Always-on: How Mobile is Changing Consumer Loyalty

July 27, 2018 Maria Gianotti

Always-on: How Mobile is Changing Consumer Loyalty

If there’s one thing we like to do here at Vibes, it’s educate our audience on all things mobile, particularly as it relates to loyalty. Recently, Samantha Dupler of Glossy moderated a discussion between our own VP of Product Marketing, Dave Panek, and Apple Pay Specialist Dave Baldwin.

The two Daves discussed the changing landscape of consumer loyalty, driven heavily by mobile marketing. Here are the highlights of that webinar.

Always-on: How Mobile is Changing Consumer Loyalty

To Be Customer-First, You’ve Got to Know That Your Audience Wants Mobile

Today’s customers want highly engaging experiences with brands, and they want those experiences to be 1:1, not 1 in a million. In fact, 83% of consumers would have a more positive view of a brand that delivered personalized loyalty messaging, such as points and rewards, exclusive content, and birthday and anniversary messaging.

While loyalty programs are a start in meeting customers with that engaging, personalized experience, the channel matters hugely. People are already spending an inordinate amount of time on their phones. When you mobilize your loyalty program, you not only give consumers that deep experience they’re looking for on a channel they love, but you also have the potential to substantially increase revenue, acquisition, and customer lifetime value.

Why Mobile Loyalty Programs Work

In the webinar, Dave Panek addressed how mobile is changing the loyalty game. For stores that have seen a traffic drop, a well-executed loyalty program via mobile can effectively increase in-the-door traffic, as well as reenergize stagnant redemption rates.

Customers who are happy talk to others about brands. Having a seamless way to accrue and redeem points via mobile may be enough to drive member conversations, thus increasing signups through word-of-mouth.

And because retail is so competitive, loyalty programs can also combat customers shopping with your competitors.

With lower customer acquisition costs (no investment on printing or mailing, nor on plastic cards), you can increase loyalty while keeping your bottom line in line with budgets.

So What Does a Mobile-First Loyalty Strategy Look Like?

Dave Panek shared that the key to a successful mobile-based loyalty program is an integrated approach: 48% of consumers prefer to get loyalty messages via SMS, while 73% are more likely to join a loyalty program if they can interact with their accounts via mobile wallet. So clearly, incorporating more than one mobile tactic (also adding in push notifications and MMS) will get better results.

Offering loyalty rewards for both Apple Pay and Google Pay users can also boost engagement, especially in-store: coupons or offers sent to both platforms see redemption rates as high as 30%.

And finally, incorporating other marketing channels into your loyalty strategy can also serve to convert more customers to digital loyalty programs. Giving customers the opportunity to sign up for a mobile loyalty program from email, social media, banner ads, an app, or an in-store offer maximizes your chance of getting signups.

Always-on: How Mobile is Changing Consumer Loyalty

Make Sure to Include Automatic Loyalty Enrollment

When shoppers can join your program at the point of sale, you make it even easier to increase enrollment numbers. Automatic loyalty enrollment (ALE), which is baked into Vibes’ mobile loyalty engagement platform, eliminates paper enrollment forms and takes literally seconds to populate a mobile wallet card with a mobile user’s existing data.

You aren’t holding up lines as you sign up a shopper with a paper application, and you ensure accurate data capture. Once a shopper signs up, she can immediately start benefiting from your loyalty program.

It’s clear that mobile has changed the way retailers connect with consumers through loyalty programs. By putting the focus on the customer and not the brand, you can provide value and incentive to your customers and make them loyal for life.

About the Author

Maria Gianotti

Maria Gianotti is the Director of Demand Generation at Vibes. She's passionate about growth marketing and educating other marketers on the tremendous potential of mobile. Currently, Maria serves on the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association's San Francisco Chapter as 2019 President-Elect.

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