It’s one thing for Bond to say good things about ourselves and highlight our capabilities, like we might do when we get acquainted with prospective new clients and partners. It's quite another when an independent, authoritative third party names us a leader, which we believe validates our experience and expertise.
During a recent retail co-branded credit card client engagement, it became clear to me that retail co-branded credit cards are generally behind their bank credit card counterparts when it comes to the utilization of digital channels for the purposes of securing new cardholders. It is time for retail co-branded credit cards to take notice and actively explore and utilize digital channels to extend their reach to where their potential cardholders reside. It is increasingly important to communicate and reach out to consumer cohorts differentially, as seen in Bond’s Loyalty Report 2019.
Over the last 3 years, loyalty programs have become an attractive target of digital fraudsters. In fact, it was reported that 48 percent of businesses were hit by account takeovers (ATO), which cost companies more than $2.3 billion worldwide. Delta, Air Miles, Marriott, and PC Optimum loyalty programs were all hit by fraud with thieves reportedly hacking into accounts, stealing points, and going on shopping sprees. As fraudsters become more sophisticated in their techniques, companies need to be more sophisticated in their approach to fraud prevention and detection.
If there is one thing all businesses have in common, it’s the need to attract, engage, and keep customers coming back. Loyalty programs were born out of a need to do this when shop owners gave customers copper tokens that could be redeemed for products on future purchases. Rewards have evolved a lot since then and our more traditional view of rewards, including merchandise for consumer programs, emerged in the ’80s through printed catalogs (remember those?).
Fast-forward to today, when the breadth of loyalty rewards programs across numerous sectors includes vast online catalogs of merchandise, gift card rewards, cause-related redemptions, travel, payment with points, point transfers, and experiential rewards—all aimed at engendering customer loyalty. While the pursuit of rewards breadth can be enticing for loyalty marketers, breadth is not enough to drive customer engagement.
Update on the Rise of Paid: Our Loyalty Report 2019 research found that interest in paid memberships continue to rise. 43% of members are willing to pay a fee for enhanced benefits.
As featured in TotalRetail.
“To fee or not to fee?” will be the question many retailers ask themselves this year, as paid loyalty programs steadily take hold. While the paid model isn’t new — Costco is a pioneer in this space and game-changer Amazon Prime launched back in 2005 — more retailers are viewing pay-to-play as a compelling option for both members and their businesses. Restoration Hardware, GameStop, Bed Bath & Beyond, and GNC have all jumped on board, and the pay-to-play movement will only grow from here.
Technology is rapidly changing customer expectations and the way they engage with your Brand.
The Loyalty Report 2018 finds that Members have moved from technology skeptics to champions as 95% of members want to engage with their Program through new and emerging technologies.
From our recent 2018 Executive Launch event, Sean Claessen shares his thoughts on how Loyalty technology has reached a tipping point.
Yes, brands are dazzling customers with virtual and augmented reality, interactive screens and AI-powered everything, yet this provides an opportunity for brands to differentiate through the emotional value customers gain from their entire purchase experience.
It means brands need to get better at being emotional. Customers want “emotional luxury” derived from feeling recognized, special, and known; yet, only 20% of consumers say they feel special and recognized by a brand representative. This is a massive, untapped opportunity for brands to better engage with consumers.
Almost all currency-based consumer loyalty Program designs inherently house a financial liability, which in many cases has a material impact on a brand’s balance sheet. Generally speaking, a brand incurs liability for a future loyalty Program reward as soon as it issues the Program’s currency (e.g., points, miles, credits, stars, etc.) to a Program Member. From an income statement perspective, there is a reduction in revenue as soon as the currency is issued to a Program Member. As such, the brand cannot account for the full sale, since a percentage will need to be remunerated in the form of a reward (or dividend) back to the Program Member upon redemption. The accounting principles which govern financial liability management are not for the faint of heart, and they more than often create an ongoing level of tension between a brand’s CFO and CMO. CFOs wish to minimize their currency liability and resulting financial exposure, while CMOs wish to issue currency to incent incremental transactional behaviors with the aspiration of maximizing Member redemptions.
In today’s mobile-driven marketplace, and with the rise of the Millennial “always on” consumer, having an app complement a retailer’s marketing strategy has become table stakes. Apps have evolved from simply being an extension of the digital ecosystem to leading the way for brand innovation, campaign awareness, and deeper loyalty engagement.
Never before has a brand had the opportunity to be part of such a personal customer connection—your customers’ mobile device is more than just a communication channel; it’s their hub to connect to all things, all people, and interact with your brand in more personal ways than ever before. The challenge this brings is for retailers to truly understand how users want to connect with their brand, and to develop features that enable those interactions in innovative, creative, relevant, and simple ways. The opportunity is to retain top-of-mind awareness for your brand, create habit-forming engagements, and obtain a higher reach of brand advocacy, especially when a formal loyalty program exists for your brand. Surprisingly, Bond Brand Loyalty’s 2016 Loyalty Report shows that almost 50% of consumers aren’t even aware if the loyalty program they engage with has an app, which is a lost opportunity for many retailers.