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How Integrating Loyalty Programs with Mobile Wallets Increases Customer Loyalty

February 15, 2017

How Integrating Loyalty Programs with Mobile Wallets Increases Customer Loyalty

February 15, 2017

With the wealth of comparison data available at practically any consumer’s fingertips, it is not surprising that many brands are experiencing a significant decrease in customer loyalty.

The travel industry is especially susceptible to this. Non-competitive prices, lack of benefits and unexceptional customer experiences will prompt an otherwise loyal customer to try different brands.

While customers may no longer have loyalty for specific brands, they definitely expect every brand to offer a loyalty program with benefits.  According to Points’ The State of Mobile Wallet Loyalty and Engagement in 2016 report, customers are interested in gaining miles and rewards from every purchase they make.  In fact, 68% of consumers have a rewards-collecting credit card, and 85% of Points’ survey respondents are interested in engaging with loyalty programs at the places they shop at the most.

However, with the plethora of current loyalty programs and cards, consumers have a hard time keeping the data straight.  Without knowing where they have points accrued, and what these benefits can be used for, consumers are unlikely to revisit a brand and utilize their points.  In the travel sector customers are not sure where they have miles, how many miles they have and what benefits are available to them in exchange for these miles.  They are also not sure which stores allow them to gain additional miles or rewards.

Enter mobile wallets.

Mobile Wallet Loyalty Programs for Improved Brand Loyalty

Mobile wallets are the optimal platform for offering effective loyalty programs.  58% of consumers are already using their loyalty cards on mobile devices to collect points and miles, and 86% of customers surveyed said they would like to access loyalty programs from their smartphones.

Mobile loyalty programs allow customers to check their status on mobile devices easily, so they can see where their points can be used and where they can earn more points, either at the point of sale or at the time of reservation.

Mobile Wallet Loyalty Programs will provide a Competitive Edge

Considering 45% of consumers use their mobile phone to book hotels, travel and hospitality businesses have a unique opportunity to use mobile payments to increase loyalty.  Mobile wallets with combined loyalty programs offer a compelling method to further increase hotel booking rates and overall loyalty.

Companies offering this capability to their customers stand to gain from the following three benefits:

Increased customer engagement

As mobile wallet loyalty programs turn a previously complex process into a much a simpler one, customer engagement will increase.  Companies can utilize this marketing channel for push advertising, offering special deals for point utilization during low season, or simply as a reminder to customers about their current balance, and how these points can be used.

Personalized offers can further increase customer engagement. Higher engagement will lead to increased reservations from repeat visitors, which is an important target market in the hospitality industry.

Improved customer experience and convenience

Hospitality and travel businesses should work with a payment processing service that enables them to take advantage of the increasing adoption of mobile wallet, and offer this preferred payment method to their customers.

With the ease of a click, swipe or tap, travelers can seamlessly book their next trip from their mobile devices.  By improving the customers’ experience with a simple mobile reservation process, and making it easy to use accumulated benefits from relevant loyalty programs, businesses will win the loyalty of their guests, leading to additional return visits, as well as favorable online recommendations.

A competitive edge over the competition leading to repeat customer visits

Offering benefits across various brands or improved point accumulation can help travel and hospitality providers gain a competitive edge.  Between 65-81% of consumers see these advantages as a key reason to opt for a certain brand.

Travel businesses who go the extra mile (pun intended) will gain the loyalty of repeat customers, further strengthening their position in the market.

Key Takeaways

  • While most travel and hospitality sites offer loyalty programs, many customers still search around, without presenting loyalty to a specific brand.
  • Loyalty programs have not succeeded in improving loyalty, but customers expect all brands to offer such a program.
  • Customers would access and use loyalty programs if they were available over mobile device.
  • Mobile wallets integrated with loyalty programs are attractive for travelers, who are already increasingly using mobile payments to seamlessly complete reservations.
  • Combining mobile wallets with loyalty programs will improve hospitality and travel businesses’ customer engagement rates, customer experience, and it will give them a competitive edge and ultimately increased revenues from return travelers.

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