Mara Kelly, Kobie Vice President of Customer Strategy, Kobie Marketing, a leader in loyalty and rewards initiatives design, management, and consulting, shared with Chris Brosey of Loyalty360 the shifting retail landscape, the road ahead, and the loyalty strategies that are most relevant today.
(Loyalty360) Why has the retail industry been hit so hard in times of the “Amazon boom?” Is it from a lack of adjustments or simply a sign of the times?
(Kelly) …”Those retailers that are willing to adapt are seeing success. Those that focus on the customer, convenience, relevant content, competitive pricing, and that are willing to partner with Amazon if their own infrastructure cannot support those functions, are those that are not just surviving, but thriving.”
(Loyalty360) Will personalization become more or less popular in retail in the coming years?
(Kelly) “… We're seeing more personalization in marketing communications across industries, and loyalty programs are helping retailers personalize content, promotions and the overall experience. One of the strongest benefits of loyalty programs is the ability to gather accurate data about loyal customers' shopping behaviors and preferences to better personalize experiences…”
(Loyalty360) Tell us more about the Omni-channel Loyalty approach at Kobie. Is there a specific success story… in regards to how it helped a business within the industry?
(Kelly) “Kobie’s approach is always about the customer and putting their preferred experience first, not about the capabilities of the channel. It is a given that any loyalty strategy or program should be supported and accessible across any touchpoint.…clients (must) ensure that they recognize the most appropriate way to generate enrollment and engage with their members.”
(Loyalty360) Are there any unique stories you’ve seen recently where a retail business has made the necessary adjustments to drive frequency and store traffic?
(Kelly) “Loyalty programs are very popular right now. A quarter of consumers actively earn and redeem points in more than three programs, according to Kobie Marketing's new research, Loyalty in the Age of the Connected Consumer… a loyalty program will not fix a broken business… but it can help grow and retain customers… (if) the business offers viable and relevant products and services…”