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The business world was already undergoing several structural shifts prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital Transformation had witnessed a noticeable acceleration starting in the second decade of the 21st century, as businesses increasingly sought to leverage digital technology — such as mobile, cloud, and analytics — to improve on customer experience and operational efficiency.

Naturally, the surge in all things digital also meant that loyalty programs had to evolve to keep up with the resulting change in consumer behavior. Luckily, there are a number of digital technologies that can improve their chances of success. We highlight the following:

Artificial Intelligence

The good news is that digital produces data, and lots of it. So much so that the challenge becomes about making full use of it, and this is where artificial intelligence comes into play. Simply put, AI can help your company understand data better, and in more ways than ever before and predict future events effectively

Particularly, it allows you to elevate customer personalization, and in turn improve the customer experience of your loyalty program. Using AI to power predictive analytics for instance will help you understand the behaviors of your consumers more accurately, predict their spending patterns, and ultimately gauge their real value.

Mobile Apps

The pandemic has led customers to gravitate more towards the convenience of on-the-go services. Meanwhile, presence across all channels has become the standard for brands and retailers alike, with smartphone apps standing out as powerful tools for customer acquisition and retention.

And here’s why: Digital loyalty cards stored on mobile phones allow for easy identification of customers, while mobile-based engagement captures richer customer data, which can prove invaluable for loyalty programs and provide a much needed competitive edge. With geo-tracking enabled, brands can push relevant offers to customers using push notifications. Lastly, mobile applications open up new avenues for a gamified customer experience, which in turn can help shape new habits and strengthen loyalty.

Contactless Payment

Today’s shoppers are more conscious about hygiene than ever. It stands to reason then that brands that offer touchless interactions will gain favor with customers.

So what does this mean for loyalty programs?

Embedding payment into your loyalty program automatically provides you with access to your customers’ transactional data. Typically, payments made through point-of-sale software do not capture the identity of the customer making the purchase, unless the program is already integrated with the POS. But since customers have their data already uploaded onto the loyalty program (a requisite for signing up) capturing this data becomes seamless.

Parting Words “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” – Henry Ford.

At Related, we constantly strive to deliver the latest innovation to our customers, ensuring that they are able to harness the best of what technology has to offer, but that’s just one pillar of our vision.

Winning Best Technology Provider at the Incentive Awards last year was a testament to our approach. And it is in this spirit of sharing that we were particularly honored and delighted to pass on the torch to the next great tech innovator, at this year’s IA. It was a great pleasure to hand in the Award for Best Tech Provider for an innovative product, and we wish the winners all the best in their future projects.


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