Loyalty programs are popular and exist throughout most service industries including: retail, banking, travel, hospitality, e-commerce etc...
The program is a popular way for Hospitality Brands to reward their customers for new and repeat purchases – whether its a hotel room, tour, car rental or air fare. It’s also a cleaver method of reinforcing the Hospitality Brands post purchase promise and keep the customer coming back for more.
But as popular as Loyalty Programs are, the Rewards offered across Hospitality Brands tend to be generic and widely available through competing programs. As consequence, there has been a market reduction in the Rewards being claimed back over time and can be considered a maturing marketing for many Loyalty operators.
In most instances customers can only redeem their rewards in-house or through the Brand’s partner network. In other words … Loyalty Rewards cannot be cross-traded or exchanged across different Hospitality networks or even outside the service industry platform it caters too.
As a result customers who have enrolled in Loyalty Programs loose interest because their points are not easily accessible, easily redeemable, or easily located. When loyalty programs don’t work well, it can backfire and leave a bad taste in the customers’ mouths about empty promises from the brand.
Many of today’s Loyalty Programs need reinvention in order to make their rewards redeemable across different Hospitality Platforms or even beyond the Hospitality Industry itself. Only when it becomes a “no-brainer” for the customer to buy into the Program will they participate actively.
Depending on the industry and as a rule of thumb - Merchants pay anywhere between 5 and 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it would costs them to sell to an existing customer. In addition, repeat customers spend up to 33 percent more than new ones - simply because their purchase experience has been vetted by previous interaction.
With this in mind - it only makes sense for Hotels / Car Rentals / Tour Operators and the Airlines to offer new and more ingenious ways to use Loyalty Programs and to incentivize consumers to come back for more.
Crypto Currencies, such as the Digital Coin which relies on Block-Chain technology is providing ingenious ways for Hospitality Brands to reimagine their Loyalty Programs.
Providing Loyalty rewards based on a digital coin enables customers to spend their digital currency in many more ways than ever before and across different commercial service platforms.
For example – a hotel can offer its customers a Digital Coin as the Loyalty Reward for making a hotel booking at its property. The customer in turn, should be able to keep the coin in a digital wallet or exchange later when purchasing and airfare. In future – taking the example further, customers should be able to take their digital coin and trade it for real “fiat currency” in a commercial exchange.
By switching to digital - the “loyalty currency” will provide new and unprecedented marketing opportunities for Hospitality Brands and the way they engage customers with their Loyalty Programs.
Hospitality Brands can build a Loyalty Solution that’s based on the digital coin regardless whether its for retail, banking, travel, hospitality, e-commerce or other service industries.
Through Blockchain technology the transaction records are shared across a network of computers. In the case of a Loyalty Program, every transaction creates a new block of information for every reward point created. These “blocks” of information are “chained” to previous blocks, which are then shared across a network. Hence, the term “blockchain.”
What makes the Blockchain unique is the immutable and time-stamped distributed database entry of every single transaction ever made, making each transaction and its record easily traceable, but also rendering them irreversible, preventing fraud, abuse, and any other type of manipulation.
Crypto Currency Block Chains have the potential to greatly re-engineer and improve the Loyalty Reward customer experience by allowing them to access all of their loyalty points and rewards from one digital wallet.
By reshaping the Loyalty program landscape and turning to a customer-oriented digital currency, the Hospitality Brands can begin to look at having deeper relationships with their customers than ever before.
The implementation of the Crypto Currency and Block chain Technology across most Legacy based Loyalty Programs will help elevate the reward usage experience to the next level.