A good loyalty programme will be flexible enough to reward members in ways that delight customers while staying true to the brand. While many programme members will want to conserve their points for a special reward, others may be happy to cash them in against their regular purchases. In response to that desire, nearly all loyalty practitioners surveyed in recent research are either using or planning to use a pay-with-points functionality.
Forrester Consulting conducted a global study about the state of loyalty on behalf of Collinson, surveying decision makers from companies with annual revenue in excess of $300m in the travel, financial services, and retail sectors. 80% of loyalty practitioners stated that they are using or piloting a ‘pay with points’ functionality, and a further 16% are planning to start, meaning nearly every respondent is eager to allow customers this option.
This is not surprising when considering the functionality’s benefits to the customer. With this option on the table, customers can engage with a programme sooner and more frequently, which makes the value of the being a member all the more apparent. Waiting to accrue points to redeem for a high-value reward is also not necessary, as they can enjoy redemption whatever their points balance.
Allowing the use of points as payment fulfils a critical element of loyalty and marketing practitioners’ brief: to give the customer a consistently great experience at every interaction. When asked about their investment plans for better integrating the loyalty programme with customer touchpoints, more than half (55%) said that they plan to increase their spend. This seems to be a direct response to the desire to understand customer interactions across all touchpoints, which 64% of respondents said was a top-five challenge.
By enabling customers to use pay-with-points redemption, companies have the opportunity to engage customers at point of sale, turning a standard transaction into an enjoyable experience – one that clearly shows customers that their loyalty is recognised and valued.