US grocer rolls out mobile loyalty and payments
The Cambridge, MA-based grocery retailer Broadway Marketplace is to launch MobileLime's mobile phone-enabled loyalty programme, which also allows shoppers to receive or request special offers in-store using their mobile phone.
Through the new programme (to be launched next week), Broadway Marketplace will offer loyal customers special savings linked to their mobile phone. With the cellular-based payment and loyalty features of the customised MobileLime programme, the grocer will provide shoppers with instant and individualised rewards, but without the cost and administrative overheads of plastic reward cards.
Membership of the programme is free of charge. MobileLime will be providing special offers before, during and after their purchase transactions, using text messages. The consumer can also call a dedicated toll-free number for new offers.
What's your number? Rather than issuing a membership card or number, MobileLime turns a shopper's cell phone number into their unique identifier - an idea that seems to be increasing in popularity now, as recently predicted by Impaq Group's Mobile Life 1 report (see Jun. 23, 2005). In the UK, Sainsbury's has also recently begun testing a similar scheme (see Sep. 8, 2005).
Unlike the Sainsbury's trial in the UK (which uses a bar-code or electronic ID stored as a text message in the phone) this scheme simply uses mobile phone number which is given by the consumer and entered manually at the checkout. Once identified, the shopper automatically receives any relevant savings toward their purchases.
Retailer benefit MobileLime will also provide Broadway Marketplace with the ability to track and better understand shopper purchasing preferences, helping the retailer to customise special promotions and send real-time offers to improve the overall shopping experience.
Robert Wesley, president and CEO for MobileLime, commented: "Our mobile commerce loyalty programme makes it easier to shop and allows grocers to provide consumers with just-in-time shopping information about new products, sales and promotions."