OmniChannel is the new driving force of loyalty programmes

16 March 2016

Loyalty programmes use multiple channels to reach out to customers and share information with them. The ultimate goal of a true OmniChannel loyalty programme is to make the customers’ journey unique, intuitive and more engaging across various channels. For financial institutions with loyalty programmes, it means delivering a consistent customer experience through payment channels (POS, ePOS, mPOS…) as well as non-payment channels (apps, web sites…).

Customers’ way of life is Omnichannel

According to SDL’s “Five truths for future marketers”, Millennials access their smartphone 43 times per day and 30% admit they touch more than four devices over the course of 24 hours. Also, 60% of Millennials surveyed are expecting a consistent customer experience, whether they interact online, in store or via phone.

Customers are now accessing different information through a diversity of channels. For example, while watching TV, the use of a second device such as a tablet is rising. Customers also prefer to receive communications and advertising through their mobile devices rather than through the traditional channels such as TV and emails. Finally, communication through mobile is perceived as less intrusive than it really is thanks to more personalized messages, the feeling of control from the user on what he wants to see or not and the variety of accessible content.

As technology allows consumers to change their habits and usage, loyalty strategies must adapt.

Strengthening a loyalty programme with OmniChannel interactions

The Omnichannel trend is an opportunity for banks to communicate with their customers differently on different channels regarding their cards-and-payments based loyalty programme.

Various channels can be used for various reasons and at different times based on context, capabilities, and social or emotional results related to a loyalty programme.

Financial institutions with a payment-based loyalty programme can provide a range of loyalty interactions to their members with for example: sending a thank you mobile notification immediately after a purchase, sharing the new balance of points by email, publishing the next available offer on the customer portal. A mobile loyalty application that allows users to access their balance of points several times a day provides a wonderful way to be in the customer's mind.

Customers would use various channels differently according to their expectations and the moment of the day: getting information about their loyalty points through a mobile loyalty app before making a payment, redeeming these points against some monetary discounts directly on the merchant's POS or redeeming these points online at home against a catalogue of rewards.

Omnichannel redemption increase customers engagement

Engaged customers are 23% more profitable while actively disengaged consumers cost 13%, according to Gallus research. (http://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/reimagining-omnichannel-loyalty)

When points redemption from a loyalty programme is enabled at multiple touch points, customers can easily choose when and where they want to redeem these points. Giving these options significantly increases customers' engagement in the bank's loyalty programme.

  • At home, customers can redeem their points for an online reward via a customer portal and a web catalogue of products and goods.
  • On the move, customers can clip some offers on their mobile loyalty application and redeem them at the merchant’s store.
  • In store, customers can reduce their purchase amount by converting some of their loyalty points into monetary discounts directly on the POS terminals.

With more redemption capabilities enabled through more channels, loyalty programmes see their redemption rate increasing significantly.

The future of OmniChannel

It’s no longer an option for banks with loyalty programmes to integrate an OmniChannel approach. By matching customers’ new habits, a good OmniChannel strategy helps to engage more with customers, especially regarding redemption capabilities.

As Omnichannel is all about delivering the right content at the right time through the right channel, a great OmniChannel strategy also relies on the use of analytical tools, transforming data collected from multiple interactions points into meaningful insights.