Loyalty Programmes, an effective marketing tool, is now being deployed widely in the mobile money industry as well. Mobile service providers across the world are coming up with innovative loyalty programmes not only to attract new customers but also to address the issue of customer attrition.
What are loyalty programmes?
We hear about loyalty programmes every now and then and are members of some of them ourselves. But, technically speaking, what are loyalty programmes? Loyalty programmes are an efficient marketing tactic where sellers encourage people to continue the relationship with them and get rewarded for their loyalty. They are offered in various forms – loyalty card, reward card, advantage card, etc.
Loyalty programmes were the brainchild of credit card marketers and were traditionally offered through plastic and paper. However, as the world is moving into the digital space, loyalty programmes too are going into the virtual world. Now, loyalty programmes are offered mostly offered through online rewards where the points can be redeemed online conveniently.
Loyalty Programmes in Mobile Money
Mobile service companies are using mobile money to their best advantage. Loyalty programmes through mobile money are set to change the customer shopping experience completely. They have a huge potential and is now being exploited rightly by the mobile service providers.
So how does a loyalty programme in mobile money work? Mobile service providers follow customer behaviour closely by studying the browsing history of phones, downloaded apps, etc. As mobile payment services gain popularity and the customer base grows, more and more information is available to mobile service providers. They, in turn, share this information with the mobile money providers. This information is used by advertisers to the best of their advantage by giving relevant discounts to customers for payment through mobile money.
Loyalty programmes are about to change the way customers shop. In fact, it is a win-win for both customers and brands. While the customers get to enjoy exclusive discounts, the mobile money service provider gets repeat users, thus retaining valuable customers.
Nature of Loyalty Programmes
The way of rewarding customers for their loyalty to the carrier varies. Cashbacks, discounts, reward points, coupons remain the main source of awarding customers for their loyalty. For example, Paytm offers instant cashback to customers for each usage, airtel money provides loyalty points to users which can be redeemed later for various services, etc. Each of the loyalty programmes has its own benefits and own appeal. Each of the service providers use all of these methods to lure customers and retain them from time to time.
In the US, as of 2015, there were 3.3 million mobile money loyalty programmes which were a 26% increase over 2013. The number is expected to rise higher in 2016.
Benefits of Mobile Money Loyalty Programmes
A loyalty programme is a winner both for the merchants and the consumers. There are several reasons why is it so:
Customer engagement and retention
The main benefit of loyalty programmes is customer engagement and retention. When customers find that the service provider is rewarding them for usage, they stay along with the service provider. They not only stay loyal to the provider, they also recommend to friends and family. This is the best benefit that can be achieved through any marketing programme.
A definite competitive edge
Loyalty programmes are an effective marketing strategy and are difficult to surpass by using any other marketing tactic. Rewarding shoppers for their money and time is a winner, customers feel good being acknowledged. The fact that every tap of the mobile money will earn rewards and discounts encourage consumers to not only sign up for the programme but also to stay engaged with the programme.
An effective way of enhancing customer engagement
Loyalty programmes are an effective way of engaging with the customers. Loyalty programmes let the mobile money service provider conduct effective branding and marketing exercise. By including loyalty programmes, mobile money providers become a part of the customer’s day to day lives.
Enhanced customer convenience
It’s customer convenience, all the way. Through loyalty programmes, merchants are actually encouraging customers to shop more and thus use the e-wallet. No doubt, customers are hooked onto it and crave for more.
Loyalty programmes in mobile money are the next in thing in the digital payment world. While more and more mobile money service provider continues to integrate loyalty programmes in their scheme of things, there are further opportunities that the service providers can explore. The market too will become more competitive in the coming days. This is a space worth watching out for to see how the merchants innovate to bring in unique features to their loyalty programmes.