It takes 26 hours for the average person to report a lost wallet. It takes 68 minutes for them to report a lost phone.

It’s official – we just can’t live without our smartphones, and to the average person, the phone is way more essential to their daily functioning than their wallet. Which explains why 75% of consumers say they wouldn’t leave home without their phone.

Our phones have become not only our means of communication via voice and text, but our interface to all things digital – apps, websites, photos and increasingly, payments. It’s no wonder that it has taken over in importance from a wallet – which, apart from the increasingly unpopular cold hard cash, offers nothing that a phone can’t now replace.

In the world of shopping, loyalty management programmes are an important weapon in a retailer’s armoury, driving increased spend and advocacy of the brand, increasing customer longevity, driving additional traffic to the store and generating additional sales.

We know that customers, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, love loyalty card programs (the take-up in our region is one of the highest in the world), they are willing to share their data to join and are active participants in loyalty offers.

So if we love our phones and love our loyalty card programs, it seems to make complete sense for retailers to combine the two, and deliver loyalty management via the devices which are always in our pockets.

E-book “The digital store platform – Better data for survival in a customer-centric world” OR Web page “iVend Passes – send digital coupons, offers and loyalty cards to any smartphone user”

This approach, known as Digital Pass is one that is generating a lot of interest, and more and more of the retailers I talk to tell me that they are starting down the path of implementing mobile loyalty management.

There are five things that retailers tell me they really want to deliver through Digital Pass solutions

  1. Digital loyalty cards – Shoppers in ANZ are members of multiple loyalty card programs, which can lead to wallets stuffed with plastic cards, frustrating for the shopper at best, and, in the worst case, a dis-incentive to join any further loyalty schemes. The beauty of the digital loyalty card is that whether the shopper has one or twenty, they take no extra physical space in their pocket or wallet.
  2. Coupons and sales offers – Coupons and special offers can be a great driver of additional traffic to the store and increased revenue, but we know that paper coupons get forgotten, destroyed or inadvertently thrown out, frustrating the shopper and resulting in the benefits of the coupon never being realised – for shopper or retailer.
  3. Gift cards – research from the Treasury department of the Australian Government found that the gift card market in Australia has grown rapidly and that gift cards continue to be a very popular choice. Physical gift vouchers can have the same issue as coupons – they can be mislaid, or add to an already bulky wallet, or simply be left at home when the shopper wants to use them. Electronic gift cards _’e-gift cards) avoid all these issues and give the recipient greater flexibility and a stronger likelihood of using the card.
  4. Tickets – event promoters and venue managers can send their product – the event ticket – electronically, saving the cost of printed tickets and postage, as well as reducing the need for box office staff at the venue.
  5. Geolocation-specific communications – retailers want to be able to use geo-location sensors (such as Bluetooth beacons) to detect which customers are in, or close to, a store and send them specific offers and messages to drive them to come in and buy.

The beauty of Digital Pass smartphone technology is that a single device – a customer owned device, that is highly likely to be with them when they shop – acts not only as the distribution channel for cards, tickets and coupons, but also as the storage location, as well as providing feedback on the location of the shopper.

It’s no wonder that more and more retailers see the enormous potential of Digital Pass to drive and enhance customer loyalty.

To learn more about how CitiXsys’ Digital Pass solution, iVend Passes, can help you to harness the device in your customer’s pocket, click here

Are phones the new wallets? How smartphones are the shoppers favourite tool, not just for payment but for loyalty too Paula Da Silva, CitiXsys @iVend_AsiaPac


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