Female close-up cell phone  hand storeGo mobile! That’s the latest advice to increase customer loyalty for your brand. Previously, we wrote about how loyalty programs need to engage customers to be successful. Now, it’s time to get rid of the plastic cards and key tags that often get left at home and replace it with a mobile rewards loyalty program.

Pocket the punch card: loyalty, rewards programs shift to mobile platform

According to Forrester Research:

 64% of retailers surveyed said that loyalty and rewards programs are ‘the best way’ to connect with consumers, ahead of mobile apps (56%). Almost half (46%) said that loyalty programs are also the best sales drivers.

With that said, it’s clear that rewarding customers is the best approach to not only engaging them but to keep them buying. But not all customers will remember to keep their loyalty cards with them but most, if not all, will have a smartphone or other mobile device with them. By migrating loyalty programs to a mobile platform ensures that customers will always have access to those rewards.

What is driving mobile loyalty?

The factors that are increasing mobile loyalty are categorized as customer convenience and utility. As indicated above, you are more likely to carry a smartphone into a store than you are a plastic card on your key ring. This experience or ‘mobile moment’ is defined by Forrester: “a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.” These mobile moments are essential to creating the optimal customer experience.

Here are some standard features that brands may want to consider when capturing this mobile moment:

  • Location-aware functionality
  • Personalized displays and messages
  • Integrate social-sharing capabilities
  • Wallet integration
  • Mobile notifications

Is app-free mobile loyalty the way of the future?

The next part of the mobile loyalty rewards evolution just might be an app-free future. As customers become overwhelmed and inundated with individual apps, brands will need to adapt and find better ways to communicate their message. A likely replacement for app fatigue might be wallet-based alternatives like Google Wallet and Apple Passbook to store loyalty rewards without opening individual apps. Whatever the future holds for mobile moments and loyalty rewards programs, marketers will still need to continue to find ways to connect with customers to keep them buying.

Want to understand how you can create enhanced mobile moments as part of your loyalty rewards program to engage customers better?  We can help.