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3 reasons retailers love card-linked loyalty

Getting customers in-store is hard. Keeping those customers coming back is even harder. For retailers struggling with declining footfall and reduced margins, loyalty programmes can be an effective way to re-engage valuable customers.

But traditional loyalty programmes can no longer cut it in a customer-centric market. They don’t offer enough data about online and offline user behaviour, and create too much friction at checkout thanks to storecards, QR codes and vouchers. With customer expectations higher than ever, leading retailers are looking to tech solutions to improve the loyalty experience – because if rewards schemes don’t work for customers, they don’t work.

Card-linking helps retailers create more effective customer loyalty programmes. Here’s how.

Card-linking gives you access to customer data

You need access to as much data about how, when and where your customers shop as possible. It’s crucial to be able to create the personalised offers your customers expect – but it can be hard to get hold of.

Linking directly to customer payment cards gets you access to an incredibly rich dataset. Granular data about transaction time and amount, merchant location and ID, and payment method and status helps you understand exactly how customers are interacting with your brand, whether online or off. And because that data is delivered in real-time, you can harness it at the precise moment your customers are most receptive.

With other data sources, you won’t get the same granular view and you won’t be able to see transactions in real-time. That means you’ll miss crucial opportunities to understand and engage with your customers across channels.

Card-linking cuts friction at checkout

A persistent problem with traditional programmes is that they create a lot of friction for customers at checkout. How many times have customers come to your till to find their vouchers have expired, or store cards been left at home? For low-value transactions, customers might not bother to scan codes even if they have them to hand. Every time that happens, you lose more crucial data.

Card-linking cuts friction for customers. They simply connect their usual payment card to your programme in a couple of clicks, and then shop as usual. Rewards and offers are automatically applied when and wherever they use that card to shop with you, with no need for any additional actions. Using the payment card as the loyalty card means customers can redeem rewards more easily and more frequently, keeping your brand front-of-mind.

Card-linking lets you create personalised offers

Card-linked transaction data gives you a better understanding of when, where and how much your customers are spending. That’s data you can use to market to them more effectively, creating personalised offers that keep them engaged and retained.

The granularity of the data means you can use it tactically. With card-linking, you can set up and track different offers for specific times of the day or week, or even for individual stores across your portfolio or spending thresholds. It lets you get creative about how and when you bring customer in-store, and what you direct them to once they’re there. With more personalisation comes more engagement – and more revenue realised through your existing customer base.

Shopping centre landlord intu is driving more footfall to its resident retailers with card-linked loyalty. Read our Q&A with Commercial Director Trevor Pereira to find out how.