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Smart Marketing: The Business Benefit of Loyalty Programs

Online and mobile transactions may be the direction everything is heading, but consumers still like shopping in person, and increasingly favour plastic over cash when paying for their purchases at point of sale (POS).

A recent Industry Canada Consumer Trends Report shows that loyalty/membership card use has been trending for the past two decades, together with a rise in use of everything from pre-paid cards and gift cards, to debit and credit cards.

Businesses do, too; merchant cards are just as popular, when making B2B or wholesale/commercial purchases.

Many people still have a high comfort level with shopping in person, but increasingly with a preference for the kind of payment processing and shopping convenience provided by technology – such as quick price checks, QR codes, self-service checkouts, and using cards as a form of payment.

With the wide variety of payment options now readily available to consumers, all the more reason why every business, no matter how small, needs to be “tech ready” at POS to remain competitive. However, investing in technology is expensive. Retailers are also charged ongoing fees for debit and credit card transactions that can be a significant burden to small business.

Let’s get back to loyalty/membership cards, and the success of loyalty/membership programs that reward purchasers in some way: how difficult or expensive are these to set up? A Forbes article notes loyalty programs (the article specifically cites mobile apps) that can be tailored to a specific business’ needs, are a lower cost alternative for SME interested in cost efficiently taking advantage of the tech trend. The article also notes that loyalty programs have been in use by large companies (e.g. Air Miles and Starbucks) for a long time – so they have always been popular, and they do work.

Enter the Global Coupon Access Card program. Both business and consumer members of the platform can purchase the annually renewable membership card, which gives the cardholder a volume discount at POS of participating business’ “bricks and mortar” outlets. The card works for both B2B as well as B2C purchases, and the amount of the discount is determined by the participating business itself – and can be changed at any time. The Access Card discount can also be tied in with brand offers/coupons posted on the platform by participating retailers, as an additional savings on top of the advertised offer (which can be printed, or simply saved on a mobile device and the barcode/QR code scanned) – if the purchaser enters an actual store to make their purchase, instead of purchasing online.

From the purchasers’ perspective, whether you are a consumer or another business shopping online or in-store, Global Coupon gets you great value. From the discount providers’ perspective, opting to be a participating business increases your profitable sales on more goods and services to more customers, and you can easily control and change what the Access Card provides to consumer and business patrons, as your business needs change.

Cost effective? Yes. Effective, period? Yes. Have loyalty programs influenced the way you purchase?

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