IHG launches Priority Club Shopping rewards mall
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Cartera Commerce have launched an integrated global shopping rewards programme for hotel guests, allowing IHG's 58 million+ Priority Club members to earn loyalty points for making everyday purchases with hundreds of retailers both online and in stores.
Cartera provided the technological bridge between brand name merchants and Priority Club members, and IHG will be able to take advantage of a number of recent advances in email marketing functionality as well as an online, national in-store, and local merchant network. The platform also provides global search capabilities and a flexible card-linking engine.
"The launch of Priority Club Shopping is an important, strategic initiative. By increasing the value we deliver to our guests, we aim to drive increased engagement and loyalty in the long term," explained Mark Sheperd, director of partnership programmes for IHG.
According to Tom Beecher, president and CEO for Cartera Commerce, the company's own research has shown that investing in loyalty programme rewards is a key component of creating lifetime relationships with customers.
According to Madeline Aufseeser, senior analyst for Aite Group, "Recent research projects the number of US Merchant Funded Incentive programme subscribers to exceed 460 million consumers by 2015, and to drive some US$1.7 billion in annual revenue for card issuers. But the success of these new programmes depends upon an expanded merchant network and a rich set of programme features and system capabilities."
Cartera's newly developed platform was created to help drive revenue growth for banks, card issuers, loyalty programme operators, and merchants, and integrates the Vesdia platform following the companies' merger earlier in 2011. The platform introduces new features including local targeting, an enhanced card-linking engine, and the Cartera Offer Cloud (a large set of ready-to-use, on-demand, card-linked offers involving some 60,000+ in-store brands, local stores and online retailers). Apart from IHG, the company's card-linked marketing solutions are already being used by four of the top five US banks, three of the country's top four airlines, and more than 60,000 merchant advertisers, reaching more than 150 million consumers.
With some 58 million members globally, Priority Club Rewards offers frequent hotel guests a range of features including No Points Expiration, No Blackout Dates, Points & Cash and Flights Anywhere. Members can redeem points not only for hotel nights, but also for airline miles on more than 40 partner airlines, for car rentals, for gift certificates and for hundreds of other products available in the programme's rewards catalogue. The programme also offers members a Personal Shopper programme that allows members to exchange points for items not found in the catalogue. Enrolment in Priority Club Rewards is free.