As Apple and Android Pay programs start to come into vogue, many retailers are starting to think about how that technology can tie into their customers’ experiences. The conversation often turns to loyalty programs.
FiveStars powers digital loyalty programs, customer relationship management (CRM), and marketing solutions for local businesses. The company is on track to reach 9 million consumers and to be present at 10,000 locations by the end of the year.
Alt says the retail experience has been fragmented and broken for a while, and that loyalty programs are key to putting the customer experience back together.
eMarketer forecasts 210% growth in the total value of mobile payment transactions in 2016 — up to $27.05 billion from $8.71 billion. Even further into the future, Forrester predicts that U.S. mobile payments will increase to $142 billion by 2019.
Many retailers and marketers will be hoping to get a cut of those future revenues by creating apps that make their loyalty programs more accessible through a mobile app. FiveStars works with businesses that often don’t have much of a customer database, then helps them extend their reach by including them in their network of businesses.
Szeto says there’s a lot of potential in mobile as payments and loyalty begin to intersect. Single brand players like Starbucks get brought up often as success stories (though they are marketing to caffeine junkies), but Szeto says there is more to loyalty than making mobile payments and tracking points.
“If you think bigger about what loyalty means, it’s not just about tracking how many points you’ve got and what rewards you’re giving away. It’s getting the most loyal customers to come back often, and to spend more when they do,” says Szeto.
Although FiveStars doesn’t have a mobile payment option built into their app yet, Szeto says they hope to have something up and running by next year.