Coupons, gift cards and loyalty programs: Who’s winning with consumers?

Today, we’re looking at the state of digital coupons, gift cards and loyalty programs and how consumers are responding to them. New Forrester research shows 79% of shoppers will not buy an item if they forgot to bring the coupon. Deloitte research found 51% of grocery sales are now digitally influenced. IRI reports 65% of “digital info seekers” are using their smartphone to find savings and 37% say they look for deals while in-store.

Valassis research shows 57% of consumers are more likely to buy groceries online if they can use coupons and 73% of millennials will do the same. George Bousis, founder of gift card platform Raise, realized 20% of gift cards were unused and he figured there had to be a better way for consumers to get their value. While Amazon Prime is not always considered a loyalty program, it works because it turned the loyalty concept upside down with real value. As further proof, Amazon has a new partnership with Hilton that allows the hotel Honors loyalty members to spend their points on Amazon.

Travel loyalty programs are prime targets for blockchain disruption by offering data, security and convenience. Restaurants can attract millennials with loyalty programs that have well-designed rewards for purchases. A Forbes article asks if collecting airline loyalty points is even worth the effort anymore. Where is the value? The average American is a member of 29 loyalty programs, will only use half of them, and The Financial Post questions the hassle for both business and consumers.

Study: Value, deals and coupons have strong influence on grocery purchases to a study by Forrester Research, 79% of shoppers say they wouldn’t buy an item if they forgot to bring the corresponding coupon to the store with them. A new Deloitte study found that 51% of grocery sales are now digitally influenced. This kind of shopper behavior certainly makes a strong case for more digital coupons. Manufacturers and retailers that make coupons easy to find on their websites, social media or mobile apps could see a greater bump in product purchases. Via

Shoppers ‘cutting grocery bills’ with smartphones these “digital info seekers”, IRI said that 65% reported that their efforts are saving them money. A total of 37% of people reported that they use the internet to seek out in-store promotions and offers, while 22% use the internet to identify which shops have the best deals on a given day. But that isn’t all mobile data is being used for, with a further 38% of people searching for information on product ingredients and usage. Via

As the Grocery Landscape Changes, Saving is Top of Mind from the online survey of 8,550 value-seeking consumers indicate shoppers are more likely to buy groceries online if they can use more coupons (57 percent; 73 percent for millennials). And the study shows that consumers are just getting their feet wet with meal-kit delivery (16 percent) and grocery delivery services (17 percent), however around 40 percent of respondents plan to use more of these services in the next year. Additionally, the survey uncovered that half of shoppers are interested in trying in-home virtual assistant devices to purchase groceries or other household items. Via

Why George Bousis founded gift card platform Raise

What inspired the idea of trading gift cards?
GB: I was looking into gift card and loyalty ideas for my family’s grocery business. During my research, I found that 20% of gift cards go unused each year, totaling billions of dollars. I knew there had to be a better way. So, in 2013, I founded Raise to help those who have unwanted gift cards take control and get cash for their cards. Since then, we’ve built the company into a leading retail payments company, raised $147 million from investors, and saved our members more than $140 million to date. Via

Why Amazon Prime stands out where most other loyalty programmes fail? do not consider Amazon Prime to be a loyalty programme. It is, in fact, one of the best loyalty programmes that there is. When I asked people to list three top loyalty programmes, the usual answers I got were credit card loyalty programmes, some specific retail loyalty programmes, or the likes. Only one of the 200-odd people I asked said Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime has turned the rewards programme on its head. It aids in promoting impulsive behavior.  Via

Amazon now lets Hilton Honors members shop with Points and Amazon have teamed up on a new initiative that will allow member of Hilton’s Honors loyalty program to shop Amazon using their points. This is the first time a hotel brand has offered such a deal, Amazon says, and will be available to all Hilton Honors members. To use the new benefit, Honors members have to link their account to their Amazon profile. According to Amazon’s FAQ, 500 Hilton Honors Points will equal one dollar on  Via

Travel Loyalty Programs Are Prime Targets for Blockchain, and That May Be Good News for Travelers

No doubt, blockchain technology has arrived and has the potential to disrupt travel’s loyalty business model, just as online travel agencies did to the distribution business model several years ago. The technology is a constantly reconciled digital ledger technology that enables an entire ledger of transactions to be shared across all participants in the network. The advantage of blockchain is that it allows users to reach consensus about a transaction without the need for a middleman or clearinghouse mechanism. Via

Winning Millennials Through Customer Loyalty Programs the goal of attracting and keeping millennials as a key customer base, how you structure customers points will be key. Your points strategy should incentivize customers enough to choose your restaurant over a competitor. Customer Purchases: Don’t forget the most valuable action to your business is a customer purchase. So ensure you provide the most number of points when customers are making a purchase. Via

Is Collecting Points and Miles Becoming Pointless?

But a couple of factors are making me question my “loyalty” to these marketing programs. One is the general devaluation of those hard-earned points and miles. For example, a transcontinental ticket that for years required 25,000 miles today will often require 40,000 or more typically, 50,000 miles. I recently priced a round-trip ticket for my son from Newark to LAX over Thanksgiving on American. It required 105,000 miles for two connecting flights. Here are recent stories about the erosion in the value of frequent flyer miles and plans from United, Delta, Alaska and last year’s changes at American, just to name a few. Via

Why loyalty-card programs should just die many loyalty cards do you have in your wallet? Between coffee-shop stamps and gas station points and consumer rewards, it’s likely there’s quite a few (in fact, the average American is a member of 29 loyalty programs — even though they’ll only use half of them this year). Just one look at the recent Air Miles fiasco and it’s clear that these programs are a hassle for companies, too. Via