Why the loyalty industry must innovate to stay ahead

AS ORIGINALLY SEEN IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & LOYALTY PUBLISHED BY RACONTEUR MEDIA ON 29/07/2016 IN THE TIMES. 

The global loyalty market is worth a staggering $100bn and is growing every year, with McKinsey statistics indicating that the average household has 23 loyalty memberships.

However, research demonstrates that people are collecting fewer loyalty rewards, with 2013 WorldPay figures showing a drop of 8m people in the UK alone, compared with 2014. This is, in part, due to a lack of innovation in the industry, coupled with the sheer number of schemes available on the market.

If handled incorrectly, a loyalty scheme can do more harm than merely inspire lethargy. The consumer grows frustrated with a lack of relevant offers in return for their loyalty and begins to shop around, the retailer then doesn’t have the appropriate insight into what their customers like and subsequently runs the risk of sending rewards and offers that offer little in the way of benefit - which can then alienate.

So how can retailers and brands re-invigorate consumers and convince them loyalty is worthwhile, and easily manageable? As the first app that automatically and securely links payment cards to loyalty schemes, Bink bridges the gap between retailers and consumers.

Bink was launched to address the issue that too many opportunities to say thank you are being missed in the loyalty industry. Retailers often don’t have the data and insight to enable them to properly get to know their customer, and the customer can then miss out on valuable rewards as a result.

“All retailers should have a thorough understanding of member interactions, from being able to maintain the quality of the data, through to using it effectively in order to create initiatives that successfully influence customer behaviour,” says Lee Clarke, CEO and founder of Bink.

“The Bink app acts like a portal, making it quick and simple to monitor point balances, so it’s easy to see at a glance what has been accumulated across different schemes and, crucially, what they are worth,” Clarke explains. “This means high-street retailers are able to automatically reward and directly engage their customers, through the simple act of them paying with a linked payment card. There’s no need for a plastic loyalty card or to present an app at the till, just as retailers do online.”

Research proves that convenience is a large driver of loyalty. In line with this, Bink’s functionality means consumers don’t need to carry lots of different cards in order to collect their points and rewards, (a gripe we can all identify with).  Instead, consumers become more likely to shop with brands that Bink, because their points are automatically collected when paying – quickly removing the hassle often associated with loyalty.

Additionally, if a customer is shopping with a brand that ‘Binks’ but doesn’t have a loyalty card, they will be able to join the program and collect points from their last transaction with the click of a button.

It pays off. For retailers, Bink can provide an insightful and complementary service to their schemes, as it quickly helps them to learn much more about their consumer, meaning that they can offer more relevant rewards and tailor their initiatives in a way they will appreciate. “By becoming a Bink partner, retailers will have access to more relevant information on their consumers,” says Greg Gormley, founder and CFO, “which will mean that they can provide a far more personalised service and add value for their shoppers in a more tangible way.”

Several major loyalty schemes have signed up to Bink ahead of its consumer launch later this year, including Avios, Virgin Atlantic, HMV amongst many others and the app looks set to put something of a rocket up the industry. Paul Miller, Director of Digital at Avios says: “Using Bink will make it possible for consumers to gather the points they might otherwise miss out on and be able to enjoy their rewards faster.”

Put simply, everyone likes to feel a bit special. Bink helps to make this happen.