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Loyalty Newswire – April 19th, 2021

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 19, 2021

Welcome back to the Wise Marketer. Every Monday we compile a list of the latest customer loyalty and marketing news to make it easy for busy professionals to quickly digest important topics. Additionally, we cover payments and data privacy news, if that's your thing. If you enjoy our content and want to show your support, subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive content, events and more! Don't forget to follow us on social media!

  • Smart Transaction Systems (STS) has integrated with Shopify and Big Commerce in a move that enables merchants to manage one program for both their retail and online stores
  • Marriott's loyalty members can now earn points through Uber and Uber Eats
  • Exchange Solutions raises new funds in growth round led by Clipper Ship Ventures
  • Retailers and the gig economy scramble to fill jobs as the industry rebounds, and the demand for pickup and delivery services increases
  • Retail sales saw a major increase in March as stimulus checks were rolled out
  • RetailWire discusses the "retail-as-service" model, and the many ways retailers are branching out to provide various services
  • San Francisco becomes the fourth city to integrate Cubic's contactless payment app with their transit system
  • Dojo, based in the UK, has unveiled their contactless "payment pole" which was designed to take secure payments from a safe distance
  • According to a recent study, the majority of Americans are "concerned and confused about data privacy"
  • Southwest Airlines devalues Rapid Rewards points without prior notice to its members


Smart Transaction Systems integrates with Shopify, BigCommerce

Highlight: Smart Transaction Systems Inc., a Boulder-based company that provides gift-card and customer loyalty programs for retailers, has integrated its offerings with major shopping-cart providers Shopify and BigCommerce. The integrations will enable STS merchants using Shopify and BigCommerce to have one gift-card program available to customers both in their retail stores and online, the company said. The service also includes support for other channels, enabling businesses to connect gift-card malls, social-media platforms and LocalGiftCards.com accounts.

Marriott Bonvoy™ And Uber Team Up For First Of Its Kind Collaboration Enabling Members To Earn Points On Both Food Delivery And Rides

Highlight: "We are continuing to see our members return to travel and are excited to give them more opportunities to earn points toward free nights through Uber rides and Uber Eats," said David Flueck, Senior Vice President Global Loyalty, Marriott International. "This tremendous relationship with Uber reflects our goal to engage members and enable them to earn and redeem points whether traveling or through everyday activities at home."  

Personalized Loyalty Solutions Provider Exchange Solutions Raises Growth Funding

Highlight: “This new investment enables us to accelerate momentum through direct sales and partnerships, and to further establish our market leading position in personalized loyalty solutions,” said Mike Hughes, CEO of Exchange Solutions. “We are entering the next phase of growth at Exchange Solutions and are very excited to partner with Clipper Ship to capitalize on the opportunity before us.”


Walmart, Costco, and Uber are competing more than ever for labor

Highlight: US retailers have long been competing with one another for workers in a high-turnover industry. What’s new is that the gig economy—steering more into delivery—is joining the competition for labor, and increasingly so over the course of the pandemic. Consider DoorDash, the food delivery company. Data from ZipRecruiter shows that the number of job postings for DoorDash in March 2021 was 8,550% higher than in March 2020.

Retail sales explode in March as consumers use stimulus checks to spend heavily

Highlight: Spending for the month was broad-based, boosting sales by nearly 28% from March 2020 as pandemic-related business closings began. The critical bar and restaurant industry saw a 13.4% surge, thanks to the increasing relaxing of restrictions as Covid vaccines accelerate to a pace of more than 3 million a day. Sporting goods spending was the highest percentage gainer at 23.5%, followed by clothing and accessories at 18.3% and motor vehicle parts and dealers at 15.1%.

Are you ready for the retailer-as-service revolution?

Highlight: Services and solutions have quickly become retailers’ growth engine of choice. Major retailers like Walmart, Kroger, Target and Amazon.com have branched out into health services, ad marketing, financial services and more. Media coverage has largely portrayed these efforts as a defensive scramble among retailers, but recent quotes from Walmart CEO Doug McMillon paint a different picture.


San Francisco Becomes the Fourth Transit System to Adopt Cubic’s Contactless Payment App

Highlight: San Francisco late last week became the fourth city to roll out Cubic Transportation Systems’ mobile contactless-payment application, joining Washington D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles. Consumers can use the white-label app and an iPhone or Apple Watch to purchase tickets from the 24 transit agencies that operate the city’s subway, bus, ferry, and light-rail systems. Transit agencies in the Bay area are overseen by San Francisco’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which has named the app Clipper.

Dojo launches social distancing contactless 'payment pole'

Highlight: The payment pole is a handheld pole that attaches easily to point of sale card machines to enable a safe distance for employees when taking payments. The device will be one, additional element to help the industry back on its feet following the nationwide lockdowns, which according to reports has resulted in the loss of an estimated 660,000 jobs in the UK alone.


Americans Get an F on Digital Privacy Knowledge

Highlight: Today’s ecosystem of personalized online content is powered in great part by smartphone apps, many of which are constantly collecting data about their users. For consumers, it can be hard to tell how much they’re collecting and where it’s going. A prior study from Pew Research Center confirmed what many of us might think: that a majority of Americans are concerned and confused about data privacy. Many people felt a lack of control over their personal information and how companies are able to use it. Taking this research into account, we wondered what would happen if we tested mobile app users’ knowledge of their smartphone’s management of their data.


Southwest Airlines Devalues Rapid Rewards Program Without Notice

Highlight: The change is sure to be disappointing to Southwest fans. But it's likely a move to reduce the airline's liability associated with the Rapid Rewards program. Throughout the pandemic, Southwest credit card holders and others earning Rapid Rewards points were earning rewards at the same clip as usual, but they were redeeming at a much lower rate. As a result, the airline's liability likely grew exponentially. This downgrade, the first in three years, was presumably designed to reduce that liability on the airline's balance sheet.

Check out last week's newswire: Loyalty Newswire – April 12th, 2021

The Loyalty Newswire is compiled and edited by the staff at The Wise Marketer.