5 Trends for Winning Loyalty in the Digital Age
Business Solutions With the ongoing proliferation of social media, companies are learning to connect with consumers on their own terms.
We’re living in a three-screen world. Just think about the items you interact with daily—a mobile phone, a tablet and a computer. Across all of these screens, we engage with communities through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and many more.
Companies are tailoring operations to suit the way we live and learning to connect with us in meaningful ways. In 2014, we’ve seen these important trends:
1. Consumers are in control
First and foremost, consumers literally have a world of choices at their fingertips. Any email or offer that is irrelevant can be zapped away with the touch of a button.
2. Cashing in on mobile payments
Mobile technologies have created an on-demand marketplace that is universally accessible via a multitude of devices. Companies from Starbucks to Walgreens to Lowes have apps for a variety of services including mobile payments. These apps translate to speedy checkouts, allowing us to jump to the front of the line or take advantage of offers based on our preferences and GPS locations.
"Today’s consumers demand fast and easy delivery. With advances in technology, the definition of speed and ease is advancing every day."
3. Must have it now
Fueled by services like Amazon Prime and Uber, today’s consumers demand fast and easy delivery. With advances in technology, the definition of speed and ease is advancing every day.
4. Mixing work and play
Call it the emergence of “playsumers.” Shoppers want brands that are fun, so games and contests are entering the fray. Nike has been delivering on this notion using its running app and its Nike training app to reward users with content, social influence and discounts on merchandise. Walgreens and Sears also offer rewards for physical activity, in addition to shopping.
5. Experiences trump “stuff”
Loyalty programs used to “surprise and delight” members by delivering unexpected perks, discounts and rewards. Nowadays, discounts and rewards have become commonplace and recent research by COLLOQUY and FanXchange show that 48 percent of loyalty program members are not satisfied with current reward offerings.
In the future, we expect to see more loyalty programs adding exclusive, personalized experiences, such as admissions to special events. The COLLOQUY/FanXchange Customer Engagement Report, released in September, cited that live event tickets are the most appealing rewards to customers (56 percent), while 44 percent prefer airline tickets. Caesars Entertainment and US Bank recently began offering members the opportunity to redeem loyalty points for tickets to sporting events, concerts or a Broadway show. That is putting into their hands something that could win hearts.