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How Do Millennials Want to Engage with Loyalty Programs?

By Jeff Weiner, CodeBroker:

We recently launched CodeBroker’s Mobile Loyalty Survey. The report, based on research with 1,300 loyalty program members, has received a great deal of interest from mobile marketing professionals. Several folks have asked us to slice the data by specific markets, such as retail, restaurant and hotel, which I’m pleased to provide. Just email me at jeff@codebroker.co.

One of the interesting ways that we’re looking at the research is through the eyes of millennials. What’s no surprise is how strongly millennials feel about the greater role that mobile needs to play in loyalty program engagement. In addition, millennials have individual preferences how they want to access loyalty programs via mobile, and it’s important to give them access n the way they want it.

Here are some of the key takeaways…

  • Only 11% of millennials actively engage with all the loyalty programs to which they are members.
  • 97% of millennials say that they would actively engage with loyalty programs if they could access their rewards information from their smartphones.
  • Millennials have a range of preferences for accessing and engaging with a mobile rewards program – including SMS, app, digital wallet, and email.
  • 28% want to access mobile rewards via a text link on their smartphone.

Here’s a link to the millennial version of the research.

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“Choice” Drives Successful Mobile Loyalty Program Engagement

By Dan Slavin

Three themes consistently rise to the top when we speak with loyalty marketing professionals:

1. Loyalty Program Engagement – How do we get our loyalty program members more engaged?

2. Attracting Millennials – What can we do to attract millennials to our loyalty program?

3. Member Contact Strategy – How can we employ the right loyalty program contact strategy for each member?

Marketers have turned to mobile loyalty program strategies to address these challenges.

Mobile rewards programs are the new requirement for the majority of today’s consumers, with 75% saying that they would be more likely to participate in loyalty programs if the programs could be accessed from their smartphones. But, to be effective, mobile loyalty programs need to meet the engagement needs of each member.

Let the Customer Choose

Great loyalty program engagement starts with giving each consumer a choice in how to access your loyalty program. Some brands believe that a mobile app is the key to mobile loyalty success. But a mobile app represents only one mobile communication channel, and each member has her preferred mobile channel in which to engage with loyalty programs. (SMS, mobile app, mobile wallet, or Facebook). A channel that works for one consumer may not work for another. And this is where an omnichannel approach to mobile rewards programs comes in.

An omnichannel approach to mobile loyalty should address the entire loyalty program workflow: initial contact > enrollment > program engagement > ongoing messaging > rewards redemption.
By engaging with consumers over their preferred channel, marketers can more effectively:

  • Increase loyalty program sign-ups – especially with millennials
  • Drive higher levels of loyalty program engagement
  • Deliver cohesive loyalty program communications across channels
  • Employ a more effective loyalty program contact strategy

For more information on taking an omnichannel approach to mobile loyalty, I invite you to download our ebook The Expert Guide To Mobile Loyalty Sign-Up & Engagement.

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2018 Loyalty Program Consumer Research – The Results Are In

By Dan Slavin

The results of our 2018 Loyalty Program Consumer Survey are in. Back in February of this year, CodeBroker surveyed nearly 1,300 loyalty program members on a range of loyalty program topics, and the results support what we hear from loyalty program executives: that program engagement is suffering due to:

  • More competition: Every major brand has a loyalty program, giving consumers more options.
  • Continued use of physical cards: The adoption of smartphones means that more and more consumers want to access loyalty programs via mobile rather than use physical cards.
  • Messaging challenges: Loyalty management software doesn’t help marketers identify the preferred loyalty program contact strategy for each individual member.

Here are a few highlights:

Loyalty Program Engagement

88% of respondents belong to 1-5 loyalty programs, but only 18% actively engage with all the loyalty programs to which they belong.

