May 26, 2021 3 minute read
Loyalty marketing is a proven strategy. Alejandro Catalan writes about how digital wallets allow marketers to reinvent loyalty programs in a convenient digital format native to people’s phones.
Given that the reports say consumers are 85% more likely to buy with a brand that recognizes long-term loyalty, rewards programs are an essential part of your marketing mix. However, how your customers earn points and claim rewards can play an important role in the success of your program. It has to be simple and available or you may as well not care. Mobile wallets are an increasingly effective tool to ensure your program works.
From your local cafe to your favorite outlet, you’re sure to have acquired many physical loyalty cards and vouchers over the years. But how often do you actually use them?
Often these fragile cards end up at the bottom of your bags or lost in your drawers. By the time you remember your voucher and find it in your inbox, it’s probably no longer valid.
Even if the card ends up in your wallet, how often do you actually take your wallet with you when shopping these days? The pandemic and reluctance to use cash has driven the adoption of digital wallets, with ANZ banking transactions growing by 73% between March and December last year, with the number of mobile wallets increasing by a third.
Many retail stores have given up on asking for cards and instead captured a customer’s data such as their mobile phone number or email address. Not only does it slow down the shopping process, but it’s probably not a good idea to ask your customers to recite personal details in a busy store either.
With a prediction 4.3 billion smartphone users worldwide by 2023, it’s easy to reach customers on the device that’s glued to their hands all day. As a result, more and more marketers are turning to digital options.
They allow marketers to reinvent outdated loyalty cards in digital files stored securely on their phones, giving them complete autonomy over their accounts, while giving marketers more opportunities to connect with them. .
Customers Say No to Apps
However, not all ways to digitize loyalty cards are created equal. Some brands require you to download their app, but with cellphones becoming as cluttered with apps as our wallets were with plastic loyalty cards, they’re facing a backlash. According to Forrester, few apps are compelling or convenient enough to be worth discovering, downloading, installing, and customizing.
Developing your own branded app can be an expensive exercise and there’s no point in wasting money on a platform that people don’t want to download.
Sure, there are plenty of apps specifically designed to digitize loyalty and rewards cards, but these still have barriers to entry. Customers must not only discover and download these apps, but scan all of their cards to download them.
Today’s consumers want an experience that works for them, so it’s no surprise that Forrester Research suggests customers are hesitant to download branded apps.
Think about the last time you went out. Without even thinking twice, you’ve probably pulled out your phone to scan a QR code using the camera already installed on it when you walk into a COVID-19 contact tracing location.
This is why mobile wallets create the perfect opportunity for marketers. Both Apple Wallet and Google Pay are default apps with billions of user bases. Customers don’t need to download anything or jump through any hoops to use their mobile wallet. It’s practical and already on their trusty smartphone.
By 2024, it is expected that 9 trillion dollars will be spent on mobile wallet transactions. When you consider both the ease of mobile wallets and their massive reach, the potential for brands is enormous and their popularity will only increase.
The sky is not the limit
We are immersed in the era of “commerce everywhere”, a time when customers can interact with brands and make purchases from anywhere. Just last month, 1,500 drones took flight to create a scannable QR code flying over Shanghai.
As marketers are increasingly pressured to reach their audience in new and exciting ways, mobile wallets create an endless stream of opportunities for your brand to connect with customers.
Use mobile wallets to store event tickets or customer receipts. Combine it with geolocation to create personalized messaging that triggers when someone is near one of your stores or locations. Or if you have a big enough space, you can geo-target your store to notify shoppers of new discounts and specials available only in-store.
Even better, mobile wallets can be downloaded from any touchpoint via a QR code or link, making it easier to acquire new customers without disrupting the sales process.
Mobile wallets allow brands to cut through the noise and reach the hearts of your audience. By creating a digital loyalty program centered around mobile wallet technology, long-term customers will enjoy rewards they don’t have to work for because you keep your brand top of mind.
Alejandro Catalan is the Regional Director, Australia, Technology at Ovato.