Single Objective vs. Multi-Objective Loyalty Programs

When it comes to providing initiatives to existing and prospective customers with objectives such as increasing customer retention and acquisition, there are two main approaches that are taken with promotions: single objective and multi-objective approaches. Although each provide a valued initiative to influence a certain customer action, they differ in how customers engage over time and how they’re structured within the business. Below, I address the differences between the two, and when to know which approach to take.

Single objective

As it sounds, single objective approaches are loyalty initiatives that are created around a single objective in mind. This may be retention of at-risk customers through rebates, referrals of new customers with gift certificates, or the addition of benefits to increase overall customer satisfaction. This is commonly seen in the television network industry where companies offer separate initiatives around rebates, discounts, and referral benefits all geared towards different objectives. With this approach, as you release additive promotions with different objectives, you may run into a few issues. Customers are incentivized to do a specific action tied to one potential reward. This may be constraining and not lead to further long-term engagement after reward achievement. Additionally, issues are created around this complexity between simultaneous promotions and expirations, and customers may find ways to “double-dip.” The ability to smoothly transition between initiatives and to assess collective ROI is also limited.


With a multi-objective approach, initiatives go hand in hand with numerous objectives at a time. This provides a more integrated customer experience with added control over the incentives and promotions offered. This approach is similar to loyalty seen in airlines, hotels, retail, and CPG. A simple example is airlines that offer points to customers for both flying through their airline and shopping with partner retailers, and then providing a selection of airline upgrades, hotel stays, and car rentals for customers to use their aggregated earned points towards. There is limited complexity of promotion overlap as they are interlaced and reward opportunities complement each other to achieve business objectives. The objectives may cover both retention and acquisition, and it is often easier for customers to engage in an array of behaviors that go beyond purchase-only. There is also the ability to drive increased engagement through “surprise and delight” rewards and other non-monetary reward options. Customers are able to engage with the brand over time and choose relevant actions and rewards that work for them. Overall, ROI is easily assessed allowing for structural changes.

When to know which approach to take

Companies need to look at their market and competitors, as well as their current promotional efforts. If there are specific behaviors needed in the short-term or certain KPI’s are performing well and there is a key need in one area, the single objective approach may be the most appropriate approach to take. However, consumers are well aware of which brands add convenience and valuable experiences, so if multi-objective loyalty is currently present in the market and a company is not offering it, they will likely fall behind. On the flip side, if many companies in a market are relying on single additive loyalty initiatives, this may either be appropriate for that specific market, or presents the opportunity for multi-objective loyalty as a clear differentiator. Existing promotional efforts and success are a huge indicator of how customers respond to certain types of initiatives and consequently need to be assessed. Additionally, a transition to a multi-objective approach needs to be managed through ongoing assessments of initiative success and having a clear design of the future program landscape. For more information about strategizing with multiple promotions, please contact us here.

5 Pointers for Retailers during this Black Friday & Cyber Monday

The largest consumer shopping time of the year is upon us and as many retailers are preparing, we’ve come up with 5 pointers for how to use your loyalty program to make the most of this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

  1. Layer special offers for your loyalty members
    Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions are normally sitewide or store-wide, aimed at your entire customer base. However, think about this from a member’s perspective–they joined for additional benefits and rewards. Consider providing members with points multipliers, exclusive sale items, or additional discounts (though be careful of margin implications). Also, remember that if you are worried about managing liability with the program, additional offers don’t have to be published or aimed at the entire member base.
  2. Target your lapsed members
    Members who haven’t made a purchase in a significant amount of time are perfect to retarget and reacquire during Thanksgiving. You have the information about their past purchases and timings. Find compelling offers and create multiple lapsed member segments to target.
  3. Utilize product level offers
    All retailers have access to past purchase data, and loyalty programs allow retailers to tie purchases back and identify a customer history correctly. Many now even have loyalty profiles with members self-reporting on their preferences. Use this information to promote products that that are particularly relevant for each segment of members.
  4. Provide your VIP tiers with additional benefits
    Often, VIP tiers in retail loyalty programs lack exciting benefits and perks. Given your VIP members will be shopping with you this Thanksgiving, “surprise and delight” them with an additional benefit or perk. Extra points, expedited shipping, and early access to sales are all good starting points.
  5. Push enrollment during this period
    Lastly, we must consider that a loyalty program is only as enticing as the number of members it includes. As Thanksgiving is an important time for new customer acquisition in retail, make sure that the program is well placed to see a spike in new memberships. Improved homepage loyalty banner placement, increased in-store marketing collateral placement, and inclusion of the program benefits in call center scripts will all help you drive new memberships.

