What If Rewards Came From Just Browsing?
A new loyalty rewards program has arrived that pays off for just browsing, that is, in cyberspace.
From Austin technology incubator Jutera Labs, Perk is billed as the world’s first loyalty web browser. Based on the same technology underlying Google’s Chrome browser, Perk gives consumers a chance to earn points by simply going to a retailer’s website. Online shoppers earn more points if they make a purchase. Points are also awarded for applying for a credit card, making a monthly gift to a charity and other actions. Some safeguards are included to protect against point rigging through repetitive queries or returning merchandise.
Perk Points can be redeemed as gift cards, airline miles, social gaming currency as well as physical items such as iPads or Skullcandy headphones. Points can also be donated to charities such as the American Cancer Society or ASPCA.
Perk was launched last week at over 2,000 top merchant partners including Apple’s iTunes, Starbucks, 1.800 Flowers, BestBuy.com, Urban Outfitters and drugstore.com.
While online advertising is often seen as an annoyance, rewarding attention and brand loyalty reshapes the online conversation for brands, Perk attests.
"Perk aims to fundamentally change users’ digital experience by building a version of the web based entirely on ‘what’s in it for me,’" said Adam Salamon, founder and COO, in a statement. "This is far more than a standard web browser matched with a loyalty program. We are creating a technology and platform that will help influence online decision-making during every layer of the advertising and shopping funnel."
The launch comes after as a disappointing introduction of Microsoft’s pay-for-search Bing Rewards program. But Mr. Salamon told PC World that Bing Rewards is a portal that required online consumers to register and return on a regular basis. As a browser, Perk can emulate the best offline rewards programs, such as enabling consumers to sign up a credit card and then reward them as they use the card.
A main challenge appears to be convincing people to change browsers. A Perk Lite option works with Google’s Chrome browser for those reluctant to switch.
A mobile version is set to arrive in June, seemingly extending Perk’s reach to brick & mortar.
- Perk Transforms Web Browsing with the First Loyalty Web Browser – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Get Perk rewards points for surfing or shopping online – USA Today
- New Perk browser lets you rack up reward points for surfing – PC World
What do you think of the potential of an online loyalty rewards system for browsing and purchasing? Are the promised benefits enough for consumers and e-tailers? What hurdles do you expect a browser-based loyalty service to face?