By Brad Hintze, CMO of MokiMobility
Back in the day, loyalty programs used to be a novelty. Buy 10 sandwiches, get the 11th free. But today, consumer wallets are laden with paper and plastic cards for grocery stores, coffee shops and every restaurant they eat at. Loyalty programs are great for both consumers and business alike. But not every consumer is willing to carry around a 20-pound wallet, and businesses need a better way to manage their programs and provide customers with rewards for loyal purchases. Luckily, a new trend in loyalty marketing is helping slim down wallets and give businesses even more data on loyal customer behaviors.
Here are three apps you can use to increase your loyalty program participation and better understand your customer purchase habits:
FavoriteEats is a loyalty solution for restaurants and retailers that makes it simple to have a branded customer experience. When placing an order or making a purchase, customers simply type in their mobile phone number using an iPad or Android tablet mounted directly in front of the point-of-sale. Transaction details (amount and items purchased) are automatically associated with the customer and at the end of the transaction the customer sees their total loyalty balance and how close they are to a reward. FavoriteEats does not require you to use any special point-of-sale system or credit card processor. FavoriteEats customers have reported more than 250 percent growth in loyalty participation, and their text marketing databases have doubled.
Beyond simplifying the loyalty experience for customers by shredding the card, FavoriteEats also gives businesses greater depth of data about loyal customer purchases. By associating the customer with transaction details, businesses using FavoriteEats can better understand the dining habits of their customers and target them for special offers. When a customer uses the loyalty app for the first time, they can opt-in for special offers via text. Participation in the special offers campaign is not required, but FavoriteEats reports that most customers do opt-in. Businesses can then use the SMS messaging services offered by FavoriteEats to send special offers to all or just segments of their customer base, driving traffic on days they want to boost sales. Full disclosure: We are partners with FavoriteEats.
BellyCard provides iPads to businesses participating in their program, and customers scan their BellyCard or the BellyCard app to earn rewards. Businesses can determine the rewards they want to offer and the points required to receive the rewards. BellyCard has a funny personality, adding humor and fun into the loyalty process. BellyCard businesses come up with fun and unique rewards to offer their most loyal customers, like: throwing a pie at the bakery owner or eating all the cupcakes you can in 10 minutes. Beyond the standard free sandwich, BellyCard businesses can use the platform to build their own loyalty experience without all the hassle of building it from scratch.
Businesses pay a monthly subscription fee and get an unlimited number of BellyCards to pass out, marketing materials to encourage participation and support from the BellyCard team to train employees. Businesses can push specials deals and offers to customers through push notifications to the customers who have installed the BellyCard app for Android or iPhone and they can see reports on sales and traffic for any given time period.
Square announced its point-of-sale app for the iPad, Square Register, last year and just recently announced new loyalty features. Using Square Register, businesses can now provide their customers with a digital punch card that they can use to earn rewards like a discount or free items. Square started out as a new way to collect credit card payments but is starting to offer businesses a more complete suite of tools to run their business. Businesses can drill down into their transactions with reports by hour, day and time to better understand customer purchase behaviors and reward the most loyal customers. While they do not currently offer a messaging platform to give customers special offers, expect to see one soon. These loyalty features do require a switch to the Square Register, so it may not be the right solution for all businesses.
Apps for the iPad and Android tablets present a new, and much more efficient way, for customers to participate in loyalty programs at retailers and restaurants. Each of these apps are providing businesses with loyalty solutions with slightly different approaches. With the variety of offerings, businesses can find the right solution for their business and the goals they are trying to achieve. Regardless of the choice, businesses can use mobile device management technologies to lock down and manage tablets so they serve only one purpose: Loyalty programs.
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