Hope you have a great shopping season and for more information about seasonal loyalty strategies, please contact us here.

Managing a Multi-brand Loyalty Program: How to account for points usage behavior between brands

6family-logosIn the retail vertical, we see an increasing number of brands that are launching multi-brand loyalty currencies. This has been widespread in the travel vertical with the franchise model for hotels, but the growth of such programs in retail begs the question of how to best account for the differential in earn and redeem behaviour. Simply put, you cannot expect that a member’s earn behaviour will proportionally map to their claims with each brand, and instead, there is likely to be an increased claim rate with brands that have a wider set of rewards or more generous rewards. If left unaccounted for, this can lead to an unfair detrimental impact of the program upon the income statement of one or more brands.

Optimize for beneficial cross brand redemption

Cross brand redemption is defined as where points that are earned with one brand are used with another. An example of this can be seen easily in retail with our client 1-800-Flowers, which runs Celebration Rewards for its brands that include 1-800 Baskets, Fruit Bouquets, Cheryl’s, Fannie May, The Popcorn Factory, Wolferman’s, and Harry & David. The potential benefit is that it encourages its members of any of those brands to explore the other brands, and also encourages higher cross-brand spend. In this example, the end goal is to expand out the total Share of Wallet opportunity across all brands.

Now such an arrangement between brands requires that the value per point on redemption items is equal to limit an arbitrage opportunity. In our early example, if the value per point of Celebration Rewards is $0.02 for 1-800-Flowers and The Popcorn Factory rewards is $0.01, members would only use points at 1-800-Flowers rewards as they can maximize the value of their points. 1-800-Flowers solved this problem through the use of discount vouchers that are usable across brands. That being said, that approach doesn’t work for all programs.

Establish whether you need a central issuing entity or inter-brand transfers

There are two approaches towards ensuring the correct allocation of costs of points to each brand. From an accounting perspective, there is a deferred revenue and marketing cost allocation to each point awarded, however, for simplicity, let’s think about transfers happening at the end of each year.

The first approach is to have a central issuing entity to control all points earned and redeemed. It works well for franchise models in the travel sector, or where a master brand controls many sub-brands to allow them to provide points to their end customers. As with the diagram below, the central issuing entity sets the price of each point that is awarded or redeemed (sometimes with a spread). The sub-brand then pays for each point that it awards and is paid for points that are redeemed with them.


Exhibit 1: Example of a system with a central issuing entity

The second approach is to have direct transfers between brands in the same loyalty program, normally made at the time of redemption. Here, the model works well when there is no central brand and sub-brands, but instead a collection of unrelated brands in a portfolio. The brands will look at the differential of points redeemed to earned for each brand and accordingly make an adjustment payment and a liability transfer at the weighted average value per point.


Exhibit 2: Example of inter-brand transfer system

 Predict ahead of time the impact and expected cross-brand redemption

Now, creating a system of accounting for points usage between brands is the first step, however, it should be part of a larger initiative to predict the behavior of each member and also the macro trends of member earn and redemptions across each brand. This will help to ensure financial implications of the wider multi-brand loyalty program are predicted and that it has been established that the program is going to drive cross-brand redemptions, and hence cross-brand spend. As part of our loyalty consulting engagements, we help brands understand the potential cross-brand redemptions and account for it in our overall financial model. For more information, reach out to us here.

Loyalty for Luxury Brands

file161257794981Over the last year, there has been a migration of luxury brands towards launching loyalty based programs. This, on our side, has meant a number of conversations with high-end brands interested in starting or restarting a loyalty program, often with the intention of moving customers to their direct channel and retaining more of their best customers. However, many remain concerned that a loyalty will “cheapen” their brand to their most discerning customers. I’m reminded of a conversation with the CEO of an online jeweler retailer who proclaimed, “Why should my customers collect points? They collect fine jewelry.” This fear and concern is of course valid, and in a world of declining loyalty program participation, high spending consumers are the first to lose interest in loyalty programs.

So, should a luxury brand even look through the looking glass at a world of loyalty? The answer is a resounding YES, especially as many high-end brands thrive on pillars of convenience, appreciation of VIPs, and exclusivity.

Now, we aren’t going to provide you a complete guide of how to launch a luxury brand loyalty program in a blog, but we’ll first highlight a few key best practices to get you started. Look out for future blog posts on how to manage the cost of your loyalty program and how to message it to your customers.

