Based on a publication from Alex Campbell in Retail Customer Experience, Fostering mobile loyalty 2.0 in 2022: 3 trends retailers must know.
Fomentando la fidelidad móvil 2.0 en 2022: 3 tendencias que los retailers deben conocer
Consumer loyalty is ever evolving, and 2022 will without a doubt bring its own unique set of challenges.
To successfully navigate and adapt to consumer behavior, retailers will require a loyalty program that improves the overall customer experience. To do this, they must communicate and deliver messages the way consumers want — on their mobile device. With annual mobile commerce sales expected to double between now and 2025, loyalty programs can be revolutionized to build exceptional service and trust using mobile engagement’s easy sign-up, convenient access to member account information and multiple options for information delivery.
Program member acquisition through SMS
The average consumer belongs to more than 14 loyalty programs, but is only active in six of them, signaling a gap between acquisition and activation. To succeed, brands need to make it as easy as possible to join a loyalty program – and many overlook doing so through mobile acquisition. For example, with SMS’s interactive opt-in process, signing up can be as simple as a shopper texting into a program or providing their phone number at checkout. Brands can also drive program acquisition through calls to action at point of sale displays in-store or dedicated mobile pages with trackable links to understand the channels that drive shopper sign ups — whether that’s on social media, through email newsletters, or other brand communications. Retailers like Madewell are even adding a mobile number on their website to drive registration.
SMS loyalty engagement also provides brands with unique data. Engagement happens on the mobile device so brands can learn where customers are when they choose to engage, and what specific incentives drive purchase. All of this data builds each customer’s profile and can be used to optimise future engagement.
Mobile engagement’s direct nature makes it easy for shoppers to earn points and rewards, driving activation and retention. What’s more, brands can build immediate activation through a welcome offer. By activating customers early, consumers can immediately see the rewards they can earn, building trust and a desire to further interact with a brand and its loyalty program.
Broadening loyalty touchpoints and benefits
Providing several options for how a customer can earn benefits and engage with a brand will encourage their loyalty across channels. In turn, this allows brands to offer more relevant, timely content. For example, if a consumer uses social media, incentivize them to earn extra points by liking the brand’s accounts. Or, if a loyalty program lives within a brand’s app, consumers can receive push or App Inbox loyalty reminders. SMS and Mobile Wallet loyalty cards can also be used as additional engagement channels to reach program members that may have app push notifications turned off or to provide a mobile loyalty presence for brands that don’t have an app.
Prompting consumers to use a mix of SMS, mobile wallet and apps can ensure brands reach consumers while they shop, driving more interactions. For instance, brands can send a text about a flash sale that doubles loyalty points, incentivizing shoppers to make a special purchase. Mobile wallet allows shoppers to access their existing point balance and receive personalized offers.
An overwhelming 79% of Americans say they are more likely to join a rewards program that doesn’t require them to carry a physical card. This trend will only grow, and retailers must make moves now so they don’t miss this important consumer trend. Mobile Wallet loyalty cards eliminate the cost of physical card production and distribution and provide a persistent brand presence on consumers’ mobile devices while delivering the convenient, frictionless experience consumers want.
Exceptional service and data trust
Consumers’ top priority for any loyalty program is an excellent customer experience. In today’s world, that includes data privacy, personalization and speed. What’s more, the demise of third-party cookies and the release of iOS 15 has made ensuring consumer consent and gathering first-party data critical for a brands’ loyalty program. As an alternative, SMS requires consumer opt-in ensuring they want the content before joining the program. With a compliance-first mindset, mobile allows brands to safely collect and use consumer data to send personalized rewards. In fact, 48% of consumers are happy to share personal data in exchange for personalization, if that data is secure. The ability to deliver personalized messages and rewards through text, mobile wallet, and push notifications encourage repeat purchase and boosts ROI.
2022 is the year for retailers to double down on mobile engagement
Despite all the changes incurred since 2019, one fact remains — consumers want high-quality service when interacting with a brand. When it comes to loyalty, understanding behaviors and leveraging mobile technology to support customers is key for an effective program. For 2022, as consumers continue to shop with phone in hand, mobile engagement will help retailers further interact and foster relationships with consumers at every level of loyalty.
This article war originally published in Retail Customer Experience
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