We live in an era defined by innovation; an age that has lead to the creation of a multitude of digital platforms, mobile technology and SaaS tech.
These innovative digital solutions are enlightening both our lives at work, and beyond because the experiences they provide are immersive, interactive and highly personalised.
Ours is very much an “always on” culture, which means we’re able to interact with brands and business in extraordinary ways - there is so much opportunity to set your brand experience apart from your competitors.
A world of opportunity awaits!
But let’s take a small step back first:
Card-based loyalty programs first saw their rise to success through the harnessing of transactional data. As consumers, we were amazed by ‘intelligent’ brands that were able to tailor products and services based, solely, on our transactional history.
This was a time when loyalty marketers believed that their customers, armed with a loyalty card and the possibility of receiving a discount, would be loyal for life.
This loyalty card methodology was enough… until it wasn’t.
For many, loyalty programs became boring and repetitive. Until they underwent a creative overhaul, that is, thanks to increased access to a wider range of data, and particularly, behavioural data.
Today, points-based loyalty and reward programs access a vast amount of data. And not just your transactional data, no, we’re talking big data. The kind that enables loyalty marketers to push the creative boundaries using hyper-personalisation, which drives deeper brand loyalty.
Today’s technology, coupled with the amount of data that’s accessible, has also lead to a shift in the relationship between customers and brands. Customers know what they want and they expect their favourite brands to know, even before they do. It’s a two-way relationship and, like any relationship, loyalty is at the heart of it.
Customer demand has meant that brands constantly need to look for new ways to innovate their points-based loyalty programs and rewards. Brands need to imagine new ways to establish immediate connections and rewards that provide instant gratification.
So that’s where we are...
But, what has this change meant for rewards?
It’s meant that we’ve seen the loyalty and rewards space become much more accessible, immediate and interpersonal.
This change has brought about exciting innovations, such as the online shopping card, our favourite in the way of innovative reward solutions.
Why you ask?
The innovation lies within the smart use of technology and the overall experience of this reward; from the moment a sales executive, for example, selects the new, in-season shoes she loves from Superbalist and checks out using her online shopping card, with a smile on her face.
An irresistible reward experience.
The online shopping card speaks directly to this “always on” culture we find ourselves in: it’s instant and it offers people reward choice that’s never been so vast before. The options are endless, almost.
From a South African perspective, this reward solution opens up a world beyond the already prolific space of online retailers. Because points can be redeemed, via the online shopping card, on booking sites for sports events, music festivals, stage productions and exhibitions.
The online shopping card can also be used at any vendor that supports mobile payment technology, such as SnapScan and Zapper - really the options are incredible and unfolding, all the time.
I’m not sure about you, but the last time I used my bank card at a local market is fast becoming a fleeting memory. Zapper and SnapScan are widely used, which means people have access to redeeming their points in a way that old-school loyalty never even dreamed of.
As a loyalty and reward device, the online shopping card is set to become a part of customers', channel partners' and employees' everyday lives!
Remember our sales executive, who redeemed and spent her points using the online shopping card? Loyalty marketers now have access to that entire data stream and customer journey. From her style preferences to her preferred time to shop online, the data tells it all.
Where does this leave you?
With the urge to harness your data and tailor your rewards strategy to drive a level of brand loyalty that truly sets your brand apart from the rest.
The always-on, ever-evolving and demanding customer has meant that the online shopping card is an irresistible reward choice.
It’s cost-effective; the lead time is virtually non-existent, as the card is digital; plus, it’s a big win for the war on plastic. Oh, and it really suits the desires of customers - across all demographics. Bonus!
Does the online shopping card sound like something your brand could benefit from? Why not GET In Touch and start rewarding your customers, channel partners and employees in the way they really want.
About Emma-Jane Shaw
Emma-Jane Shaw is the Chief Content Strategist for a digital marketing agency based in Cape Town, where she fuels her passion for writing, strategy and social media.