What a great year 2016 was for loyalty programs! Yes, there were many successes and a few setbacks; but the trends include broader participation, more targeted benefits and promotions, and an explosion of digital and mobile to support loyalty programs. For members, it’s a lot easier to participate in these programs with simple identifiers like phone number or the digital card in your mobile wallet. Companies realize the key to success in loyalty is to engage members through valuable promotions and offers; as well as ensuring they earn awards quickly to cement their engagement. Also, with a rapid growth in online buying, these programs must include multi-channel features to ensure the members always receive credit and are promotable independent of what channel they use.
For our clients, we are seeing an explosion of interest in targeted mobile offers and promotions. Our product development efforts have focused on integration with more POS platforms, mobile apps for client and member use, and loyalty platform tools that give our clients the ability to target promotions and offers to the member at the SKU level. In addition, we are now able to offer an all-digital solution for our clients that includes our Simpli text-to-enroll program.
So, what do we see in 2017? A lot of the trends from 2016 will continue to accelerate in 2017. We see the need for the use of the traditional “loyalty card” going away in the next five or so years. Focus on simplicity and ease of program use by the members will be keys to ensure they are engaged. This means no forms and easy or automatic identification at the time of purchase. Some of the other trends we see for 2017 and beyond are more offers delivered based on location or previous buying behavior patterns along with awards that truly engage loyalty members. Finally, a continued growth in some overlay loyalty initiatives that give customers the chance to earn awards from multiple programs with one purchase. These include reward based credit cards and initiatives such as Ebates and Plenti to name a couple.
Tecmark looks forward to a great 2017! We are excited about what is happening with our current client programs and look forward helping many new clients build simple and effective loyalty programs. We will be at several shows this year so be sure to stop by our booth to demo our new tools or reach out to us for a free loyalty consultation session. Check us out at www.loyaltymarketing.com.
Happy Holidays and best wishes for a great 2017!