Win Customer Loyalty With a Dynamic Approach to Mobile Rewards, Part 2
This part two of a two-part series. Part one can be read here.
Personalization has become a key tool to keeping customers happy — from customizable items in your favorite webstore to personal discounts from your favorite brand in your inbox. However, as a growing number of shoppers look for their next purchase on their smartphones, retailers need to go beyond simply taking their businesses online. They need to go mobile, where a whole new level of personalization is made available for them. Part two of this series explains what these opportunities are and how artificial intelligence (AI) can be incorporated into retailers’ mobile strategies at low risk and low cost for a better customer experience.
Smartphones characterize the modern shopping experience. Over 80 percent of smartphone users research their buys online before making a purchase in-store or online. Furthermore, a third of all U.S. e-commerce sales are now conducted on mobile devices. When we add the convenience of contactless mobile payment methods, mobile wallets and banking apps, it becomes apparent that smartphones now take center stage in all phases of the purchasing decision — before, during and after, in-store and online.
So why should a retailer’s loyalty program be exempt from this mobile revolution? It’s not. In fact, paper-based coupons, stamp cards and boring discounter email blasts will soon be a thing of the past. As mobile tools continue to entertain consumers with convenience and choice, apps can ensure that retailer loyalty programs are visible and interactive to shoppers. And how will retailers actually know when it's a good time for the app to suggest a product or service, remind a customer of pending rewards, or offer something they will be happy to use immediately? The answer lies in AI.
AI Keeps Loyalty Dynamic
Leveraging AI to improve the customer experience is a hot topic among retailers. From customer service robots to conversational interfaces that act as shopping assistants, the industry has looked for new ways to engage with customers. However, with shoppers already carrying intelligent devices in their hands, AI needs to serve customers where they use it all the time — on mobile devices.
AI-powered loyalty apps can use machine learning capabilities to analyze customer spending and design promotions accordingly. This customizable approach to mobile loyalty means retailers can get a better understanding of their customers’ behavior and use these insights to design their own frequency programs with time and amount thresholds.
They can also initiate a reward points program for new purchases, offer percentage- or amount-based discounts at different stores, and create digital coupons tailored to the individual customer.
Learning to Keep Costs Down and Customers Happy
Enabling consumers to receive, look for and use coupons and rewards on the same device they use to pay or view their balance has mutual benefits, as it gives retailers greater flexibility to design unique loyalty programs at a lower cost. With app-based loyalty programs, retailers won’t need to pay the cost of manufacturing pre-paid cards. Plastic loyalty cards, long paper receipts and stamp cards all become a thing of the past.
When retailers use a mobile platform that integrates with card network APIs, they can gain insight into their customers’ shopping habits and adjust their loyalty offers accordingly, without requiring any changes to their point-of-sale systems. Through machine learning capabilities, AI-driven loyalty apps can adjust to changing customer needs, enabling the retailer to easily come up with useful, relevant and exciting offers without having to reinvent the wheel.
Get a Head Start on the AI Future ... Today
The technology already exists to bring intelligent shopping incentives into retailers’ mobile apps. Retailers can leverage existing platforms to design their dynamic loyalty programs hassle free, no matter which stage of their digital strategy they're in. It’s the next step of the retail technology evolution, and it’s refreshingly personal.
Mehmet Sezgin is CEO and founder of myGini, an integrated payments and loyalty engine.