Should plastic loyalty cards go digital?
According to a survey from Vibes, 73 percent of smartphone users are either very (38 percent) or somewhat (35 percent) interested in saving loyalty cards to their smartphones.
For consumers, one incentive is to avoid carrying and organizing so many plastic loyalty cards. In the survey of 1,027 smartphone users, 44 percent had two to four loyalty cards; and 25 percent, five to nine.
The greater openness to digital loyalty, according to Vibes, is partly tied to the arrival of mobile wallet applications that are reducing user friction and simplifying loyalty experiences. Already storing program information like point balances and loyalty levels in real-time, mobile wallets such as Apple Wallet and Android Pay can also deliver exclusive content and personalized messaging straight to the smartphones of loyalty program members.
A third (32 percent) of respondents currently use a mobile wallet like Apple Wallet and Android Pay. Of those, 94 percent are likely to save personalized mobile wallet offers and coupons. E-mail is the preferred mechanism for delivery, followed by text message.
Overall, 66 percent of respondents say they would have a more positive opinion of a loyalty program if it allowed them to store and access their information on their smartphone in a mobile wallet app.
“This is where the mobile wallet can truly shine as it seamlessly integrates the non-payment and payment sides of mobile wallet to create one unified experience for consumer,” wrote Alex Campbell, co-founder of Vibes, in a column for Mobile Marketer.
The survey also found:
- Seventy-seven percent said mobile offers, such as surprise points or rewards, exclusive content and special birthday messaging, have a positive or very positive impact on their brand loyalty.
- Eighty-two percent reported digital coupons as a convenient option compared to printed coupons, and 59 percent said their opinion of a retailer would be more positive if they started to receive coupons and offers that could be saved on their smartphones.
- 2016 Mobile Consumer Study – Vibes
- Mobile offers and loyalty programs deserve a second look – Mobile Marketer
Sources: Android Pay; Apple Wallet
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are smartphone-accessible loyalty programs bound to replace ones linked to plastic cards? Will programs tied to mobile wallets be a game changer for loyalty?