WersDa Blog

Providing our mobile expertise to supermarkets

It’s time to renovate loyalty cards. Part 2

Ryan Lons

After signup then what? Follow with functionality Part 1 here
Now that you’ve signed them up and have them logged in. You did it in a quick, low hassle manner that positively reinforced use of your site or app with a reward. Now you need to keep them coming back to the tech. By now they’re shopping at least semi-regularly at your stores and bring their phone, which should have your app and a digital version of the loyalty card, or the actual in person plastic loyalty card. You have value and benefits you want to pass on to them they need to be using your site and/or app to take full advantage of them.

Loyalty card related features
Your app/site is not about you; it’s about your customers. If this is not your mindset already, it should be. There are numerous features you can design and throw in the app or site but the UI should remain clear and clean. Because the loyalty card is the interaction point, features directly related to it should be more easily accessed. These features are “about” the user and will be more interesting to the user. With that in mind, what features should you have in your app and website?

Purchase history
At minimum your site and/or app should show users their purchase history. This is simple and just needs to present a chronological list with some basic ability to search it. Maybe group items by purchases for convenience.

I’d love to see features that allows breakdown of a users purchase history based on common product catagories by week, month and year. For example, amount spent on cleaning supplies vs. amount spent on meat vs. amount spent on canned goods, vs. amount on produce etc. Show the numbers with pretty charts. Numbers are better than nothing but charts are sexy and engaging and another opportunity to throw your brand colors in the users face in an unobtrusive fashion. Also, show how much they would’ve save by buying generics or maybe in bulk. Profit margins are better on your generic brands. Show them both what they could've bought and it's potential savings and what they did save from the generics they bought.

Smart coupons
This is a no brainer here. Augment what you have with purchase history with your coupons. Start by allowing users to see their coupon history, how much have they saved with you? Provide new coupons for upcoming shopping trips. Display missed opportunity coupons or coupons they could’ve used and money they could’ve saved. Coupons are a separate feature set in the app from purchase history and need to be well designed for their purpose. They are a feature set that will see a high degree of use, testing and tweaking. User interaction will be key.

Helpful reminders
Help users with reminders for commonly bought items. If I, as a customer, buy Tide laundry detergent once a month, and it’s been about a month, and you have a coupon for your generic, present it to me now, and tell me why.

Be transparent, you want to give me a deal and that’s good. But it’s somewhat creepy for you to send me a detergent coupon when I need it with no explanation. If instead you’re upfront with your algorithm, it appears thoughtful and considerate of you. You knew it was about time for me to buy soap again based on my buying pattern, that helpful.

“Commonly bought together with …”
Show me items that are commonly purchased with the items I usually buy. If I like strawberry ice-cream and strawberry pop tarts, and other people who like those things also buy strawberry yogurt, let me know, I might be willing to try it out.

Smart shopping lists
Shopping lists are a natural fit here too. Instead of just having a feature where users build a list of items, leverage the other features like reminders and “bought together with” during list creation. When a user tells you what they want to buy upfront, they give you amazing cross sales and up sales opportunities.

Shameless plug: the WersDa mapping engine works with your shopping lists. In addition to routing out all of your customers list items it could also show these opportunistic items on the map of your store as the shopper navigates the space. If they opt in, WersDa can add the items to their sopping list and get an optimized route with the new opportunistic buys included. If I as a user don’t have to look for the strawberry yogurt you’re suggesting to me, I’m more likely to try it out. (end plug)

Gamification (more of a strategy than a single feature)
A clever grocery store company could use “gamification” tactics for lack of a better word.  Specifically with regard to purchases and maybe overall points. Using rewards patterns found in games can be very successful in driving usage. We’re going to have multiple posts specifically on gamification in the future because it’s not a small subject and is worth in-depth exploration for the grocery context.

You’ll notice here there are a few main themes to revamping the loyalty card interaction for digital, making everything more transparent for one, and secondly making it all about the customer and not the store. The loyalty aspect may only be one part of your website and app, but it and its supporting features are arguably some of the most important. The app or site can have news and events but they are secondary. This interaction point is about the customer and for the customer.

If you’re the first amongst your competition to get this right your going to have a real strategic advantage with regard to you customer interaction and marketing.