Successful Mobile Loyalty Programs Require An Omnichannel Approach To Mobile

By Dan Slavin

Three common challenges consistently rise to the top when we at CodeBroker speak with loyalty marketers:

1. Engagement – How do we get our loyalty program members more engaged?
2. Millennials – What can we do to attract more millennials?
3. Contact Strategy – How can we employ the preferred contact strategy for each member?

Many loyalty marketers have turned to mobile to begin to address these challenges.

A recent CodeBroker 2017 Shopper Loyalty Survey of 1,207 consumers showed that:

  • 43% say that carrying the card is the #1 pain point with loyalty programs
  • 71% are more likely to use a loyalty program if they could access their card and rewards from their smartphone

It’s no surprise that consumers prefer to participate in loyalty programs via their smartphones – but mobile is a platform with several distinct communication channels. A channel that works for one consumer may not work for another, as every consumer has a preferred way in which he or she wishes to interact with loyalty programs. Here is what the research tells us:

How Consumers Want To Access Loyalty Programs

Text Message — 34.75%
Mobile App — 18.5%
Apple Wallet or Android Pay — 15.4%
Other — 31.2%

Some brands have employed their loyalty program via a mobile app in the belief that they have a mobile loyalty program. However, a mobile app represents only one channel.

Loyalty marketers need the ability to invite each consumer to enroll in the loyalty program, and to access the program benefits, via that consumer’s preferred channel – whether it’s a mobile app or text message or Facebook.

And this is where an omnichannel approach to mobile loyalty comes in.

An omnichannel approach to mobile loyalty acquisition and engagement employs the complete range of mobile channels – text message, mobile app, social, digital wallet, email – to give consumers a way to join the program in the manner that works for them. And, once they join, marketers can keep each member engaged over time by making it easy to access, and participate in, the program via that individual consumer’s preferred channel(s).

Mobile Loyalty Program Research from industry analyst EKN Research shows that retailers now rank omnichannel-related loyalty as their number 1 capability in improving customer loyalty and engaging their customers. A full 60% of retailers believe that the most critical element to building a comprehensive unified personalization strategy is in being able to make it work across all channels. In turn, retailers expect a 10% improvement in their average basket size by delivering an outstanding (and customized) customer experience across all available channels.

By interacting with consumers over their preferred channel, marketers can more effectively:

  • Increase member enrollment – especially with millennials
  • Drive higher levels of member engagement
  • Deliver cohesive communications across channels
  • Employ a more effective contact strategy

In my next post, we will explore the components of an omnichannel loyalty program, and how you can add mobile more effectively to your loyalty program.