How to make your company more relevant with mobile passes

Alejandro Catalan - Regional Manager Australia, Technology, Ovato

Have you ever been given a physical loyalty card from your local café? How many times have you remembered to bring it along next time to redeem your free coffee?

It can be difficult to keep track of all your cards and vouchers every time you pass by a local business. They either end up in your wallet forever, forgotten at home, or dropped on the floor of the bus or train.

It’s a problem that’s all too familiar, but it’s slowly being eradicated through emerging trends in tech. Mobile tap and pay solutions, along with the introduction of mobile wallets, have seen rapid growth in recent years. They provide customers with a fast and seamless shopping experience by transforming physical cards and coupons into easy-to-manage digital files.

According to an August 2018 report by Juniper Research, a third of all in-store transactions will be made through contactless payments by 2020. Making physical vouchers and cards a thing of the past is an essential step to keep your brand relevant and provide the best customer experience.

Frictionless Experience

A mobile wallet, like Apple Wallet or Google Pay, houses all these vouchers, loyalty cards and coupon codes directly on your mobile phone, doing away with flimsy plastic cards that will only get lost in the depths of your handbag or backpack.

As default pre-installed apps, your audience doesn’t have to jump through any hoops to download a new app or sign up for a program. Through a simple tap of a screen, consumers can opt in to use your digital loyalty cards in seconds. And they’re already a familiar technology – many of your customers will be using this tech for event tickets, boarding passes at their airport or to tap and pay.

Generating Loyalty

Your customers probably have their mobile phones with them at all times. While there have been many times that I’ve left my wallet, keys and headphones at home or the office, my mobile phone is never forgotten. It’s a no-brainer to make mobiles central to your marketing strategy, giving your customers a seamless experience on the device already in their hand or pocket most of the time.

According to the US Mobile Consumer Report, shoppers are 85 per cent more likely to choose a brand with a loyalty program than one without, so having a mobile-based program also provides an easy way to reward your audience’s allegiance to your brand. Unlike conventional programs that consist of a plastic card and a web log in, a mobile loyalty program allows members to keep track of important information, like the number of points they have, any time they like.

Not only does this keep your company at the forefront of the customer’s mind but paying for items with earned loyalty points lets shoppers who’ve never used mobile passes or a mobile wallet to ease into unfamiliar territory. Location-based notifications also make it easier for customers to engage, driving traffic to your physical stores or locations.

By using geo-based notifications, you can remind customers about their voucher or offer a surprise coupon when they’re close to your business via a notification on their lock screen. For example, Traction customer CityTatts used a mobile customer feedback survey that offered shoppers a voucher for a discounted meal in return.

With alerts to customers when they were close to, or inside, a City Tattersalls Club, 77 per cent of customers downloaded their voucher pass after completing the survey, and the business is now looking to roll out mobile passes for other engagement activations.

Creating A Unique Experience

A personalised voucher is far more enticing to the average shopper than a generic one, and mobile passes allow you to create customised offers for birthdays and special events to drive an increase in sales.

As an example, last month, retail giant David Jones launched its new mobile rewards program to boost its online presence. The David Jones Rewards system offers new members a voucher for joining, a birthday voucher and discounts exclusive to the platform. With every purchase made on their account, members also go into a monthly draw for the chance to win a $5000 gift card.

This kind of rewards program feels personalised and exclusive to the customer, delivering value in exchange for their loyalty. By using mobile passes, it also means that customers can exchange easily without digging through their email for an offer or their wallet for a membership card.

And while mobile passes are a fantastic way to keep your current audience engaged, they can also be used to incentivise lapsed customers. Use your customer data to create segments, like those who haven’t visited your store in a while. Send them a push notification or a customised offer that will encourage them to re-engage.

Getting Inside Your Audience’s Pockets

Mobile passes aren’t just great for shoppers – they allow marketers to get to the heart of their audience’s habits and keep track of vital data, like return on investment and conversion rates, in real-time.

If a café starts a loyalty program and hands out physical cards, this can be a headache to manage. A customer might go to your café once a day throughout a regular work week, but if you have three different baristas that rotate over the five-day period, there’s no real way to measure the buying habits of one customer.

With mobile passes, you can access this data instantly. You’ll be able to easily measure how many times a customer has visited your location, how much money they spend during each visit and how often they redeem a voucher.

Another Piece Of The Puzzle

Rather than using them as a standalone communications channel, mobile passes work best when integrated with other digital platforms, as part of a multi-channel strategy.

For example, launch your mobile voucher campaign with an eDM or post on social media. Once a customer has redeemed their offer, the voucher will then sit inside their smartphone wallet as a reminder of the experience. Of course, there are also offline channels you can employ alongside mobile marketing – such as QR codes in your next catalogue that can be scanned by readers to launch an offer.

By integrating passes into your mobile marketing campaign, you can target your audience in a unique and highly-personal way. Through digital loyalty programs, personalised offers and geo-based notifications, your company can increase redemption rates, boost brand awareness and create an ongoing two-way conversation between you and your audience.

Originally published at TractionNext.com. Get in touch to find out more about how we can solve your marketing challenges with mobile solutions.