Four Examples of Innovation in Loyalty Programs

I work on a team that is constantly socializing, modernizing and driving engagement for a well-known loyalty program. Following are some fascinating ideas and examples that may dictate the future of the loyalty program:

  • Integration with Mobile
  • Rewarding Influencers
  • Encouraging Social Engagement
  • Comprehensive App Integration

Integration with Mobile: Kuapay

Mobile users make payments using QR codes. On the heels of the latest innovation with the Starbucks loyalty card,  Kuapay allows users to add their credit card information via a mobile app on their phone. They can present the phone to merchants with a QR scanner and pay at the register. It is essentially a 2D barcode-scanning system, replacing a card altogether.

More importantly, Kuapay takes mobile phone scanning to complete transactions by incorporating a digital loyalty program based on user’s transactions. “In addition to managing payments, the app saves the user’s transaction history, encrypts card data, requires the user set a PIN number for access, keeps track of loyalty program points and rewards, and supports discounts and offers.”

(via Mashable – Kuapay Lets Mobile Users Pay with QR Codes)

Rewarding Influencers: AHAlife

AHAlife is an exclusive luxury retail line whose “mission is to provide a curated experience of the best lifestyle products from all over the world.”

Not only do they seek to find the greatest luxury for their clients, they are innovating how to approach rewarding their best customers altogether through the AHA Influencer Network. Members are incentivized to leverage their clout in their personal social networks to gain rewards through the program. Members tag their favorite items and gain rewards as they recruit friends to register with and make purchases on the website. And, the rewards are attractive to consumers, including free shipping, AHAlife concierge services, personalized shopping and more.

The 28-year old founder who has fantastic experience under her belt describes the program this way: “Members can enjoy the rewards immediately tied to either purchases (with rewards like free shipping) or VIP services…This is our way to reward our customers that I sometimes call Loyalty Program 2.0, taking into account both your behavior as well as how you influence others.”

(via The Next Web - AHAlife adds curation and social influence to sell luxury goods)

Encouraging Social Engagement: PunchTab

Websites can add PunchTab technology, which tracks user behavior once they have authorized Facebook Connect.  Users can earn reward points by visiting a website or blog every day. Other social actions rewarded include Facebook comments, WordPress comments and Facebook likes. Users can then redeem rewards in the PunchTab rewards catalog. Over 350 websites have added PunchTab functionality, which only requires a few lines of code.

(via TechCrunch - Social Loyalty Platform PunchTab Raises $850K)


Comprehensive App Integration: Chatterfly

Primarily, Chatterfly’s focus is to replace traditional paper loyalty punchcards with a digital option. However, their loyal system also allows for further integration and encouragement of social engagement activities.  Instead of the straightforward ‘buy 5, get one free’ model, Chatterfly rewards consumers both for in-store activities (such as purchases) as well as social engagement actions, such as sharing their experiences on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Google+ or a digital and in-store scavenger hunt, using a points system. Users can then redeem points for rewards, such as discounts.

(via TechCrunch - Chatterfly Launches Mobile Digital Loyalty App)

What other components of digital, mobile and social might be in store for the future of loyalty programs? How might digital, mobile and/or social revolutionize the loyalty program model altogether?

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3 thoughts on “Four Examples of Innovation in Loyalty Programs

  1. I actually had PunchTab in my blog for a short time. I ended up taking it out because I didn’t see any increase in traffic at the time (and I didn’t have any rewards worth being loyal for). They may have upgraded it more since then so I may give it another test go and see what works out. Loved these examples!

  2. Pingback: Top Five: Lessons Learned in First Year of Blogging « Be Well. Do Good.
  3. Pingback: Top Five: Lessons Learned in First Year of Blogging | Engauge Blog

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