Fidel in Focus

/ Card-linking

Supercharging Retail Acquisition and Retention with Card-Linked Technology

Often customers forget to bring their loyalty cards when they shop. This is a struggle that any loyalty operator faces when introducing a plastic card. However, what is even more shocking is that according to research, as a nation the U.K. has £6bn of unused rewards! So for the times we make a conscious decision to swipe, scan or sign in, we are still struggling to benefit from our efforts.

The reason? A large number of loyalty programmes are failing to make the experience seamless for the customer.

A recent report by Capgemini research found that 77% of loyalty schemes that require customers to make a purchase in return for points, fail within the first two years. It concludes that organisations need to think beyond points and plastic by looking at how loyalty programmes can develop more sophisticated ways to engage.

There is also the issue of personal data and the willingness of consumers to share it. The first goal for a loyalty programme is getting customers to provide personal data in exchange for a membership.

However, the majority of U.K. consumers are happy to sign up to loyalty schemes. A report from YouGov reveals that British shoppers have “fallen in love with loyalty cards,” with a whopping three-quarters (76%) of consumers saying they carry between one and five cards at all times.

Many customers carry between one and five loyalty cards — but do they enjoy the benefits?

However, 40% of loyalty card members view carrying cards with them as an inconvenience, and nearly a quarter (22%) say they “keep forgetting” to carry their loyalty cards with them.

The alternative to multiple loyalty cards is card-linked technology,  which enables retailers to offer a seamless customer experience while negating the need for customers to carry multiple loyalty cards by simply linking them to a bank card. In return for this service, the customer must share their card details with the retailer to have their account recognised in-store.

Fidel's card-linked technology enables a seamless customer experience

But are consumers willing to share their personal data, especially card details, to engage in a seamless loyalty experience? Fortunately, the early adopters of card-linking have answered this question with a resounding "YES!" With consumer trust in mind, it's important that the experience designed around the customer.

Just look at Uber Local Offers & Yelp Cashback Program in the US, both of which have opened card-linking to the consumer and have enjoyed great success by creating an experience that is memorable, tailored and effortless for the customer.

Seamless Customer Experience is Paramount

Anything that feels clunky regarding the interaction of the app and the in-store experience will create a barrier to usage. Customers don’t just want to see how they’ve totted up points, but want the option of collecting and redeeming, both in-store and online. Loyalty cardholders expect store staff to be knowledgable and understand how the loyalty app works.

Our advise? Be single-minded about what your loyalty app does and make sure it does it well. Before you make decisions about the user experience based on tech possibilities and limitations, involve your customers in the decision-making process.

Omni-Channel is Key

One in five retail apps are only used once, so it’s imperative that retailers find a way to keep customers engaged. Loyalty schemes success is founded on customer engagement in early days of the relationship. Many schemes fail when customers sign up to use a loyalty programme upon purchase, and later fail to use it again. After all, people only have so much space in their wallets.

A multi-channel approach to customer retention is key. Customers should be prompted through multiple channels to make another purchase to continue collecting reward points, and additionally prompted to redeem points as soon as possible so that customers see a tangible reward and stay engaged with the brand.

Fidel API

The team at Fidel have now created an API where all of the above can be achieved. By integrating directly with the major Card Schemes, we provide any company the ability to supercharge memorable, tailored and effortless loyalty and reward services.

As a developer you can start building card-linked applications in minutes by checking the documentation and creating an account today.