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Loyalty Newswire – February 13, 2023

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on February 13, 2023

In this week's Newswire you can enjoy a curated list of the latest customer loyalty, technology, payments, and other relevant marketing news. We include a spectrum of topics, all with the intention of keeping you informed and enabling you to star in your next big meeting.

The Loyalty Newswire makes it simple for busy professionals (e.g. YOU) to quickly digest important industry news and trending topics. Keep reading!

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Stay. Loyal. Always.

The power of loyalty program growth on display at Expedia      

During 2021, Expedia Group announced plans to expand Expedia Rewards by combining the loyalty programs from its suite of brands (Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Vrbo) and creating a new program named One Key. The new program will serve more than 154 million members from existing programs and is slated to launch sometime in 2023. Travelocity and Vrbo will participate in a rewards program for the first time. Expedia Vice Chairman and CEO Peter Kern stated that Expedia’s strategy of focusing on the long-term retention of high-value customers is accelerating improved performance across the company. “We entered 2023 with a record number of active loyalty members, which is 10% higher than any prior year,” he said. “And just as importantly, our quarterly active app users increased by approximately 40%.”

The company reported that loyalty members drove two times as much gross profit and repeat business over an 18-month period compared to nonmembers. App users drive 2.5 times the gross profit and repeat business. Kern added “When you combine these two and have a loyalty member who also uses the app, this drives the highest production of all, and that group represented the fastest-growing customer cohort for us in 2022”.

Casey's Convenience Stores positions customer loyalty at the center of its Digital Transformation

Casey’s is the third largest convenience store in the US, with 2,400 locations across 16 states. Casey’s is famous for its pizza and is said to be equivalent to the fifth largest pizza chain in the country.  Caseys launched its loyalty program during 2020 as part of a dedicated journey of digital transformation across the enterprise. The company adopted Salesforce's Customer Data Platform (CDP) and has brought its CRM, loyalty and other data together into one platform. Casey's says it has a unified platform for customer profiles that numbers around 14 million.

Casey’s Rewards membership hit 6 million members in 2022 and 30 day active members are reported to represent more than 50 percent of total membership.

OpenLocker Announces LockerMania to Build Fan Engagement for NIL Movement

You have inevitably heard about the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) movement that is transforming collegiate sports in the US. OpenLocker operates a technology platform that makes it possible for athletes and brands to increase engagement among fans, athletes and brands through purchase of digital and physical collectibles. Building on the Blockchain, the company has launched several fan communities, including the BONE YARD HUSKYZ CLUB™ at the University of Connecticut and ROWDY REDZ™ at Radford University. Registered members of an OpenLocker fan community are granted access to VIP events, exclusive experiences, giveaways and merchant rewards.

The company just announced LOCKERMANIA, a promotion building fan engagement by crediting purchases made on OpenLocker’s platform featuring the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) of student-athletes, as a reward for overall team achievement. All purchases made on an OpenLocker webstore by the start of the first round of the 2023 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament on March 16, 2023 will automatically be eligible for benefits through purchases of collectibles.

US Grocer Albertsons launches Sincerely Health digital and wellness mobile platform

Albertsons Companies is a leading food and drug retailer in the US, operating 2,270 retail food and drug stores with 1,720 pharmacies, 402 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities across 34 states. Albertsons operates multiple brands including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci's Food Lovers Market.

The company just announced the launch of Sincerely Health, a digital health and wellness platform built in collaboration with healthcare providers, insurance companies and tech organizations. The program will be mobile based and is created to enable customers to achieve their health and wellness goals with reward points redeemable for grocery discounts. In the official press release, Omer Gajial, Chief Digital Officer and EVP Health at Albertsons Cos said “We are introducing Sincerely Health with a singular intention to improve lives ... As a grocery and pharmacy retailer committed to the health and wellness of our communities, we are empowering customers to have a connected and personalized view of their health across food, nutrition, activity, mental well-being and pharmacy services, enabling them to make more informed choices.”

American Airlines adjusts its frequent flyer program to raise the bar for AAdvantage Members

American Airlines has made changes to its AAdvantage frequent flyer program with the result that members will have to spend more to earn elite frequent flyer status next year. Among the changes, American Airlines travelers will need more points to earn the lowest tier of frequent flyer status while the airline is jettisoning MileSAAver and AAnytime categories for redemptions. We’ve covered loyalty program devaluation in other sectors of travel loyalty and it seems the trend is continuing.

Goodcents partners with Punchh to launch a new Refreshed Rewards program

According to a study from research firm BIA/Kelsey, a repeat customer spends up to 67% more than a new customer. Rewards programs are also considered strong drivers of restaurant app usage as they generate reliable first-party data, a critical asset for any marketer in the post cookie world. Goodcents is a 33-year-old restaurant chain, self-described as a “quirky neighborhood shop” that believes in customer loyalty as a driver of growth and profitability. The company has partnered with Punchh to launch a new app and Refreshed Rewards program aimed to provide more accurate data to enable personalized marketing to their customers. Punchh specializes in serving restaurant and fast casual loyalty needs.

Snipp releases 2023 Shopper Marketing Technology Landscape study

Snipp has just released its Shopper Marketing Landscape. As the company says, shopper marketing technology covers everything from in-store signage to the expansion of e-commerce and shoppable media to immersive experiences in the Metaverse. Shopper marketing’s main objectives remain the same in this year’s study but there are many new entrants to the space and the playing field can change quickly.  Tom Treanor,  CMO Snipp Interactive, says the 2023 Shopper Marketing Technology Landscape is created to help contextualize the ecosystem and to serve as a jumping off point for exploring and making strategic discussions on how any brand, agency or retail establishment embraces Shopper Marketing.

Ebbo releases 2023 Customer Engagement Data Study

Ebbo (the new brand persona that encompasses Clarus Commerce) its 2023 Customer Engagement Data Study, which focuses on how incentives drive certain consumer behaviors. The study reviews the impact of “loyalty amplifiers” including sweepstakes, trivia, user-generated content (UGC) and more. To better understand the impact these types of tactics have on consumer behavior, ebbo surveyed 2,500 U.S. consumers about the factors that drive their engagement with brands. You can download the full report here.

Quick News

  • Study from Chase says bank mobile app use reaches 87 percent
  • Uber and Lyft invest further in Loyalty Subscription Programs
  • The Psychology of Loyalty: Loss Aversion is a key reason why program changes stir customer anger
  • Clickatell partners with FlySafair on WhatsApp payments
  • Attest releases report on Top consumer trends of 2023

Quote of the Week - Personalization

Art Sebastian is Casey’s VP of digital experience. He shared a view on personalization in this article that all marketers can learn from, saying  "Personalization happens in real time. You can't plan it six, 12 months out. You can plan your business based on seasonality and objectives, but to really personalize the experience, it needs to happen in real time, and be contextual and include previous purchasing behavior up to a minute ago, be contextual at the environment, the city you're in, etc.".

Insight of the Week

The just released Australian Consumer Loyalty Survey from McKinsey reports that high-performing loyalty programs have real potential to offset the challenges confronting consumer-facing organizations in the wake of a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment. Organizations with top loyalty programs can expect higher sales and greater bang for their customer acquisition bucks, with customers enrolled in these programs spending more, churning less, and demonstrating a greater willingness to recommend their favored brands to others.