The Future of Shopping with Points and Miles

Zurich, Switzerland | 17th September 2019

By Vera Martocchia, VP of Marketing at Loylogic

Offering non-core redemption in order to diversify your loyalty offering and drive more engagement has developed from a nice-to-have to an absolute must, significantly impacting the growth of a loyalty program. Consequently, a well-rounded reward store has been an essential part of a winning loyalty strategy for almost every successful loyalty program and can be a game-changer.  

 Offering a good choice of merchandise, gift cards, experiences and sought-after deals, helps your program to drive more engagement and creates happier members. It makes your program look richer, more valuable and relevant. It not only increases revenue but also leads to better member acquisition. Furthermore, it provides you with precious insights for better targeting, complementary to members core redemption behaviour.

However, reward stores that come fully tailored, in the look and feel of the program brand and in its entire scope, are not always needed. Airline, hotel and credit card programs, for example, don’t typically require a branded experience. In today’s complex loyalty world, the industry is searching for easier, more straight-forward approaches. Traveler and credit card programs are now focusing on simplifying the earning and burning of points. They are looking to increase the offer relevancy to their members in order to drive successful engagement and create lasting loyalty.

Start with the simple and successful truth from the ordinary consumer market: the need to understand what consumers really want to buy but also to let them decide when and where to get it.
In doing so, we stray from offering a specific selection of products in a limited space, to opening up possibilities for the member to choose whatever they want and when or where they want to buy it. For programs this means that they best engage if they are able to be present in the member’s natural shopping habitat, a place where members want or need to spend their money. It basically means to have your loyalty currency follow the consumer rather than the consumer having to come to your program.  

So, we need to understand that a member of a loyalty program has to be treated as a consumer. People expect more from a program in return for their loyalty than just using points on offers that may not suit their needs. In order to meet the expectations of members today, your program needs to provide a match. But offering trending fashion brands, with their thousands of SKUs, and giving members access to high-end iconic or luxury brands for their points and miles, has been challenging for programs to date. The same difficulty applies to providing a flawless user experience or booking process for real time ticketing and entertainment websites.  

The creation of such a reward super store would just not be feasible let alone scalable. There is, however, another way and a simpler one for this seemingly complex task.
That is to connect your program directly to these specific merchants. They know best how to handle their brand, offering, catalogue, sales and after sales. Members can go to their favourite store directly and shop while having the full brand experience, complete stock availability, competitive pricing, promotions and offers directly from the source. In short, let your members shop with your points and miles directly at their preferred stores. This can be enabled through a simple button integrated at the online store’s checkout page.

With this solution, they can also reach beyond just spending or redeeming points. In their natural shopping environment, members are willing to spend cash. As a result, a program can easily add the earn side of their business in this scenario. Members can have the choice to either collect or redeem with your program anywhere at any time or even pay with a combination of money and points. This increases points-sales while keeping members constantly engaged with your program. As a result, your so-far cash-out redemption offering, just becomes a cash-in collection option, too.

These new trends offer great opportunities for smart programs that are ready to embrace the change. The key lies in making your offering relevant to your member as a consumer, and in letting your loyalty currency follow their shopping behaviour rather than the other way around. This highly engaging approach creates true brand ambassadors, who can connect with your program each and every time they shop.
The combination of earn and burn is one of the most interesting and promising areas. Not only because it lets you engage more frequently with your member, but also because it generates revenue for your program through additional points sales. 

At Loylogic, we are loyalty experts, carefully watching our industry. We make sure to equip our partners for long-term success and build solutions that bring added value to our clients and their members. We innovate in order to anticipate future trends and developments in the industry and provide agile technology to make our partners’ visions come true. In providing smart choices to programs and their members we make sure that your program points will be loved most. With Pointspay, we are ready to tackle the future of loyalty payments with you.

Have a look at our market-leading solutions to give you an edge and at what we are currently developing to make it permanent. Contact us with any challenge you may face and we’ll sort it out together.