Loyalty Programs and Beacons

Beacons and loyalty programs combine to make quite a potent one-two knockout value proposition for repeat customers. The truth is that many loyalty programs have lagged behind in their ability to provide tempting offers related to individual customer or store experiences. With beacons, the customers can have a dynamic loyalty program interaction that feels fresh, exciting and more relevant to their interests.

Here are some of the ways brands are fusing beacons and loyalty programs for maximum impact and effectiveness.

Geo Targeting for Flash Offer Fanaticism

One crucial element most loyalty programs lack is a feeling of immediacy. While some promotional items may come and go and some points may expire after a term, the general feeling is that loyalty members can take their time when deciding how to redeem their built-up rewards.

Marriott Hotels addressed this problem in a recent massive overhaul of their industry-lauded loyalty program. Coupled with beacon technology, the program emphasizes engagement through mobile, both online and on-site. Visitors can enjoy automatic check-ins when they approach a beacon location, but they will also receive geo-targeted offers based on the hotel’s location.

Called FlashPerks, the system is designed to create excitement and timing pressure on members who have built up loyalty currency. As lodgers move about the hotel, the Marriott app sends push notifications for limited time offers such as test-driving exotic cars or receiving a discounted stay at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai — the tallest hotel in the world.

Along with FlashPerks will be LocalPerks, a system of affiliate offers for services ranging from restaurants to spas and golf courses. These offers are currently only available inside select hotels in Baltimore, San Diego and Florida, but Marriott intends to expand the program not only to more hotels but also to surrounding affiliate businesses in the community.

Auto Check-In and Sync for Personalized Experiences

Many restaurants are ecstatic about beacon technology because it helps them establish an endearing rapport with regular customers. As customers approach the beacon, the cashier is informed of the customer’s name and typical ordering habits. The cashier can greet the customer by name and point out promotions or regular items that could appeal to the customer’s tastes.

Any item the customer buys will also be synced with the loyalty app automatically for easy points tracking and behavior metrics. Special targeted loyalty offers can be used that are specific to the customer and the location, as well.

Bay Area QSR San Francisco Soup Company is already implementing iBeacons for this explicit purpose.

Right Time and Right Place

Sales offers have been proven to be at their most effective when they occur during the moment of purchase decisions. Beacons can work in tandem with loyalty programs to evaluate customer behavior both in terms of purchases and in-store movement.

NYC-based Walgreen’s subsidiary Duane Reade is using this combination to push product recommendations and loyalty-based offers depending on the customer’s location in the store. The service can also recognize past traffic patterns to steer the customer to their favorite section where they are most likely to make a purchase.

Ahead of the Curve

Beacon technology is being rapidly integrated within major retailer’s business models. Smaller brands can take advantage of this frontier technology trend and beat out their market competitors by adopting early.

According to a Business Insider survey, only 3 percent of retailers are currently using beacon technology, but 72 percent intend to begin a program within the next five years. The demand is also there, considering 46 percent of shoppers indicated that they would enjoy receiving personalized offers on their mobile device while browsing in-store.

To find out a way to simplistically integrate your beacon messaging and loyalty program into one cohesive and consistent service, take a look at Digital Social Retail’s unique customer engagement platform.

Start your Social Retail campaign today!

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