Keep it simple and convenient

Much like the experience of visiting a high-end store, customers don’t have the patience for a non-intuitive program. Too often programs add layers and layers of complexity with non-standard earn and redemption periods, varying bonuses, and an unclear value at redemption. This does not align with the desired experience in-store or online with the brand, so why would it hold for a loyalty program?

In the words of our VP of Loyalty Strategy, Zach Woith: “We build programs for brands using a 30-second rule; either the customer understands the program in 30 seconds or they won’t join. For high-end brands, it is probably more of a 15-second rule.”

Reward VIPs accordingly

Loyalty should reward higher LTV customers more than less valuable ones. Hence, a Fendi customer that buys one perfume for a family member cannot receive the same value from the program as a three times a year handbag purchaser.

A currency-based points system is an easy method of ensuring benefits are allocated correctly, however, that doesn’t always align well with the brand. Instead, try a tier-based model with benefits (that can include rewards like “free gifts with purchase”) that are tied to spend.

Build exclusivity access to products and events

Many top brands do not leverage the excitement around new products and events for their programs. High-end sporting sponsorships and clear customer excitement to purchase next season’s products can differentiate a program. Benefits around access to new or limited edition products, meet-and-greets with celebrities, and access to VIP sporting tickets are going to make a customer feel appreciated and build up exclusivity as a key program benefit.

Hopefully these suggestions will provide a starter list of ideas around how to create a successful program for your luxury brand. Look out for further blog posts and feel free to reach out with any questions!

3 Musts for Retailers This Back to School Season

Back to school season is upon us and retailers are getting ready for what is expected to be a stronger consumer spending year. As you prepare for the season, carefully think about how to best use your loyalty program to keep your customers choosing your brand while shopping.  Consider these 3 ways to reach your goals this season:

  1. Use customer data for personalization 

    Give your loyalty members a reason to feel special and offer them unique advantages for being a part of your program, instead of having the same offers across the board for all existing and new customers. They are already seeing offers from various retailers, so your program should make them feel like they are valued members who are receiving additional exclusive offers that are special to them. Leverage your repository of customer data—from what products your customers have looked at and saved/added to a wish list, to products they’ve purchased recently, and products purchased during last year’s back to school season—and analyze this data to segment your marketing. Know which products they may be interested in, when they are likely to repurchase, and which incentives are more likely to influence them. Equipped with this, you can create personalized member incentives and offers to convince them to continue shopping with your brand and not be tempted by your competitors.

  2. Incentivize during the consumer research period 

    In store is back to school season’s top choice for purchase channel, but consumers are spending more time researching and comparing back to school products & promotions online than spending time in physical stores, meaning that more of them have an idea of what they are going to purchase by the time they enter the store. Shoppers are also shopping earlier and researching even earlier, about two weeks before they make their purchases, so it is important to reach your consumer while they are in this product research period—before they have made up their minds about where to shop and what to buy. This emphasizes the importance of having enhanced communications across channels going into the season. Make sure to have your presence and messaging ready to influence their research experience. From looking at your customers and market trends, strategize how to use your promotions and rewards to incentivize the specific behaviors you want. Want to drive more traffic to a specific channel? Reward members with extra points, elevated service, or discounts for shopping through that channel. Want to drive purchase towards a specific product or category? Offer first access and exclusive sampling to encourage product trial amongst customers.

  3. Stand apart from the overflow of back to school deals 

    Back to school is one of the busiest shopping times of the year with numerous retailers competing for consumers’ attention. Most importantly, with all of the promotions going on during this time, yours need to stand out from the crowd and have heightened messaging while not being interpreted as spam. You want consumers to stay with your brand and not be tempted by the plethora of back to school deals. You already have a leg up from many other retailers by having these members as part of your loyalty program, now you need to use this to your advantage. Show your members that you know them and express the value they receive from being a part of the program. Through the use of your loyalty program, you can create campaigns that are more personal and engaging, and make them stand out by not having to only rely on offering dollars off. What is your company’s/program’s unique value prop? Your members are interested in your brand and are more likely to be persuaded by non-monetary rewards and benefits. Through additional knowledge of their preferred communication channel, you should direct your marketing to accommodate their preferences.

Always remember to measure the results of what is working and not working to make tweaks and plan for future high-volume shopping seasons. Reach out to 500friends with any questions or if you are interested in learning more about how loyalty can benefit your business!

