When it comes to retail and hospitality, COVID-19 has drastically impacted the way businesses and consumers interact.
While contactless payment methods were already taking over a growing share of global point-of-sale transactions, there’s been an even sharper peak in demand for contactless loyalty cards and therefore contactless loyalty suppliers.
To put it simply, this unprecedented pandemic has merely accelerated the world’s gradual shift towards a cashless society. Whereas contactless payments and loyalty practices used to just be about convenience, now it’s also about social distancing.
The benefits of offering customers a contactless loyalty card
As consumers turn tocontactless payment methods like e-wallets and instalment payment providers like Afterpay, businesses need a touch-free loyalty card.
Whether your business is creating a loyalty program from scratch or simply updating it from paper punch cards or plastic loyalty memberships, contactless loyalty solutions are the future.
Alongside contactless payment, this kind of digital loyalty program allows customers to pay for their items, accrue their loyalty points and redeem their rewards without ever opening their wallet or making physical contact. All the customer needs is their mobile device.
A contactless loyalty solution also allows your online customers to enjoy the same convenient loyalty experience as your in-store customers.
Given the current circumstances, it’s pretty clearwhy customer loyalty is more important in 2020 than ever; your existing customers are the ones that will help you bounce back from this difficult period.
“Mere weeks after certain countries began to ease their lockdown policy, we’ve seen a steep peak in businesses wanting to implement a digital loyalty program,” says our Head of Marketing, Michaela Ward.
There are countless reasons why a digital loyalty program is a good idea, in any economic climate. However, right now there are three key reasons why business owners should specifically opt for a contactless solution: convenience, social distancing and security.
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A paperless loyalty card simplifies the process of earning points and redeeming rewards, making life easier for both the customer and the merchant.
No tedious stamping or typing as you search for the customer details while a large queue of customers wait impatiently…
We can guarantee that a customer will also have their phone on them 99% of the time – so unlike a paper punch-card that can be easily forgotten, a digital one is always in their pocket or bag.
It goes without saying that a completely touch-free transaction allows businesses to reopen without the fear of spreading the coronavirus or exposing consumers to other infections.
If customers feel confident that they can safely purchase products or services, earn loyalty points, redeem rewards and generally support local businesses, they will.
Businesses need to show their customers that their safety is the absolute number one priority in times like these. Handling paper punch cards to and fro is simply unhygienic and unsafe.
Digital reward programs provide businesses and their customers with a very high level of data security, which drastically reduces the risk of fraud.
As an example, Stamp Me Loyalty Solutions’ award-winning rewards platform uses authentication, monitoring and data encryption to keep all personal information secure.
Creating a touch-free loyalty card for your brand
There are numerous ways that a business can go about creating a contactless solution for its customers, but at Stamp Me, we’ve found the following three methods to be the most successful.
It’s worth mentioning that none of the below validation methods require any POS integration. All three options can be set up quickly and efficiently, with relatively low ongoing administration costs.
1. Stamp Mate™ Device
Stamp Mate™ is a unique device that uses iBeacon and NFC technology to securely validate transactions. Stamp Mate updates the customer’s loyalty status directly to their mobile device in real-time at the point of sale.
It works much like contactless payments, but with your mobile device. The user simply places their phone on the Stamp Mate pad to receive stamps.
This device operates independently of your point of sale system, and does not need to be plugged in. For enterprises with over 50 locations, the devices can be customized with your own branding.
Stamp Mate is ideal for brick-and-mortar businesses that process every transaction in person; like cafes, hair salons and pharmacies.
2. Receipt Scanning
Receipt scanning involves the customer taking a picture of their receipt on their smartphone, and uploading it into the digital loyalty app. From there, OCR (optical character recognition) is utilized to convert images of receipts into data.
Not only does this data tell the loyalty database customer X’s loyalty status towards reward Y, but it allows the business to segment its customers into numerous groups, which can then be sent targeted communications and tailored offers that appeal to their specific preferences.
As we highlight in our other article on how receipt scanning technology can benefit business owners, this option is the perfect loyalty solution for brands selling fast-moving consumer goods through intermediaries.
Having said that, it’s also well suited to e-commerce, and can accommodate brick-and-mortar businesses (like Sunrise Records, for example). Stamp Me offers this validation method under our Enterprise solution.
3. One Stamps
One Stamps are unique codes that allow customers to collect one-off stamps, and automatically join your offer at the same time (if they have not already).
Once it is scanned and redeemed, the code automatically expires. The user – or any other user for that matter – cannot continue to earn stamps with that code. One Stamps can also have a predetermined expiry date.
The One Stamp codes can be printed onto basically anything. They allow the user to scan and earn rewards using the Stamp Me app, no matter where they are.
This validation method is ideal for businesses that tend to deliver their products straight to the customer’s door, like e-commerce businesses and fast-food restaurants.
A One Stamp code can simply be stuck onto the product packaging before delivery, and the customer has everything they need to earn loyalty points and redeem rewards from their mobile device at home.
Create a touch-free loyalty card for your business today
When you create a touch-free rewards card with Stamp Me, we can facilitate the following features and benefits:
1. Digital Connection with Customers
2. Direct Communication
A digital loyalty program allows businesses to send targeted communications and tailored offers directly to their VIP customers’ mobile devices, anytime and anywhere. This is called “below the line” advertising, and it’s far cheaper and more effective than traditional advertising methods.
3. Increased Engagement
The Stamp Me digital loyalty app gives merchants the option to provide customers with perks like Birthday Club, Scratch & Win and other exciting functions that engage consumers in innovative ways.
For some tips on how to create some hype around your new contactless loyalty card, check out our article on ‘How to Promote Your Loyalty Program Without Spending a Cent‘.
Otherwise,speak to a friendly member of our team about how we can help your business retain customers and build brand loyalty with a touch-free loyalty card today!
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