Technology

The ever evolving importance of digital loyalty schemes

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The power of loyalty programs can have an incredible impact on our purchasing decisions whether we recognize it or not. Loyalty cards have been adopted by a huge variety of businesses from the largest franchises to the smallest of independent shops. Odds are that your wallet may even contain a few right now. However, if your wallet is empty, then it might be a fair representation of where this industry is heading.

Fortunately, loyalty schemes aren’t disappearing, even if they are nowhere to be found in our wallets. Instead, they have joined the great paradigm shift of moving into the online world, existing in a digital sense. While large corporations can easily finance their own loyalty cards, independent shops have quickly adopted services like Swipii, a Glasgow based startup which gives shop owners more information about who’s using their loyalty card allowing for better tailor-made offers.

The startup was featured in a Guardian article from last year which brought to light the rising popularity of these schemes to give a clearer view of spending behavior and bespoke offers. Chloe O’Hare-Carroll, marketing manager of Yumchaa Tea, an independent tea shop in London, said “There is always a concern that you’re just discounting to your natural [customers]. But, at the same time, there are people who come to us every single day – if you didn’t have that offer they might just go to Starbucks or Caffè Nero. It definitely helps having some kind of reward and incentive for them to keep coming,” reports the Guardian.

However, since then the industry of loyalty schemes has upped its game and new startups such as TillBilly are entering the market with innovative schemes and designs. The Australian based startup is the world’s first Blockchain powered integrated point of sale terminal for contactless payments, digital receipts and reward points, and has great ambitions of changing how shoppers accumulate rewards and points.

In a recent blog post, Sarthak Moghe the founder of TillBilly, discussed what the future holds for loyalty scheme technology stating “With TillBilly’s “One Click” Loyalty subscription, a customer can sign up to the merchant’s Loyalty Program as easy as following merchant’s Facebook/Twitter page — without filling any long forms.”

He also adds “This appreciated loyalty model not only will increase customer’s participation, it will also save thousands in cost of managing a rewards program. Small businesses without a loyalty program can use TillBilly “Loyalty Rewards as a Service” to start their own loyalty program simply with a push of a button and without any investment. We will also work with large businesses with existing rewards program to integrate them with the TillBilly “one-tap” solution.”

And TillBilly isn’t the only startup which sees a bright future in digital reward schemes. Tidal Commerce, a merchant services company based in Illinois, offers their merchant customers a unified gift card and loyalty program. “Technology is making it easier than ever to implement intelligent loyalty programs that benefit your business, said Drew Sementa, CEO of Tidal Commerce. “One surprising benefit of gift cards is that these cards have no interchange expense versus credit cards that do. So if loyal customers use gift cards more, merchants can save money on credit card processing fees.”

We are fortunate to live in a time where being reward for our everyday actions has become easier than ever. With this we can continue our daily lives, slowly building up points without the hassle of carrying around a wad of cards riddle with punches and stamps. That’s one less problem cluttering up our wallet or handbag at least.

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Sam Brake Guia
Sam is an energetic and passionate writer/blogger, always looking for the next adventure. In August 2016 he donated all of his possessions to charity, quit his job, and left the UK. Since then he has been on the road travelling through North, Central and South America searching for new adventures and amazing stories.