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Loyalty has been rewarded in some innovative ways. Cash, discounts, gifts. Cryptocurrency is an example from the 21st Century. Now start-up company Bumped has created a new method: Stock. By registering credit and debit card numbers with the app, which officially launched on Tuesday, between one to five percent of sales (depending on the store) are automatically invested in the store’s stock, bringing painless investing to consumers in a world often filled with confusion.
David Nelson, the founder of Bumped, believed the app was about giving everyone a chance at investing simply.
“Sixty-one percent of consumers can’t afford a $1,000 emergency, half the population will never plunk down $500 to start trading stock, a large part of our population will never participate in the stock market and passes up 401(k) plans because they seem so foreign,” he told Forbes magazine. “But now a 23-year old mom who walks into Target can understand that she is a shareholder. You are changing the way they understand the universe.”
The way it works is as simple as it sounds. The users who shop at certain locations receive stock in those locations each day. Points are aggregated by Bumped, which purchases the stock the following day and fractionalize the shares to post into individual accounts. Afterwards, Bumped sends each user a notification about when shares are added into the accounts.
With loyalty not necessary common in stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot, Target or Walmart, etc., the app incentivizes consumers to find loyalty for one brand.
Customers can only get shares by being loyal to that company, meaning if the app grows in popularity, it may help increase loyalty in stores that have not traditionally experienced widespread customer loyalty. Or, it could mean consumers may have to pick between two competing stores, changing their loyalty behavior.
Although loyalty is encouraged, customers can leave stores for competitors when frustrated every 30 days up to three times per year.
The ripple effects of the app, if it grows and finds success, could be twofold. First, stores would be forced to provide better customer service in hopes of retaining loyal customers. Second, the app will increase competition between brands, thus creating better products for consumers.
Next time you’re in aisle six at your local grocery store, go ahead and grab the cookies. If your dietician asks, just tell him you were making an investment.
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