With nearly half of all Canadians going mobile with smartphones – according to a recent study by Ipsos Reid – local businesses can count on greater pressure and bigger expectations from newly-empowered customers.

But can retailers also count on increased consumer loyalty from such patrons?

Well, maybe. But they certainly have to play their cards right.  And they better play them digitally.

NPD CREST says “digital marketing is responsible for driving 33 percent of a restaurant’s new customers;” a number fueled by 12 million, tech-savvy Canadian Millennials (consumers aged between 16 and 34).  The market research firm also confirms that digital marketing is 3-times as effective in attracting new customers, compared to other promotional means. 

Such trends towards web and mobile platforms effectively spell the end for traditional, wallet-stuffing loyalty cards—along with any non-digital based marketing effort for that matter.  More consumers simply don’t want to mess with anything if it can’t be tracked, stored, or used through their smartphones.  Add in shorter attention spans and their penchant for shopping on the go, and you have retailers jumping over each other to adopt mobile technologies.  The livelihoods of their businesses depend on it.

But while outdated loyalty efforts are going by the wayside, the concept of customer loyalty is stronger than ever; the ability to build allegiance separating the successful business from one that fails.

And it’s easy to see the benefit of offering loyalty membership.  Consumers “win” from receiving rewards and perks in return for their purchases, while retailers “win” from repeat business, the ability to better engage with customers, and access to customer demographics not easily attainable from other means.

With that said, going mobile isn’t easy, and doing so doesn’t necessarily translate into automatic success.  Poor execution is far worse than never offering a mobile loyalty platform in the first place.

Thus, retailers thinking mobile loyalty can benefit their business need to consider a few important questions:

  • Are my customers tech-savvy? Will they appreciate a mobile loyalty or marketing campaign? If most of your customers are 16-34, you’re in luck.

  • What solutions are out there? Do I custom build or use an existing fully managed platform? Custom building takes time, money, and overall heavy investment.

  • Customer loyalty program technologies range from the very affordable (a few dollars a month) to the multi-million dollar. What budget can I work with and what can I de-prioritize for now? It’s certainly OK to start small.

Asking the questions above is a necessary first step; the answers to such questions should serve as a GPS towards or away from mobile loyalty.  

Contact Club Ovahi to learn more about the benefits of mobile loyalty programs and the potential impact on your business.  A number of small and medium-sized retailers across a variety of industries are already enjoying our modern mobile loyalty system; one that boasts a simple user interface, and the promise to increase foot traffic and repeat business.  Club Ovahi offers quick setup, easy training, and an affordable solution that any retail business can enjoy.

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