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Loyalty Newswire – January 18th, 2021

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 18, 2021

As humans (and marketers), we must push forward into 2021 with a positive mindset and outlook for our future. As usual, here's our curated list of industry news.

Our goal is to make it easy and simple for busy loyalty professionals to stay up to date with essential news and trending topics. If you enjoy our content and want to show your support, subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive content, events and more!

  • Walmart-owned e-commerce giant, Flipkart, partners with over 5,000 retailers in India as it launches SuperCoin Pay to enhance customer convenience and its loyalty program
  • Salesforce announces new Loyalty Management product that gives companies a 360-degree view of all members
  • Los Angeles-based pet retailer, Healthy Spot, unveils a new loyalty program dubbed MIND BODY BOWL Benefits
  • Customer Loyalty Accelerator asks: Can your loyalty program be "trained" or customized to "fetch repeat sales"?
  • Sephora announces a new initiative to combat racial bias based on a culmination of customer and employee surveys plus research that's been ongoing since 2019
  • The Commerce Department reported that US retail sales have dropped for the third month in a row
  • Fabric has raised $136 million in venture capital as it aims to convert big-box stores or gyms into last-mile fulfillment centers
  • Walgreens plans to launch a credit card and a prepaid debit card as part of its push into the financial services sector
  • Tech Mahindra acquires Payments Technology Services, a "step-down subsidiary of fintech firm FIS" for US $9 million
  • Gemini announces the launch of its Gemini Credit Card that will offer cryptocurrency rewards to cardholders
  • Millions of WhatsApp users seek alternatives after changes to its privacy policy raised data privacy concerns worldwide
  • The US hotel industry unemployment rate has dropped below 20% due to people fleeing the sector altogether


Flipkart doubles down on rewards program, partners with 5,000 retail outlets in India

Quotable: “Flipkart on Monday launched SuperCoin Pay that its customers will be able to use across thousands of retail stores across the country as Walmart-owned e-commerce giant bets on its loyalty program to win and sustain its user base in the world’s second-largest internet market. The Bangalore-headquartered e-commerce giant said it had partnered with over 5,000 retail outlets including TimesPoints, Peter England, Cafe Coffee Day and Flying Machine across India to give its customers a “greater value and choice” to cash in on their Flipkart loyalty program, called SuperCoin Rewards.”

Salesforce Introduces Loyalty Management to Help Drive More Meaningful Customer Loyalty Experiences

Quotable: “Salesforce Loyalty Management will empower companies across industries, including retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, travel and hospitality, to create engaging and effective loyalty programs with clicks, not code, so that technology can be quickly implemented and easily customized.”

Healthy Spot Launches New Loyalty Program: MIND BODY BOWL Benefits

Quotable: “Over the holidays, Healthy Spot, a Los Angeles-based pet retailer founded by Andrew Kim and Mark Boonnark, launched its new loyalty program, MIND BODY BOWL Benefits. Offering a more rewarding shopping experience, the program is free to join and members earn points on purchases made in stores or online at healthyspot.com that can be redeemed for a variety of rewards including dollar rewards, dog grooming services, days of Small Dog Daycare, treats and more.”

Customer Loyalty Accelerator Asks Companies If Their Loyalty Program Can Be Trained to Fetch Repeat Sales

Quotable: “A customizable loyalty program allows retailers to easily target high-value customers with special incentives that motivate return visits and higher spending. Instead of offering coupons, points or markdowns, encourage return visits by rewarding customers with instant in-store credits. Even leading retailers like Amazon, Costco, Kohl's and Walgreens are using the power of in-store credits to motivate and reward return customer visits with increased spending.”


Sephora’s plan to combat racial bias: Fewer security guards, more Black-owned brands and new protocols

Quotable: “The initiative announced Wednesday is the culmination of customer and employee surveys, interviews and academic research that have been underway since 2019. But issues around race and inequality took on new urgency following the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and the police killing of George Floyd in May, executives said. The chain also has faced backlash from Black shoppers, including the rapper SZA and comedian Leslie Jones, who have spoken publicly about unfair treatment by its employees.”

Retail sales decline for third straight month

Quotable: “US retail sales dropped last month, the Commerce Department said Friday, marking the third straight month without any growth. Retail sales fell 0.7% in December from the month prior. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected sales to be flat. The Commerce Department also revised November's data lower from a 1.1% decline to a 1.4% drop.”

Startup wants to bring “micro-warehouses” to vacant retail

Quotable: “A startup that focuses on creating last-mile fulfillment centers aims to compete with logistics giants. Fabric, which was founded in Tel Aviv but is now headquartered in New York City, has raised $136 million in funding from venture capital, Business Insider reported. The company has partnered with retailers on last-mile distribution centers, often by repurposing former big-box stores or gyms. (FreshDirect is one of its biggest clients.)”


Walgreens looks to credit card, financial services to drive loyalty and boost revenue

Quotable: “The credit cards will launch in the second half of this year. They will be part of the Mastercard network and issued by Synchrony. They will be linked to Walgreens’ new loyalty program, which the company relaunched in November with a new name, perks and Covid pandemic-inspired features, such as curbside pickup and delivery through DoorDash and Postmates.”

Tech Mahindra to acquire Payments Technology Services for about ₹66 crore

Quotable: “The acquisition will give Tech Mahindra access to IPs and licenses for two products - Open Payment Framework (OPF) and Multi-Bank System (MBS), a regulatory filing said. 'The acquired capabilities in the payments space will give us access to IPs and licenses for 2 products, which is consistent with our strategy of pivoting the business towards product and platform implementations and participating in the banking transformation programmes,' Tech Mahindra added.”

Gemini to Offer Credit Card With Crypto Rewards

Quotable: “Gemini, a crypto exchange and custodian, today announced that it will launch the Gemini Credit Card, a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards. This effort has been accelerated by the acquisition of Blockrize, a fintech startup that has been building a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards. In preparation for launch later this year, Gemini has opened the Gemini Credit Card waitlist — providing Gemini customers, and those already on the Blockrize waitlist, with early access.”


WhatsApp controversy highlights growing fears about data privacy

Quotable: “Millions of digital messenger app users seem to have scrambled for alternative services in the last week, after Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced changes to its privacy policy. The reaction highlights a growing concern — and lack of clarity — among users around data privacy. According to the mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower, WhatsApp competitor Signal saw 17.8 million downloads between January 5 and January 12, up from just 285,000 the previous week. ”


U.S. Hotel Industry Unemployment Rate Dips Below 20 Percent for First Time Since March

Quotable: “The U.S. hotel industry unemployment rate continues to fall — but not for any reason worth celebrating. The hotel sector’s 18.9 percent December unemployment rate was a decline from the 21.5 percent seen in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But the sector still lost 24,000 jobs — a sign more workers are giving up their search for a hotel job and no longer counted in the industry’s labor pool.”

Catch last week's Newswire if you didn't have a chance to read it: Loyalty Newswire – January 12th, 2021

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