By 2020, more than 3 billion mobile loyalty cards will be integrated into apps or operate as mobile-only, according to a new study from Juniper Research.
The study found that brands and retailers are responding to consumer demands for better integration with mobile devices.
The improved targeting and personalization has achieved more activity from users and customers by keeping offers and deals relevant and timely.
Typically, loyalty usage will take a dip when a dearth of relevant offers presents itself. It also allows retailers to increase the lifetime value of a customer by tailoring offers appropriately.
As of last year, there were 1.4 billion mobile loyalty cards, but that number is set to more than double in the next four years.
However, the success of mobile loyalty does not lie in the fact of its existence — relationships need to be managed. Brand loyalty has fallen in recent years as customers shop around for the best deals, but well-constructed mobile loyalty programs are able to pump the brakes on that dip to some extent.
Mobile loyalty programs tend to go hand in hand with mobile payments, despite their low rate of integration so far. Millennials tend to adopt payment technology more quickly as well.
The volume of mobile payments is expected to triple from 2015 to 2016, according to eMarketer. In 2015, mobile payments accounted for about $8.71 billion in the U.S., with users spending an annual average of nearly $376 through their devices. By 2016, users will spend an annual average of $721.47, driving total mobile payment transactions to reach $27.05 billion.