Winning the war for wallet share in ecommerce and tapping into the $12 billion global market
In retail today, competition has never been so fierce. The rise of ecommerce means choices are seemingly endless, and consumer attention is becoming increasingly fragmented as shoppers are targeted from every angle by brands eager to win their share of spend.
In this environment, customer loyalty has never been more difficult to inspire, or more valuable to retain.
By: Gabi Kool
While it can be hard for brands not to get sucked into a race to the bottom, they should take a step back and look for better, more sustainable ways to win long term loyalty — before descending into a discounting spiral.
Inspiring loyalty is far from easy, and today’s customers expect a great deal in return for their active allegiance. And while loyalty programs still have the potential to be highly relevant, those that stick to old fashioned ways of engaging and rewarding members are no longer cutting it.
After all, members today want new ways to earn and spend their points — demanding more choice, more control, and less complexity when it comes to collecting them or cashing them in. For brands looking to make sure their loyalty programs keep up with rising expectations, not only does this mean offering a regular and relevant stream of exclusive deals or one-off experiences. But it also means exploring new marketing and payments strategies, from affiliate programs to boost people’s points earning potential and to smart technology solutions that make points go further when it comes to redemption.
Here, we’ll delve deeper into these strategies, and look at how tapping into innovative ‘MarPay’ solutions could be a win-win for brands as they look for ways to win the battle for customer loyalty…
The payments play: why revamping the checkout is key to unlocking customer loyalty
Today’s consumers demand greater choice and flexibility, even when it comes to payment methods. And, for online merchants, offering the right payment option can act as a key differentiator — reducing customer acquisition costs, boosting retention, increasing conversion, and basket size. Therefore, merchants who fail to offer flexible, frictionless payment options risk losing out.
What’s more, in the current economic climate, people want relevant offers. And here loyalty programs have a unique opportunity to empower members to tap into all their assets — including points — and maximise their spending power at checkout. In this way, loyalty points represent an alternative ‘wallet’ for customers who may prefer not to be spending in cash alone right now.
If loyalty programs can help shoppers unlock their points’ potential at checkout, these businesses are more likely to win the war for share of wallet.
Traditional affiliate marketing: overcoming the lost loyalty problem
In theory, loyalty affiliate marketing should be a simple and successful way for loyalty programs to reward their members. Not only that, but affiliate schemes can be an important revenue stream for programs.
But the reality is often very different.
Many traditional loyalty affiliate marketing programs are full of friction. Tricky to navigate, the customer journey can be like a game of snakes and ladders — with pitfalls along the way that mean that members won’t always end up earning their points. And even when members do qualify for points, it can take weeks for them to be credited to their account — inevitably leading to frustration or disengagement which can erode hard won loyalty.
This broken experience also means that if a program member fails to follow the precise process required to earn points, loyalty programs risk missing out on a lucrative revenue stream. Even when a member does manage to qualify for points, it can be a lengthy and arduous process for loyalty programs to get paid.
‘MarPay’: the win-win-win solution to maximise loyalty
To reap real benefit from affiliate partnerships, both loyalty programs and online merchants need to find a way to optimise the end user experience so points can be earned and spent, simply and seamlessly.
Sitting at the intersection of affiliate marketing and payment, MarPay technology, like Loylogic’s Pointspay, can unlock these benefits.
By connecting online merchants with leading loyalty programs and their millions of affluent members, marketing technology and payment solutions like these allow members to spend their points and miles in combination with cash every time they shop at select online stores — and earn more of both when making a purchase with affiliated merchants.
Harnessing cutting-edge technology means that traditional pain points in the customer journey can be ironed out to create a seamless, simple, and smooth user experience that will keep customers coming back. Points earned can be credited straight away, while shoppers gain total control and choice over how they spend their points at checkout.
This allows merchants to capture greater share of wallet, boost average order value and increase retention rates, while gaining access to new customers. Indeed, we’ve found that online merchants can increase average basket value (ABV) by 30% by offering Pointspay as a payment option at checkout.
Meanwhile, this innovative MarPay solution enables loyalty programs to tap into a lucrative revenue stream by boosting point sales. At the same time, it provides them with a low-cost redemption opportunity — driving engagement with members by offering new and exciting ways to earn and spend points.
For shoppers, Pointspay quite simply ‘frees points’, helping them to afford more by adding value to what they already have and providing new ways to earn and spend wherever they want — so customers can effectively buy more and pay less.
It’s a win-win-win for programs, merchants, and customers and the next big differentiator for merchants, loyalty programs in today’s highly competitive retail environment.
To find out more about Loylogic’s Pointspay solution for loyalty programs, please visit us here.
Gabi Kool is the Chief Commercial Officer at Loylogic and has held many C-level positions in the global loyalty marketing industry. Having lived and worked in Asia, Europe and North America, he served major Fortune 500 clients across the airline, hotel, FMCG and retail sector. Gabi also has extensive experience in founding, building and selling MarTech startups.