How Marketers Can Use Payments to Drive Loyalty Beyond Transactions


By Talbott Roche, CEO and President, Blackhawk Network

The phrase “loyalty is fleeting” isn’t true. Marketers struggling to drive loyalty may not realize they are overlooking valuable customer touchpoint opportunities that create long-lasting relationships: when people pay.

Payments aren’t just one-and-done transactions that end at the point of sale. They have become valuable experiences marketers can utilize to create lasting, personal connections between consumers and brands. Employing payments to support your reward and incentive programs can help cut through marketing noise for maximum impact.

Here’s how businesses can marry payments with rewards in meaningful-and profitable-ways:

Putting points to good use.

We can all relate to the frustration of earning points in various reward programs, only to realize you can’t redeem the points the way you want. The next evolution in marketing is to use rewards as a practical and broad currency. According to research from Blackhawk Network1 , 60 percent of consumers surveyed find the idea of using loyalty and reward points to pay for something appealing. Letting people pay with points can increase the likelihood rewards will actually get used and drive behavior.

Creating digital solutions.

The pandemic accelerated digital payment adoption as people increasingly turned to online and mobile shopping channels. Research2 found that 88 percent of shoppers surveyed now use a digital wallet of some kind and 78 percent of people surveyed plan to keep their pandemic-driven shopping habits for the long haul. Digitally enabled rewards provide people with ample flexibility to redeem on their terms. Marketers who incorporate digital rewards and incentives into online payment processes can create customer “stickiness,” brand affinity and lasting engagement through these added touchpoints.

Opening the door for future marketing opportunities.

Looking for high-value touchpoints after point-of-sale? Marketers that incorporate loyalty points, incentives and rewards into the checkout process can collect data consumers willingly provide- informing future strategy and tailoring customized promotions. Actions like asking shoppers to share their email address, offering an incentive for downloading your app, or rewarding customers for making certain purchases within your mobile wallet can produce long-term dividends.

Smart marketers that weave their incentives and rewards into the payment experience create positive brand interactions- driving loyalty, foot traffic and sales now and in the future.

To read Talbott’s full article in Wise Marketer for deeper insights, click here.

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