Retailers do generally recognise an increasing need to evolve their loyalty programmes to satisfy today's tech-savvy, tech-enabled customer, according to a report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP). This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The report, entitled 'Loyalty programmes - Rewarding the Customer Experience', addresses how consumers' behaviours and shopping habits have evolved through new technology and expanded channel offerings. This shift requires loyalty programmes to go above and beyond the traditional "earn points and receive rewards" structure to play a key role in enabling the unified commerce experience and reinforcing customer relationships.

Today's loyalty programmes need to strengthen interactions with the customer and increase loyalty by enabling enhanced services and rewards, such as:

Real-time customer identification in-store to enable guided selling Customized rewards based on customer preferences Gamification to engage customers and encourage social interaction Mobile tracking and redemption of rewards and offers

"One of the best ways to know the customer, reach the customer and deliver the right shopping experience is through a loyalty programme," said Ken Morris, principal for Boston Retail Partners. "Offering customers exclusive perks, relevant incentives and personalised rewards encourages them to identify themselves while shopping and allows the retailer to further tailor the experience."

Key findings from the report included:

  • Loyalty programmes are a top priority for 46% of retailers;
  • 883% more retailers plan to have the ability to identify customers when they walk in the store via their smartphones in five years;
  • 181% more retailers plan to use gamification within loyalty programmes in five years;
  • 56% of retailers plan to participate in mobile loyalty applications in five years.

The full report has been made available for free download from BRP's web site - click here (free registration required).