[Webinar Series] Leverage 1st Party Loyalty Data for Smarter Acquisition


Our final webinar of our “Going Beyond Just Points: How your Loyalty Program Can Drive Actionable Insights” series will be Thursday, June 11 at 10:00 PDT / 1:00 EDT. Register now for “Leverage 1st Party Loyalty Data for Smarter Acquisition” to learn from Matthew Gilbert, SVP Loyalty Services, and Nicholas Illobre, Director of Performance Media, at Merkle about loyalty data’s influence on customer acquisition and programmatic buying. 

Programmatic buying without leveraging loyalty-related 1st party data misses an opportunity in acquiring higher lifetime value customers. Loyalty programs can provide a more in-depth understanding of your customers with data sourced from loyalty profiles, social accounts, and content creation. The resulting central repository of 1st party demographic, preference, and behavioral data allows for enhanced segmentation and lookalike models that result in smarter customer acquisition.

Register today and be sure to contact our events team with any other questions you may have!


MattGilbertMatthew Gilbert

SVP Loyalty Services
500friends, a Merkle Company




Nicholas Illobre

Director, Performance Media

[Webinar Series] Differentiate and Personalize Your Loyalty Program to Drive Engagement


We are excited to keep the momentum going with our latest webinar series “Going Beyond Just Points: How your Loyalty Program Can Drive Actionable Insights”  where we will discuss how to leverage loyalty data in customer identification, engagement, and acquisition.

The 2nd webinar in this 3-part series, “Differentiate And Personalize Your Loyalty Program To Drive Engagement”, will be presented by Justin Yoshimura, Co-Founder/CEO, 500friends, a Merkle Company and Samanth Ngo, Researcher, Customer Insights, Forrester Research on Thursday May 28 at 10:00 PDT / 1:00 EDT.

Many customers are treated as if they’re one and the same although there is so much customer information available to us. This approach of not engaging with customers on a more personal level can be detrimental to your customer relationships, which are vital to your success and competitive differentiation. Learn how the information provided from a loyalty program can help ensure that messaging increases in relevance, maintains margin, and builds a more personal and meaningful relationship with each member.

Register today and be sure to contact our events team with any other questions you may have!


JustinYoshimuraJustin Yoshimura

Justin is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of 500friends. His infatuation with retail began at age 14, when he opened an eBay account and quickly became one of Ebay’s top PowerSellers. Since then, Justin has founded two profitable ecommerce companies with $10M in revenues, and has been recognized by Forbes as a “30 under 30″ entrepreneur. He is also an investor in disruptive ecommerce and SaaS companies including BoostCTR, Bounce Exchange, Firebase, First Opinion, Hipmunk, Homejoy, ifeelgoods, OwnLocal, and Zencoder.

Samantha-Ngo-PR_1Samantha Ngo

Sam is a researcher at Forrester Research serving Customer Insights Professionals. Her research spans how customer and marketing data drives business decisions with a focus on best practices, trends, and tools in the areas of customer loyalty and digital intelligence. As a research associate on the Customer Insights team, Sam supported several analysts with research on customer loyalty, marketing technology, digital intelligence, social listening, and customer analytics. She also supported a number of Forrester Wave™ evaluations and is familiar with the methodology. Sam holds a B.A. in Business and Psychology from Franklin & Marshall College.

[Webinar Series] Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification


We are excited to present our latest webinar series “Going Beyond Just Points: How your Loyalty Program Can Drive Actionable Insights” where we will explore how to leverage loyalty data in customer identification, engagement, and acquisition.

The 1st webinar in this 3-part series, “Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification“, will be presented by Arif Damji, Senior Director of Strategy and Development, 500friends, a Merkle Company on Thursday May 21 at 10:00 PDT / 1:00 EDT.

Large numbers of customer identities are currently unknown and brands struggle with linking together customer purchases, LTVs, and preference trends. Without the knowledge and understanding of who your customers are, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to drive customer satisfaction, enhance relevancy of messaging and offers, and increase order frequency and value.

Loyalty data is the tool that transforms the unknown consumer into an identified, addressable customer.

Learn how driving self-identification of customers across all channels with your loyalty program increases match-back rates and your understanding of customer spend and behavior. This in turn allows you to enhance the effectiveness of your messaging and drive customer lifetime value.

Register today and be sure to contact our events team with any other questions you may have!

