Is The Mobile Wallet In Your Loyalty Strategy?

Is The Mobile Wallet In Your Loyalty Strategy?

  • Posted by Aaron Martens
  • On December 15, 2015
  • Comments

While making mobile payments is still in its infancy, the adoption of Apple Pay is really catching fire.

Mobile is on track to become the preferred way to transact – for marketers, it is crucial to consider now how the mobile wallet fits into the mobile loyalty strategy. There are two channels when it comes to offering a mobile loyalty solution: Mobile wallet-based programs (think Apple Pay) or Mobile app-based programs (think Starbucks and Uber).

Mobile wallets may seem the easiest form of entry but a recent Reuters survey polling the Top 100 US retailers from the National Retail Federation found that “fewer than a quarter of the retailers said they currently accept Apple Pay.” Kohl’s, Whole Foods and Dunkin’ Donuts have become early adopters. The survey also found that nearly two-thirds said categorically that they would not be accepting Apple Pay at all this year. The answer for marketers might just be a branded mobile app.  With a unique branded app, marketers are afforded a much richer toolbox for creating engaging experiences, communities and stronger emotional connections with their brand. In addition to the capabilities of a mobile wallet, an app allows for:

  • Non-transactional reward earning
  • Gamification and brand advocacy through social interactions
  • Multiple targeted offers and products with earn and burn capabilities
  • Points redemption for rewards outside the store
  • First-party data and insights about each member
  • More effective communications, supporting push notifications

Brands can leverage their mobile apps to enhance their omnichannel brand experience. For example, the integrated loyalty program is the main driver for the Starbucks customer to use the Starbucks Card mobile app. Processing millions of transactions through the app each week, Starbucks’ branded mobile wallet has proved to be a leader and benchmark in the mobile payments industry. But you know you have to market your marketing, so be prepared to push your app extremely hard upon launch.

Like anything new to market, as mobile loyalty solutions evolve, providing differentiated user experiences and different ways to earn and burn reward points will become increasingly important.

The questions still remains – which solution will consumers come to expect?