Thursday, April 25, 2024

Real-time data is ‘gold’ for loyalty programs

Merchants need to improve the quality of their loyalty programs through deeper personalisation, according to Loyalty Now. The platform supplier of loyalty programs says this will prevent customer churn, increase revenue, and sharpen merchants’ competitive edge.

Loyalty Now CEO Cary Lockwood says the most successful merchants use real-time data to tailor their offers more successfully.

“If a brand knows whether a promotion or recommendation is working, it can make changes on the fly to optimise the customer offer,” he says.

“Finding out after the fact that a promotion didn’t work is far less useful and won’t contribute as strongly to ongoing efforts.”

Loyalty Now has identified four areas that can benefit from real-time data:

Improving customer retention: merchants can leverage valuable information to provide more personalised customer experiences and prevent churn.

Rewards: using real-time data lets merchants and consumer brands determine which rewards are more likely to generate interest from their customers.

Recommendations: pre-emptive problem-solving is an effective way to boost sales while strengthening the brand’s relationship with the customer.

Promotions: it’s important to know what the customer is more likely to prefer so the brand can make the right offer.

Mr Lockwood says legacy loyalty programs don’t necessarily provide the mechanisms to collect and analyse real-time customer data. He says merchants should look for a platform that removes the friction traditionally associated with loyalty programs such as the need to present a card or enter a membership number to complete the transaction.

The ideal solution, he says, is one that is linked to the customer’s payment card so that the transaction is streamlined but still accrues rewards for the customer.

“Organisations that can leverage data will have the inside running in the race to win more customers and prevent customer churn,” says Mr Lockwood.

“Using a platform that facilitates this process will be the difference between a loyalty program that works and one that simply costs the merchant money.”

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