Out of the wallet and into the phone

My shoulders sag a bit every time I’m offered the chance to join a reward program that involves scribbling out my information on a paper form or being handed a plastic loyalty card or paper-punch card. 

Aren’t we well into the 21st century at this point? 

Better to offer nothing to your customer than another rewards card that goes into her wallet or on her key ring. Yes, paper-punch cards are simple to print. And yes, we’re very used to carrying plastic cards. But we already average 10 or more, and don’t want any more clutter.

I bet most shoppers prefer to use their phone number instead of sifting through their key ring or wallet anyway. And that’s a good start. The bigger prize, however, lies in having a more active conversation with your customer. And for that, you need to be on her smartphone. 

If you’re not ready or equipped to go it on your own and develop your own app, consider offering your rewards card through KeyRingTM, a nifty smartphone app that does all the heavy lifting for the retailer. And Apple’s upcoming “Passbook” app looks promising too.

For those retailers more inclined to DIY, Krogerand Safeway each have developed fairly robust mobile apps that allow users to review specials.

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