Cardless Loyalty: The Merging of Technology, Scale and Convenience


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Over the weekend, I was out running errands with my family. My wife ran into the supermarket to pick up a few things while I sat in the car with my kids, listening to the radio. I looked at the keys dangling from the ignition and wondered if she’d need the loyalty card attached to the key ring. Then I remembered, of course she doesn’t! Her shopping list, associated manufacturer coupons and loyalty information is already stored in her mobile phone.

My wife—and the store she was in—benefits from a mobilized loyalty program or “cardless loyalty”. There are multiple ways that consumers’ loyalty membership info can be accessed so they no longer have to carry cards in their wallets or on their key chains. COLLOQUY reports that Americans are enrolled in an average of 18 loyalty programs. That’s a lot of cards to carry and numbers to remember. I’m still using old landline numbers from 10 years ago as my loyalty pin number for some programs.

The ability to have your mobile phone device as your unique identifier, allows for convenience, scale and adoption. Your loyalty information can be stored, managed, and retrieved via an email address, phone number, mobile application or even a text message, all in one device. Consider the following:

  • Truaxis reports that loyalty program customers generate 50-70% of a company’s sales
  • Even though enrolled in 18 programs, the average number of programs in which households actively participate is just 8.4
  • US-based wireless subscribers (327.6 million) is more than the entire American population (312.4 million), according to CTIA
  • The number of loyalty memberships in the US is 2.1 billion
  • The recent eTail West conference reported that 40% of all retail emails are being read on mobile devices and;
  • 60% of mobile phone users browse with their phones and 29% buy

Mobile is clearly a preferred channel for consumers to engage, interact and do business with retailers. All major forms of reaching your customer be it text, voice, email or web, can all be done via mobility. And retailers should take full advantage of this convenience and the ubiquity of mobile for not only specials and coupons, but also for messaging on loyalty rewards programs, such as account updates and redemptions.

Mobile makes loyalty program participation personalized and convenient. Cards can be forgotten, misplaced or left in the car, but consumers always have their mobile phones on them, enabling them to access their loyalty information anywhere at any time.

Are you attending the Loyalty Expo and want to hear more about marrying loyalty and mobile? Attend my workshop, “Mobilizing your Loyalty Program”, on Sunday, March 18th to learn about program best practices, leveraging consumer preferences and successful cardless loyalty case studies.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mike Romano
Mike Romano is the Vice President of Mobile Sales and Service for SoundBite Communications. He is responsible for identifying, developing and managing strategic partnerships for the mobile services business unit. Mike accelerates revenue and profitability by developing C-level relationships, building high-achieving sales teams and growing strategic partnership channels.


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