Why are we being asked to sign up for more and more rewards cards in this day and age? Clicks started it off years back with their Clicks ClubCard, now we have a Woolworths rewards card and most recently a Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card. Let’s not mention your Exclusive Books Fanatics card, Vida e Caffe loyalty card and Ster Kinekor’s movie club card. Enough already. Why is this not all on your mobile phone?
I really like getting rewards for shopping at certain places and racking up points in exchange for cash or discounts, but retail companies (and their agencies who help them) should really start thinking a little further than a branded piece of plastic everyone has to carry around to claim their points. Foursquare, the massively popular location based social network has a leaderboard system that everytime you check into a location, you get points which you use to compete against your friends. This all happens on your mobile phone. Take this exact idea and do the following with retailers:
- Instead of a rewards card, have an app / mobile site that you login to and when you get to the till, show the cashier the barcode or simple 5 digit code that they can scan/enter. You can now easily rack up your reward points.
- Get your customers to add their friends (use Facebook Connect, email and cellnumbers) and have leaderboards for top shoppers. Available to view on your phone.
- The leaderboards can easily be expanded to allow you to create your own competitions amongst friends. Who buys the most coffee from Vida, who shops the most on weekends etc
These are just some simple ideas which can easily be expanded on. Not only do you not have to carry all those cards, but you are in a constant competition with your friends and family. For retailers, you will have even more data on your shoppers, who they are, when they shop and what they buy. You can create even more loyal shoppers by appealing directly to their needs, for example, parents buying hundreds of nappies a month for their new born. Send them a free pack of nappies as a thank you for their loyal support.
Everyone carries a cellphone with them when going shopping. Start thinking along those lines as a retailer and not what else you can give a person to remember and carry with them when they come to shop.