Top Loyalty Program Frustrations

We asked participants what their top frustrations are as they relates to accessing their rewards program information. More than half of the respondents cited their top frustration as their inability to easily access their rewards information from their mobile phone (54%). 75% of respondents prefer a mobile loyalty program, saying that they would be more likely to actively participate in loyalty programs if they could do so easily from their smartphone.

Preferred Way to Access Rewards Programs

The large majority of consumers prefer to access loyalty programs from their smartphones, but mobile is a platform with several channels, and a channel preferred by one consumer may not be favored by another. For example, 37% of respondents said they prefer to access their rewards information via a text message to their phone; only 28% want to access loyalty programs through the company’s mobile app.

Get the entire research report

These are just some of the stats – we invite you to download the report and see all the results to help you re-think some of your loyalty program strategies to improve customer loyalty. Click the link to access the 2018 Loyalty Program Consumer Survey.

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Does your wallet resemble George Costanza’s?

In the classic Seinfeld episode, George’s wallet is so comically overstuffed with junk that it made him sit at a tilt when it was in his back pocket. In an effort to balance it out, he would stuff the other pocket with napkins.

This humorous skit became famous because it exaggerated a situation experienced by many—left untended, our wallets can become cluttered with bric-a-brac. Often, this collected junk crowds out and obscures the useful pieces.

A lot of wallets feature a huge collection of seldom used plastic cards, many of which were used once and never again. The CodeBroker Mobile Loyalty Survey of 1,207 U.S. consumers across all age groups and income levels bears out this uncomfortable conclusion, especially when it comes to customer loyalty cards.

Our poll found 43% of those surveyed said that loyalty cards themselves were the biggest hassle with these programs. The survey also found that a majority (60%) of respondents felt that carrying cards and retrieving them at POS was by far the biggest hassle of existing programs.

The survey likewise revealed a huge disconnect between loyalty programs and consumer usage. Of those surveyed, 65% of shoppers attempting to redeem a reward at POS found it had expired, and 43% say rewards expire before they can be redeemed. Another 38% claim no knowledge of a reward’s existence. Clearly, these plastic cards are a poor facilitator of loyalty.

What could be the solution to this state of affairs? Consider two other findings in the survey:

  • 70% of shoppers say they would use a mobile version of their loyalty cards if they didn’t have to sign into a website or download an app.
  • 71% say they would be more likely to use their loyalty cards if they could access these cards and rewards from their mobile phone.

This makes a certain amount of sense—carrying a mobile phone has become as ubiquitous an activity as carrying a wallet and keys. In many consumers’ lives, their phone acts as the hub for handling their daily transactions, and that includes the ability to exploit rewards, digital coupons, discounts and other shopping incentives.

Based on these findings, we recommend the following steps to improve customer loyalty:

  • Incorporate mobile loyalty programs into your overall customer loyalty program.
  • Phase out the use of plastic cards and begin using a digital card. This digital card should allow members to access rewards, balances, and directions on how to earn points in real-time using their mobile phones and other internet-connected devices without logging in.
  • Give customers access to loyalty programs via all the popular mobile technologies including text messaging, mobile apps, email, digital wallet, and Facebook.
  • Allow customers to easily engage with a loyalty program across all retail channels including desktop, mobile, in-store, and online.

Transitioning from plastic cards to a digital mobile solution is a win-win for both customers and merchants. Consumers enjoy greater convenience and a reduction in the amount of “friction” present in transactions. On the merchant side, switching to digital facilitates more transactions, increases the effectiveness of marketing outreach, and drives greater revenue.

In this new model, George Costanza’s overstuffed wallet would not even be possible. All the things he needed to effectively participate in a loyalty program would be managed and contained on his mobile device.

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Yankee Group: Consumers want mobile loyalty programs

Written By: Sheryl Kingstone

Mobile is resetting the parameters of marketing and commerce creating more opportunities for customer engagement. As of this month, we find:

  • 60 percent of consumers now own a smartphone
  • 64 percent want to be connected all the time
  • 40 percent use some form of mobile shopping/coupons on their phone


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