About the presenter:

ArifArif serves as the Senior Director of Strategy & Development for 500friends, a Merkle Company. Through his role he helps to formulate the vision and strategy for numerous successful loyalty programs, while also driving many of 500friends’ strategic partnerships. Prior to 500friends, Arif was a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company serving multiple industries including Travel, Financial Services & Marketing Services. Before joining McKinsey & Co he worked with a number of financial services firms including Barclays Capital, Spinnaker Capital, and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Arif holds a M.A. in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a M.S. in Management Science from Stanford University.


Many Loyalty Programs Aren’t Realizing Their Potential

merkle-500friendsOriginally posted on Merkle’s Retail blog:

While there are now more than 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships in the U.S., only half of enrolled consumers are active. Why is that?

Since the purpose of a loyalty program is to influence consumer behavior, companies need to plan and execute their programs very strategically and wisely to achieve the goals they want. Among the growing selective member base, this is where many leading organizations may fall behind. Make sure to think about providing a “fair exchange of value” – I’ll give you my personal contact information if you deliver additional value – as the consumer strategy upon which all loyalty programs are developed. Creating an ecosystem of engaging content, enticing brand experiences, and preferential valuable services that go beyond the core product or service is where loyalty programs can have a huge impact. Points are a tactic, apps an operational enabler. It’s time to take a step back and think strategically about your consumers’ loyalty before your competitors do!


Many retailers have loyalty programs in place, but without effective planning, more and more may end up struggling to prove their ROI – driving sales or retaining healthy margins. While the underlying goal of many loyalty programs may be to keep customers away from competitors, Merkle’s recent consumer survey found that less than one-fifth of consumers cite today’s loyalty programs as a main differentiator between competitors.

On the flip side of the coin, when done correctly – strategically guided and well executed – retail loyalty programs can have a huge pay-off. In one example, a major retailer’s loyalty program was successful in increasing average spend by 20% per member, program enrollment by 45%, and repurchase rate by 14%. Retailers who master a personalized, omni-channel approach to loyalty increase their revenue upwards of 10X.

Deep Dive Example

One major luxury footwear company used their retail outlet to actively solicit consumer’s contact information, rewarding associates based on how many consumers they individually acquired. When queried about how they used this information, they proudly reported that they sent them a promotional email every week. Customers who visited branded retail locations are likely high-value customers. Bombarding them with promotional messages not only erodes the brand’s luxury positioning, but could be perceived as annoying spam and worse yet erode margins of full-price customers.

What was the missed opportunity?

  • Engaging Content – High-quality leather shoes need TLC if they’re to last. My grandfather used shoe trees to keep his shoes stretched out – should we all be using them too? How do we get these annoying winter salt stains off our uber expensive shoes?
  • Analytic Insights – Transactional data could be used to upsell and cross sell. If you love your black loafers/boots, then how about a pair in another color? Geolocation could help you highlight the retail locations that carry your brand which are closest to that consumer’s home address.

Loyalty Program Best Practices

1. Start With Specific Behavioral Objectives – Think about “shift, lift, or mix.” Do you want to shift the relationship to a broader base and transform top customers into devotees and advocates? Or is your goal to lift customers into higher LTV tiers? Expanding your mix of products and services across your portfolio can improve margins, decreasing operational costs associated with seasonal demand spikes, increasing average order value, and more.

2. Use Analytic Insights to Inform Loyalty Marketing – We have data at our fingertips and it needs to become an integral part of your loyalty program. You want to ask your customers what they want in their program and what perks or rewards are most compelling for them. Then use these insights to segment loyalty program members and begin personalizing their treatment.

For example, don’t keep sending lapsed users more coupons. With an integrated view of the customer, use the data to understand:

  • Department – Personal-shopping request may indicate either “fashion challenged” or like “high touch”
  • Spent $X – LTV Tier ‘Most Growable’
  • Customer Service – Complained to the store manager about the atrocious service levels.

So what reactivation or win-back message would be the “Next Best Offer”?

3. Operational Entanglement – Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have done this right. Apps that enable people to pay and order from their smartphones make these coffee chains easier to do business with. When I tweet my order to my neighborhood barista, my coffee is ready and waiting for me when I arrive.

4. Add Value – Preferred access, like airlines use, is a great example of added value. We all like to board a plane first because there is actually room for our carry-on luggage. The three magazines I still subscribe to have increased my readership because they’re available anytime and anywhere I have a moment to read – improving their stickiness by providing omni-channel content. Think about your consumer’s journey. Identify opportunities and touchpoints where you’re able provide additional value – first to loyalty program members and then, perhaps, beyond.

