loyalty programs

Restaurants Up Their Use of Social, Mobile

source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Restaurants-Up-Their-Use-of-Social-Mobile/1010229

Location-based marketing sees a big increase in use

Restaurants around the world are seeing the value in digital marketing, especially programs that can increase customer loyalty and help establishments get the word out among like-minded diners.

In a survey, Hospitality Technology asked US executives overseeing restaurants around the world about a variety of social and loyalty marketing tactics, and found that every single one of these tactics had seen an increase in use among restaurants between 2012 and 2013. Nearly nine out of 10 restaurants used social media outreach this year—the most common tactic by a wide margin—up from 77% in 2012.

Unsurprisingly, the greatest percentage of social-savvy restaurants used Facebook (94%) this year, followed by Twitter (77%) and Yelp (53%). Nearly half also used YouTube. foursquare, used by 42% of restaurants, seemed like it could be leveraged more widely, given its role as a way for users to broadcast their latest check-ins, most often at stores and restaurants. Pinterest saw among the biggest bumps in usage, rising from 17% in 2012 to 28% in 2013.

Among the more general marketing strategies, restaurants also increased their use of daily deals and loyalty programs. And location-based marketing made among the biggest leaps. Sixteen percent of restaurants used the tactic last year, and this year that figure rose to 27%.

Mobile is giving location-based marketing a major boost, and it has a special value for restaurants, offering opportunities to reach mobile users as they’re scouring the streets—and their locati! on-enabled apps—for their next meal.

Both mobile sites and apps saw increased usage among restaurants this year: More than half of respondents had a mobile site, and nearly one out of three had a mobile app.

Menus topped the list as the most common feature available on restaurant apps. A restaurant search feature with location-based GPS was also used by 65% of restaurants with apps—presumably mostly chain restaurants that would have locations in many different places.

Offering nutritional information, integrating with users’ social media sites and ordering food via restaurant apps were also popular mobile app features.

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013 news No Comments

Why Loyalty Credit Cards May Soon Be A Thing Of The Past

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-suisse-retailers-loyalty-programs-2011-12


loyalty credit card

Credit cards have been a staple for retail rewards programs for decades (you know, like that Visa card they try to make you sign up for every time you go to Gap). They’ve been an effective way to reward customers, and for retailers to get additional funding.

But a new report by analysts Michael Exstein, Chrisopher Su and Trey Schorgi at Credit Suisse says that it’s time for retailers to abandon the credit card. Why are credit-based rewards programs not the right way to go anymore?

1. The cost of rewards programs keeps rising for banks. As rewards competition ramps up, issuer margins are pressured.

2. As the programs get more expensive, banks will offset costs in other areas. This will result in either less beneficial terms for retailers, or higher fees for consumers. Retailers may have to increase their own rewards programs to remain competitive

3. Retailers’ relationships with their customers could be hurt, because banks (who are now in control of many retailers’ credit businesses) could squeeze consumers. Since the programs are branded for retailers, not the banks, consumers would deem them responsible.

Credit Suisse instead suggests that the answer to these woes is simple. Switch over to programs based around membership fees or other upfront investments. “Going forward, we think the emerging trend will be the need for consumers to “invest” in loyalty programs, thereby creating a “vested interest,” says the report.

So what brands are doing it right so far?

Amazon — The Amazon Prime membership program has been vastly successful. Consumers pay an annual membership fee of $79, and get shipping benefits, free use of Amazon Instant Video and perks for their Kindle.

Costco — The largest membership warehouse club in the world has three levels of membership. There’s a $55 annual fee for businesses, a $55 ‘Gold’ card for individuals and a $55 executive member upgrade, which gives folks a 2% discount on most purchases.

Sam’s Club — Walmart’s warehouse subsidiary has a similar system, with a $40 per year Advantage card for individuals ($100 for Advantage Plus which offers extra savings) and a $35 per year Business membership ($100 for Business Plus).

Macy’s — “Thanks for Sharing” is a program that’s working for Macy’s to generate loyalty. It requires a $25 upfront investment (which is actually a donation to charity), in exchange for rewards.

Target — The REDcard is a ‘hybrid’ method which has been working well since the retailer started it up in 2010. It offers 5% savings on everything and includes shipping benefits.

These programs all capitalize on the concept of creating that “vested interest.” Customers, having already paid a set of promised benefits, will be more likely to keep spending to use those benefits that they’ve already paid for. They’ll keep coming back.

NOW SEE: The 20 Brands With The Most Loyal Customers >

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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