Loyalty Card Apps That Help in Making Loyal Customers

24 Jul. 2014 Mobile App

Loyalty card apps have revolutionized shopping today by offering real-time deals and discounts to attract more customers. Loyalty cards app have transformed the loyalty programs which form a structured marketing effort that encourages customers to buy more and increase loyalty by offering some rewards. The concept of loyalty marketing has been used since the first airline frequent flyer mile campaign.

Loyalty card apps acts as the profitable business model for many enterprises helping to attract more customers and incorporating the latest mobile technology development for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. But, the right business model is very important to enhance your loyalty card app. This article explains the basics of loyalty card apps, and also highlights the best loyalty card apps currently being used in the industry by various customers.

Loyalty Card App
Loyalty card app helps in attracting more customers and increase the loyalty of existing ones

Before moving ahead, let’s first take a glance on how loyalty card apps began and how they are being used by consumers. Loyalty programs first began in retail operations with a simple concept of retaining customers of all types and discouraging them from taking their business elsewhere. Traditionally, retailers were physically fixed in one place, helplessly waiting for a customer visit. Various decision factors such as location, price and brand awareness dialed-in customer targets, but loyalty cards app provided an additional edge.

In the retail industry, a loyalty card app works as a rewards card, points card, advantage card or club card eliminating the actual use of a plastic or paper card that were used earlier. They were visually similar to a credit card, debit card or digital card and identified the cardholder as a member in a loyalty program.

Loyalty card mobile apps today acts as a system of the loyalty business model. The loyalty card app mechanisms for tracking customer rewards are based on the frequency and amount of purchases made by the customer. They may range from ordering coffee to buying clothes or electronic gadgets via magnetic-stripe cards swiped through a reader. This helps in keeping track of points that generally represent dollars spent by the customer and also registers the customer’s buying patterns and preferences.

According to a recent research, more than 15 % of consumers owning a smartphone and tablet, have installed at least one loyalty card app. Research firm Gartner states that U.S. companies spent more than $1.2 billion on customer loyalty programs. As loyalty marketing matures, consumers expect these programs to deliver real value, plus a high-impact ‘wow’ factor that continues to earn their allegiance.

At the same time, marketers joining the fray must thoroughly analyze if a loyalty program is right for their business, as well as how to execute one with profitable results that can be quantified. Within this rising tide of loyalty app marketing, there are distinct issues that must be considered before any planning takes place.

Loyalty card app marketing challenges

  • The competition is using their loyalty marketing apps to win your customers and business. Consumer expectation is that some form of loyalty rewards should be offered just to keep their interest. The absence of any program decreases your competitive parity.
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty is not the same thing. While customers might report satisfaction with your products and services, many surveys find this does not automatically translate to loyalty, as defined by the customers themselves.
  • A loyalty program is not a cure-all. Loyalty only enhances and does not replace, the timely delivery of quality products, good service, convenience and other key factors of customer satisfaction.

How does the loyalty card app work?

With the loyalty card app, the buyer can collect points by scanning the discount codes or QR codes from their smartphone device or tablet. After scanning or entering the discount code, they are typically entitled to either a discount on the current purchase or an allotment of points that can be used for future purchases.

Today small retailers, merchants and restaurants consider digitizing or mobilizing their loyalty systems. By electronically managing these loyalty programs, it’s possible for small-business owners to simultaneously acknowledge their repeat customers and also track in detail the services or products they typically buy, the time of day they usually visit and how much money they are likely to spend.

Let’s look first at the loyalty card apps that are focused on using mobile apps as part of the relationship building process.

Loyalty Card Apps

  1. Belly

  2. Belly

    It is being used by 6,000 local businesses, and it has tracked more than 15 million visits. This loyalty card app includes notable features like Passbook location alerts, email campaigns, integration with Facebook and Twitter integration and analytics (with the premium accounts). The pricing ranges from $79 per month for the basic “Snack” plan with a Nexus 7 tablet to $149 for the “Feast” including all the services and an iPad Mini for your retail location.

  3. Foursquare

  4. Forsquare

    Technically, the Foursquare service isn’t a loyalty app. But it can absolutely help with engaging customers or would-be customers who have checked-in at your location. Its reach is pretty overwhelming with more than 45 million “community” members and more than 1.6 million businesses using the merchant platform. Foursquare uses an advertising model, where your business pays only if someone acts on it (by tapping on it to see more details).

  5. Front Flip

Front Flip

One of the coolest features of this rewards system is the integration with social networks, which lets customers “boast” about the promotions they received from your business or even share them with friends. Like the other loyalty card apps, the company offers analytics so you can glean more customer insights from tracked visit data. The company doesn’t publish its pricing data. As of early last year, it had raised a total of $7.7 million in funding; it has a big following among McDonald’s franchise owners.

These loyalty card apps can be viewed as a form of centralized reward or virtual currency, the one with unidirectional cash flow, since reward points can be exchanged for goods or services but not back into cash.

Enterprise benefits of loyalty card apps

The loyalty card app acts as a common knowledge base between customers and enterprise stores, where information like rules, regulations, customer contact information are stored in a non-aggregate structure, improving security for enterprise data. This enterprise data can be used by the loyalty card app vendors to send out marketing messages to its customers.

Another enterprise benefit of loyalty card app is that it can be used to determine a given customer’s favorite brand of beer or whether he or she is a vegetarian. With the loyalty card app, whenever a customer provides basic identification information, the app simplifies the access of information to the enterprises for verifying receipt of checks or for membership privileges (e.g., access to a club lounge in airports, using a frequent flyer card).

Conclusion

Just twenty years ago, a merchant could commit to memory the preferences of their customers and create loyalty with the personal touch. The quest for customer loyalty became complicated when choices multiplied and points of purchase expanded and technology advanced. Careful planning can simplify the concept of value for your business and help you deliver it to your customers. The loyalty card app helps many retailers understand and focus on their best/loyal customers.

Rishabh Software helps small to medium enterprises by delivering an integrated approach that includes loyalty and relationships as key assets in your enterprise. We create mobile apps which help you engage and better serve your customers.

Call us at 1-877-RISHABH (1-877-747-4224) or Contact us now to know more on how a mobile payment app solution for your business can enable your employees to take smarter, faster and critical decisions on the move by accessing your secure customer data.

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