparing six months over previous six months, consumers who are engaging in real-time POS redemptions saw a lift of 26 percent of transaction volume versus only a 5 percent lift for those who only engaged in traditional redemption offers.

What trends do you foresee in this area for the rest of 2017 and beyond?

Boutelle: We foresee more targeted redemption offerings at the POS and rapid growth into new verticals. Additionally, we believe there will be more varied offers in terms of full pay options, discounts, and even merchant-funded offers.

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