According to McKinsey & Co., 83 percent of marketers say that the ability to make data-insight decisions is one of the most important considerations in driving loyalty and customer engagement. However, only 10 percent believe they are optimizing the use of data.
There are lots of interesting technologies emerging that make data insights more agile, real-time and actionable.
2. Machine Learning
According to www.sas.com, “Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look."
By leveraging advanced analytics tools, machine learning helps brands gather predictive data, detect patterns within massive databases and thereby power predictive responses for personalized marketing automation.
For example, brands could use machine learning capabilities to understand customer product preferences based on historical purchases. From there, when a customer enters the store the next time, it can allow the brand to send a push notification with a relevant offer a personalized customer journey.
3. The Internet of Things = Loyalty for Everything
The Internet of Things allows brands have a more holistic, interaction – based relationship with their customers.
As a greater amount of “things” become connected, loyalty programs get access to more – and more varied – data, that can be used to reward not just transactions but behaviors. Examples include health insurance companies can reward people who log 10,000 steps daily on their Fitbits and utility companies can reward those who set their Nest thermostats to be one degree lower than their daily average.
4. Omni-channel Experiences
Brands and marketers need to start giving consumers what they want—omnichannel, personal experiences.
According to DMNews, 53 percent of consumers feel that it’s important for retailers to recognize them as the same person across all channels. While 78 percent are willing to allow retailers to use information from their in-store purchases to provide a more personalized experience.
A good example of this is if a store sees that a customer has left items in an online shopping cart. Rather than sending an email reminder in a few days about the forgotten items, a brand could, and should, instead send a push notification as the customer enters the store to remind them of the items.
5. Importance of Social Media
Social Media can provide brands with great insights to the customers beyond transactional data.
DMA recently reported that 70 percent of companies are still not collecting data from social media channels. This includes "Follows" and "Favourites" but also the data content of these social media posts.
By analyzing the social conversation, brands can respond in real-time with relevant content. If there is a spike on conversations around warm weather, a shop can push out offers on ice creams
6. Blockchain Will Transform Customer Loyalty Programme
Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin but also presents some great opportunities for loyalty.
Blockchain enables a ledger of transactions to be shared across a network of participants. When a new digital transaction occurs (for example, a loyalty point is issued, redeemed, or exchanged), a unique algorithm-generated token is created and assigned to that transaction.
All loyalty programs are vulnerable to a blockchain revolution,
Blockchain technology has the potential to streamline administration, reduce costs, and improve the customer experience for loyalty rewards programs.
7. Gamification Makes Driving Consumer Behavior Fun
Gamification—the use of game mechanics in a non-game context to drive engagement—is becoming standard practice in marketing and loyalty campaigns.
Gamification means adding game-like incentives – or ‘game mechanics' – to a marketing campaign to motivate more frequent play, deeper engagement and quantifiable changes in customer behavior that impacts the bottom line for the business.
Coupled with big data and the rise of mobile, gamification can be a powerful tool when used effectively in loyalty programs.
8. Universal POS Systems
At the heart of most loyalty programs is the ability to capture customer transactional data. In the past, loyalty providers were required in integrating into epos. This created all kinds of integration issues.
Thankfully, there is a host of technologies and companies that are providing solutions to solve this problem – either by integrating directly into POS solutions ahead of time, or circumventing the integration work altogether (e.g. by integrating into the bar code scanner, by leveraging receipt-based scanning, by integrating with the credit card vendor). Many loyalty technology companies now provide solutions which allow customers to use the debit card or credit card as their unique identifier. The customer simply pays with the credit card and earn points.