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Investment in Mobile-Enabled Loyalty Programs Are on the Rise
Having an effective loyalty program has become a key differentiator for brands, so much so that budgets for customer loyalty will increase in 2017 by more than 50%. Brands are committed to making loyalty a priority in their marketing efforts and building their strategic advantage around mobile-enabled loyalty programs. Whether it’s mobilizing current loyalty programs or launching a mobile loyalty program for the first time, brands are realizing that the mobile experience can make or break customer loyalty—demand increases to 57% of members who want to engage with programs on a mobile device. Chick-fil-A, Banana Republic and Virgin Group are examples of brands who recently launched new mobile-enabled loyalty programs. Chick-fil-A is going head-to-head with the big guys after launching mobile ordering and a new rewards program via the company’s new mobile app, and Banana Republic is enhancing the in-store shopping experience by engaging with customers via new digital loyalty rewards platform and mobile chat. The Virgin Group has mobilized their entire cross-industry loyalty program aimed at connecting loyal customers across all their licensed businesses.
Both loyalty marketing and mobile are ever-evolving games. Brands need to pay attention to the growing demands of their consumers in order to keep them coming back and wanting more. Uber and Fandango have learned from this and recently amped-up their mobile loyalty programs. Uber is expanding its rewards program through a new partnership with Capital One, rewarding riders with free Uber rides when they pay with their Capital One card, andFandango Rewards took another step toward being the “leading digital destination for movies” by introducing receipt scanning/validation where loyalty members can automatically accumulate and track their points. These new advances have made engaging with loyalty programs easy for consumers to stay loyal to brands in the long run.
Download our 2016 Mobile Loyalty Report to learn about the disconnect between brands and consumers in mobile-enabled loyalty programs.
Pokémon Go Brings Augmented Reality to the Mainstream
It was never expected that Pokémon Go would experience the amount the popularity and success which it has reached, becoming the biggest mobile game in U.S. history with 21 million daily active users. The game has taken augmented reality (AR) from a niche technology to mainstream, establishing the future for all interactive technology including virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). The amount of investment in AR/VR has drastically risen within the last year, topping $1 billion in Q1 2016; as a result, brands have gained more interest in AR, VR, AI as they see a potentially lucrative new marketing channel.
Most recently, Macy’s rolled out a mobile virtual shopping assistant, Macy’s On Call, that answers store navigation and product details with more advanced capabilities in the future roadmap. Snapchat and Jack in the Box are both embracing AR/VR within their advertising efforts—Snapchat’s new patent hints at augmented reality advertising that will turn your snaps into ads, and Jack in the Box produced a VR film to give patrons an immersive experience. Augmented reality has the potential to change everything about retail, as demonstrated by Sephora. The beauty retailer is accelerating its AR/AI sales tactics by enabling shoppers to virtually try on makeup and interact with a chatbot to purchase tested products. Pokémon Go has proven to brands that they have the ability to capture and engage their consumers through augmented reality on their mobile device, adding value in a customized and interactive way.
Check out our blog on what Pokémon Go can teach marketers about mobile engagement.
Mobile Is the Driving Force in the Travel Industry
Mobile has transformed every aspect of our daily lives, including the way we research and book our travel arrangements. An estimated 51.8% of travelers are arranging their travel plans via mobile devices in 2016, surpassing that of desktop users, and by 2020 the travel industry will have the highest percentage of online payments compared to any other industry. With summer in full swing, travel and hospitality brands are ramping up their mobile marketing efforts in order to gain real estate on their consumer devices, including Starwood and Marriott. Marriott has discovered the importance of connecting with consumers during their travels, they have fully-optimized their mobile presence by rolling out a real-time command center, M Live, which has resulted in an 82% engagement rate. Starwood Hotels and Resorts has become an industry leader by releasing the first truly mobile and keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smartphones to unlock their hotel rooms. Google has even made it easier for travelers to find travel deals and book them direct on their phone by adding a new search functionality to its mobile search platform.
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