October 2, 2018

Retailers Shouldn't Ignore Card‑Linked Offers

Written By
Edward Mock

There have been 13 retail bankruptcies in 2018 as of August. And massive store closings - Subway, Kmart, Rite Aid, Teavana, Best Buy to name just several. It’s more important than ever for retailers to create marketing programs that attract consumers to stores and build loyalty that keeps them coming back.

Bringing consumers back to stores - the evolution of rewards and loyalty

With the increase in online shopping partly contributing to store closures, the good news is that according to Retail Touchpoints, 94% of all retail purchases still take place in stores.

While consumers are still purchasing in store, they used to make several trips to a store before buying an expensive item. The old path to purchase was much more linear.

Back in those days, rewards programs were in the form of a paper punch card that either lived in your wallet or got lost before you could use it. If it was in your wallet, you usually forget about it until you got to the retailer and dug through the heap to get that exciting punch that would bring you one closer to a free item. Then you forgot about it again. They did little to draw consumers into stores, but they did “surprise and delight” when the reward was finally reached.

Today the buyer’s journey has changed. Instead of visiting the store and talking to an associate to learn more, consumers rely on a mix of mainly digital channels to gather more information.

And with the buyer’s journey, rewards programs have evolved in effort to bring customers into stores. Marketers ditched the punch cards, and rewards programs are much more technically relevant and engaging. A report by Forrester indicates consumers view rewards programs favorably, and they are looking for new and innovative programs.

Card-linked cash back offers are one way rewards programs have evolved, and consumers love them. McKinsey found that consumers’ use of card-linked mobile and digital coupons have more than quintupled in each of the past two years. And best-in-class marketers are catching on - McKinsey predicts card-linked offers and mobile coupons by brands will continue to grow by around 50% from now to 2019.

“Over the past 12 months, card-linking has emerged as the killer app in online-to-offline (O2O) commerce and the Internet of Things,” said Silvio Tavares, CardLinx president and CEO.

With minimal effort, through card-linked cash back offers, brands can integrate rewards across their online and offline channels to help drive in-store sales - Forever 21 saw a 7% higher frequency of in-store shoppers. As an added benefit, cash back card-linked strategies allow marketers to gather broad transactional data to learn about customer purchasing behavior, which they can use to create more effective marketing strategies.

Personalization - The future of card-linked cash back offers

Personalization is no longer a nice to have, but table stakes for success, with 60% of consumers expecting brands to deliver tailored experiences, and 43% reporting that their desire for personalization has grown in the last year alone.

Consumers not only want a good deal, they want their favorite brands to know them - it’s about to get cold where they live, they are shopping for winter clothes, they prefer a laid back style, and they are glued to their phone - and then, they want to receive targeted recommendations that are a perfect fit for their needs and preferences. Some brands are already doing amazing things with data to deliver highly personalized marketing.

Target found a way to use all the data at their fingertips to market baby products to women before they have a baby. Specifically, Target marketers were able to send specially designed ads to women in their second trimester, which is before they get bombarded with other baby ads, and when most expectant mothers begin buying all sorts of new things, like prenatal vitamins and maternity clothing. Through hyper-personalization, Target created a strong relationship between brand and mother.

Personalization in card-linked cash back offers has grown to meet the goals of marketers looking to build Target-inspired personalized strategies. Card-linked cash back offers provide data that allows marketers better reach customers with offers based on past purchases. Dosh’s platform provides brand partners with transactional data from amount spent, to transactions per subscriber, to competitive performance data that allows marketers to target consumers with more relevant cash back offers. The future of card-linked cash back offers lies in taking that personalization to the next level.

Retailers can’t afford to ignore the evolution of rewards programs that bring consumers to stores. The future of national brick and mortar retailers depends on how well they can consistently attract new customers and build customer loyalty that drives consistent in-store sales. Card-linked cash back offers help struggling retailers create personalized marketing efforts that draw consumers into stores and keep them coming back. Get in touch with a Dosh marketing specialist who can help you build a card-linked cash back strategy to see immediate ROI.

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