We live in a world of instant gratification and spontaneity. Technology has enabled convenience and simplification, and raised our expectations that we can get whatever we want, whenever we want.
And it is not just the Gen Zs that are benefiting and demanding a world of ‘now’, but everyone from Baby Boomers to Millennials. Basically, everyone has been spoiled by technology and is part of ‘Generation Now’.
‘Gen Nows’ benefit from Ease, Speed and Choice
Thanks to technology, planning ahead is less critical and getting what we want ‘now’ is our reality. Instant communications via text. Instant 24/7 online news. Instant photo sharing. Seconds to order a car service or food delivery. Same day order and delivery for merchandise from leading retailers and e-tailers. The list goes on, and as it grows, the bar is raised for every way consumers relate and transact. Gradually the ‘old’ way of purchasing is disrupted and replaced by an improved, faster, customer experience.
How consumers pay for goods and services has also changed dramatically. The slow and once commonplace process of making a purchase with a personal check in retail stores is almost obsolete, replaced by the speed and convenience of credit and debit cards at the retail point of sale and ‘in-app’.
The preference for instant, fast, and easy is now possible in another aspect of our lives – our coveted rewards programs. Consumers participate in an average of 14 reward programs, but are only active in less than half of them. Low engagement with rewards programs is driven by multiple reasons but most issues seem to revolve around the lack of relevance, poor value and the inconvenience of using rewards currencies. As rewards members know, points and miles from major Financial Institutions and Travel & Hospitality programs are primarily redeemed through online catalogs, a brand’s website, or through one or two major eCommerce sites. It is just not as simple, fast, or easy to redeem rewards points as it is to shop and pay with a credit or debit card.
Consumers can still get cash back (and wait for the check to come in the mail), or order a statement credit (which requires double checking, in a few weeks, to feel rewarded and confident you received the ‘gift’). None of these options feel as rewarding or engaging as our loyalty vision.
A Call for Change
It is just a matter of time until consumers demand that the redemption experience for rewards programs meets their gold standard and mimics the easy payment process of other payment vehicles.
We think that time is now. Rewards members want to have their alternative currencies ‘freed’ from ‘online only’ ordering and replaced by unlimited acceptance at the point of sale. They want the payment process to be fast and easy, with the tap of a phone or watch in retail stores.
The Silver Bullet to Loyalty
There is no reason why the loyalty industry cannot rise to deliver this best in class experience. After all, it will be great for everyone – sponsor brands (who will benefit from engagement, loyalty, and customer satisfaction), consumers (who will finally have true point ubiquity and increased discretionary funds from their rewards currencies), merchants (who will benefit from increased acquisitions and commerce), and digital wallets (who will have their killer app to drive adoption).
Bridge2 Solutions’ breakthrough product, Loyalty Pay, addresses all these opportunities and expands the value of rewards programs. Loyalty Pay allows members to pay with rewards currencies at the POS in retail stores and in-app, wherever Apple Pay or Android Pay is accepted. It gives consumers what they seek most from rewards programs – point ubiquity, flexibility, and choice.
And therein lies the silver bullet to driving high engagement, increased profitability, and happy customers.
Loyalty Pay #LoyaltyUnlocked #LoyaltyPay