Loyalty done right is fertile ground for changing consumer behavior by engaging and immersing your customers in an enriching brand experience. This creates true competitive advantage and measurable results, not to mention happy, loyal customers!

Keeping Up With Today’s Loyalty Demands


Originally posted on IBM’s Smarter Commerce blog:

Loyalty marketing is more and more prominent in today’s retail landscape. It is becoming common knowledge that customer acquisition costs are increasingly rising, and data-driven customer retention is a key area filled with untapped growth potential. But loyalty marketing is evolving and is more intricate than just offering discounts to existing customers. As many marketers realize, there are three common problems that they run into when trying to implement an effective loyalty program:

  1. They often feel stuck offering dollars-off discounts and are losing their margins without sustainably changing their customer behavior.
  2. Personalization is not going further than using much more than a first and last name, and is not connecting to the customer and building customer relationships.
  3. Their loyalty members are not actively participating and being engaged, and consequently not influencing long term results.

Today, there is an average of 29 loyalty programs per U.S. household, but people are only active in about 12, or 41%, of them. Customers are selective about their loyalty programs, which underlines the need to make yours stand out and be as efficient as possible. This requires close attention to 1) increasing customer self-identification, 2) taking personalized communications, opportunities, and rewards to the next level, and 3) extending the program to be omni-channel and connect cohesively across all customer touch points. In executing on those requirements, the loyalty payoff can be huge. One major retailer’s loyalty program was successful in increasing average spend by 20% per member, program enrollment by 45%, and repurchase rate by 14%.

Increasing Self-Identification

Loyalty incentivizes customers to provide more information about themselves and engage across channels, which leads to a richer understanding of your customers and how they interact with your brand. You may be surprised how many of them are open to providing information about themselves in order to receive more relevant communications and offers. Collecting information that they provide through forms, surveys, and feedback can be very useful, as well as connecting customer social accounts. With social accounts, in addition to seeing basic information such as their age, gender, and location, you can also see their likes, actions, and which topics they are posting about. Expanding your repository of customer data is critical to developing a holistic customer view to ensure you are implementing the most effective strategies for your unique customer base.

Taking Personalization to the Next Level

In addition to increasing customer self-identification, you should track and analyze metrics such as order frequency, average order value, and from which channels customers are purchasing. Modern loyalty programs gather this customer data and provide a centralized hub which is used to personalize meaningful incentives and rewards for higher customer redemption and satisfaction, and also to send personalized messages. These messages can be targeted towards specific actions and customer segments, and are used to maintain relevance and build upon customer-brand relationships by making customers feel like you are paying attention to what they want. For example, using loyalty program information, instead of running a general email promotion to all existing customers, you can specifically run it to gold tier members that ordinarily make a purchase every two months, but are now coming close to not making a purchase in two months. By knowing the purchasing habits of this narrow segment, you are able to selectively and more effectively run this promotion. Using personalization, you also do not need to depend on blindly providing dollars-off to all customers without sustaining engagement in the long-term, when you have the insights to segment customers, deliver personalized experiences, and understand how to truly interest and engage your customers.

Keep track of what your customers like and dislike, inside and outside of your company. If it means being presented with relevant offers that match their interests, 64% of people would choose to have their individual activity tracked.

Cohesive Omni-Channel Capabilities

With today’s consumer having the ability to interact with your brand across all channels, it is essential to have cohesive communication, connectivity of data, and customer access to your program and rewards at all touch points. Different consumers like to interact with brands through different channels – whether in-store, social media, or email – and your program should be available in their preferred channel. It is also a quick way to lose an engaged customer from your program if they do not have the access they expect or if they are receiving different information in different channels. Having robust and consistent communication across all touch points is key to providing brand validity, trust, and ease for the customer to solidify their loyalty.

Today’s consumer is accustomed to numerous messages competing for their attention across different channels. It is imperative to stay on top of the evolving loyalty landscape and customers’ expectations and preferences to make the most of your loyalty program.500friends, A Merkle Company, helps retailers build more profitable customer relationships with omni-channel loyalty programs and strategies. We partnered with IBM WebSphere® Commerce for our software-as-a-service (SaaS) loyalty suite, LoyaltyPlus, to easily develop a richer hub of data for better customer understanding with faster time to value for our mutual clients. LoyaltyPlus connects customer data at all touch points, from in-store to mobile, and delivers a seamless, fully branded omni-channel experience.