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Blog
17 February, 2014

Blog: The importance of an integrated loyalty program for old(er) shopping areas

We hear a lot of complaints of consumers about the proliferation of loyalty cards. Wallets are bulging with loyalty cards  and many of  them are not even used.  There we have the cause of the ‘distress’. It is  not having  many loyalty cards which causes  the irritation, but the lack of tangible and relevant advantage   these loyalty cards entail. How many of these loyalty cards are really being used regularly?

loyalty-programs-customer-experienceStrong likelihood  the consumer only uses the loyalty cards by which one gets an immediate discount. Possibly supplemented by one or two loyalty cards from stores  the consumer regularly visits and where he / she saves for discounts, gifts, etc. And then there’s perhaps the  one store where the cashier always asks for a loyalty card. The other loyalty cards remain untouched in the wallet.

Bataviastad (Batavia City) proves  it can be done better. In this shopping outlet , located in Lelystad, retailers and brands offer remnants under the regular retail price.  B way of a B Member Card consumers save for discount, receive special offers and make  a chance to win  nice prices. There  also is an exclusive presale for cardholders. 1.5 years after the launch 106 stores participated in the B Member Card, furthermore there were 90 000 cards members, of which 53 000 became permanent members without external marketing activities. The card is available in physical form, but is also available in the digital way.  The consumer can choose.

imagesBesides the fact that the B Member Card delivers many benefits, there is an even more important reason to point to the success of the B Member Card. This is the integrated approach where various channels are being used in order to reach the customer. The B Member Card can be used  by means of an app scanning the bar code, as soon as a purchase has been  made.   Furthermore one will be informed via email  about discounts, promotions and events. The content of these emails is adapted to the needs and  shopping behavior of the customer. A brand (store) can also link their private offer to the loyalty card of consumers . In other words: (the need for) the (unique) consumer is the focus!

loyaliteitsprogrammaWith this case, I would  like to plead for a loyalty program, especially for old(er) shopping areas. Complex factors such as various owners, ‘old’ entrepreneurs and lack of (technical) knowledge and innovation  in such shopping areas cause  delay in development and eventually they will disappear. Yet it is important that especially such areas invest in an integrated loyalty program . In order to survive, local entrepreneurs often put all their time and effort in their own shop. However, in order to achieve a long-term existence these entrepreneurs should invest in collaboration with fellow entrepreneurs. A joint loyalty program is the ultimate example of a modern way of collaboration. The whole shopping area benefits from it and  promotes a healthy competition with other shopping areas. Digital and physical marketing communication are linked . The (mobile) website can play a central role.

Obviously, this program does not have to be as advanced as the Bataviastad program, but in order to be successful an integrated approach is  very important.  Once  this integrated approach is missing, the loyalty card  will also disappear forever  in the wallet of the consumers, as indicated in the beginning of this blog.