At this point, the evidence that mobile loyalty programs drive profitable customer behavior is approaching "overwhelming." That said, we at the Wise Marketer are always game to pile on - and the latest evidence comes courtesy of mobile marketing company 3Cinteractive, which reports that 62 percent of U.S. mobile shoppers surveyed report increased store visits as a direct result of interaction with mobile loyalty programs, up from 59 percent last year. The mounting evidence begs the question: Can mobile loyalty programs save retail?
Other key stats from 3Cinteractive's "2017 Mobile Loyalty Progress Report, which surveyed 2,300 consumers and 580 brand marketers:"
- 64% percent of brands reported an increase in loyalty program membership over the last year, up from 34 percent last year; most marketers surveyed cited the addition of mobile components as the biggest contributor.
- 21% -- SMS
- 21% -- Push notification
- 18% -- Mobile wallet
- 18% -- Mobile app
- 10% -- Virtual assistants
- 8% -- Message app
- 51 percent of brands reported using mobile to deliver coupons and offers to loyalty members, up from 12 percent last year.
- On the downside, 62 percent of shoppers surveyed cited inconvenience as their top reason for not signing up for a mobile loyalty program.
- Meanwhile, of those brands who have not launched a mobile component to their loyalty program, 81 percent cited lack of technical resources and support as their main obstacles to mobile loyalty implementation.
Most interestingly, consumer awareness of artificial intelligence (AI) powering Intelligent Assistants (IA) is growing. Money quote:
"Our 2017 Mobile Loyalty Survey found integration with IA ranked #1 with customers as the most important feature/benefit of a loyalty program. However, 0% of customers say ' currently able to interact with the loyalty programs they belong to using IA. While they lag customer interest with IA integration into their loyalty programs, the opportunity with IA is not completely lost on brands. We asked brands what they saw as the next big opportunity for their loyalty program—and over one-third (35%) said Artificial Intelligence(AI) / Chatbot Integration. Nearly 20% said they saw IA integration as the next big opportunity."
To answer our introductory question: Can mobile loyalty programs save retail? Certainly not alone - but as the 3Cinteractive survey shows, mobile loyalty programs have become and increasingly important and valuable component of the brand-shopper relationship.
Download the 3Cinteractive report here.