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Loyalty Newswire – February 6, 2023

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on February 6, 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.

  • Amazon floats Kindle Rewards test by invitation only
  • On Point Loyalty report announces the most valuable airline loyalty programs of 2023
  • U.S. Virgin Islands Launches Rewards and Incentive Program for Travel Advisors
  • RXO expands carrier loyalty program with RXO Extra
  • Starbucks Taps Embedded Finance to Improve Customer Experience and Increase Retention
  • Cloud enabled AI charts the Future of Customer Care
  • Trends in cashless spending revealed in latest Federal Reserve Payments Study
  • Quick News
  • Going down the Loyalty Memory Lane
  • Insight of the week

Amazon floats Kindle Rewards test by invitation only

Select Amazon customers in the US have been invited to participate in Kindle Rewards. The program is clearly stated to be in Beta mode and is open by invitation only. Eligible customers will receive 5 Kindle Points per dollar spent on Kindle books and 2 points on print books (excluding textbooks, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, and digital subscriptions). Bonus offers are available. There is a maximum earning limit of 200 points per book or 400 on double points days. Kindle points are redeemable at a 1 percent rate as 300 points can be exchanged for a $3.00 book credit. Points expire 6 months from date of issuance. May only apply in the US to start with. To learn more, navigate to Amazon.com/kindlerewards

On Point Loyalty report announces the most valuable airline loyalty programs of 2023

Using updated inputs for more than 50 primary variables for each program, On Point Loyalty has generated new valuations for airline loyalty programs around the world. Once the best kept secret of the airline industry, loyalty programs irreversibly stepped onto the center stage of global airline economics during the COVID pandemic, with many airlines banking on their programs for survival. Three years after the previous report, this edition takes stock of the FFP landscape and updates the respective valuations. To find out more about the complete top 100, the movements, and the methodology, get the full report here.

U.S. Virgin Islands Launches Rewards and Incentive Program for Travel Advisors

The U.S. Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I) has launched a new rewards and incentive program for travel advisors as a gesture of gratitude, appreciating their hard work and loyalty in promoting the islands to their clients. You can learn all the details here, but in short, advisors can redeem points for merchandise in the store and some of the awards will have a cultural connection with the U.S.V.I.  In the announcement, Joseph Boschulte, commissioner of tourism for the U.S.V.I., said, “Travel advisory community played a vital role in USVI’s success during the pandemic and this new program is meant to reward their efforts and cement those terrific relationships as well as build avenues for new advisors with incentives to book the U.S.V.I. It’s a proactive way to stay connected to the travel advisory community and build lasting relationships.”

RXO expands carrier loyalty program with RXO Extra

Transportation company RXO Inc. said it has expanded its carrier loyalty program to include discounts on hotels, subscriptions to ad-free music station Sirius XM, as well as access to load boards. The program, called RXO Extra, was announced Wednesday and builds on an initiative launched in September 2019. In the official announcement from RXO, Lou Amo, president of RXO’s truck brokerage business, said, “At RXO, we believe in going the extra mile for carriers, who are the backbone of our business. With the launch of RXO Extra, we’ve added more exclusive partnerships and discounts and built a streamlined online marketplace that makes these cost-saving opportunities easy to access. RXO Extra will put more money in carriers’ pockets, drive carrier loyalty in RXO Connect and expand RXO’s massive capacity that shippers count on.”

Starbucks Taps Embedded Finance to Improve Customer Experience and Increase Retention

Starbucks earns consistent attention from its loyalty program but when you review the entirety of the company’s journey in creating superior customer experiences and building customer loyalty, much of what they have done falls under the FinTech umbrella. This article summarizes the Starbucks journey and includes a sweet infographic covering all initiatives. The latest new feature, Starbucks Odyssey, was launched in beta in December, providing a small group of waitlist members in the US the opportunity to participate in a series of interactive activities and earn non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Cloud enabled AI charts the Future of Customer Care

This informative article from Deloitte shows the weak points in customer care operations that were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To close these gaps, new approaches to improving the customer care experience for both agents and customers are highlighted, concluding that cloud-enabled AI solutions, delivered via a consumption-based operating model, can reduce the workload of live agents, allowing them to focus on higher-touch interactions that are more satisfying and bring more value to the business’s bottom line. Interesting is that these new technologies can also deliver a more consistent, personalized, and empathetic experience. Enjoy the read.

Trends in cashless spending revealed in latest Federal Reserve Payments Study

The 2020 Federal Reserve Payments Study, supplemented by 2021 data showed a general continuation of past payment trends, with card and ACH both gaining share at the expense of check. Payment behavior changed sharply in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, with ACH gaining substantially as a share of noncash payments by both number and value. The pandemic may have helped to spur growth of innovative payment methods, such as in-person contactless card, digital wallet, and P2P payments. This article offers a solid summary of the report findings or you can access the full report directly here.

Quick News

  • P97 Networks is teaming up with Visa to deploy its token technology. The partnership is meant to reduce friction with in-car payments and enable EV charging across public networks.
  • Let us Nudge launches solution to help restaurants maximize revenue during busy and slow day parts. The restaurant optimization company adds to its Nudge@Home app with this new tool.
  • Duffy Sports Grill is building up for the “big game” with a host of new promotions via its Duffys MVP program. This program continues to be effective for this 33-location sports bar concept.
  • REI lays off more than 150 employees. CEO Eric Artz said in a message to employees “we have clear goals for the future of the co-op and are confident in our long-term strategies.”
  • KWIK says it is changing the landscape of affiliate and influencer marketing by facilitating a seamless integration for people to become brand ambassadors with a single click.

Going down the Loyalty Memory Lane

Remember Groupe Aeroplan, later rebranded in 2011 as Aimia? Once a highly focused loyalty technology and services provider, the new Aimia is an investment management company that just announced the acquisition of an Indian manufacturer of aquaculture solutions . How times change?

Insight of the week

We talk a lot here about the importance of involving front line employees in the execution of customer facing marketing programs. Investing in training and including associates (team members) in loyalty programs can boost customer enrollment and engagement. Sheetz, the 13th ranked convenience store retailer on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 had another issue to solve that impacted associate buy-in.

The company had instituted a hiring policy, now known as the “smile policy”, stating that “applicants with obvious missing, broken, or badly discolored teeth (unrelated to a disability) are not qualified for employment with Sheetz.” The policy went further to say that existing employees who had visible dental problems would be expected to resolve them within roughly 90 days. After evaluating employee feedback and coverage in the media, Sheetz has discontinued the policy.