With an abundance of comparison data easily accessible to consumers, it’s not surprising that many brands are witnessing a significant decline in customer loyalty. This trend is particularly pronounced in the travel industry, where non-competitive pricing, a lack of perks, and mediocre customer experiences can drive even loyal customers to explore alternative brands.
Although customers may no longer exhibit steadfast loyalty to specific brands, there’s a growing expectation for every brand to offer a loyalty program with enticing benefits. According to Points’ 2016 report, “The State of Mobile Wallet Loyalty and Engagement,” customers express interest in earning miles and rewards from every purchase. The report reveals that 68% of consumers possess a credit card dedicated to collecting rewards, and 85% of survey respondents express a desire to participate in loyalty programs at their most frequented shopping destinations.
However, the abundance of existing loyalty programs and cards has created a challenge for consumers in managing their data. Without a clear understanding of where they’ve accumulated points and the corresponding benefits, consumers are less likely to revisit a brand and make use of their accumulated points. In the travel sector, customers struggle to keep track of their miles, uncertain about their balance and the available benefits in exchange for these miles. Additionally, they lack clarity on which stores offer opportunities to earn extra miles or rewards.
Mobile Wallet Loyalty Programs for Improved Brand Loyalty
Utilizing mobile wallets proves to be the ideal platform for implementing successful loyalty programs. Already, 58% of consumers are already using their loyalty cards to collect points and miles through loyalty cards. Furthermore, an overwhelming 86% of surveyed customers express a strong desire to access loyalty programs directly from their smartphones.
Mobile loyalty programs allow customers to check their status on mobile devices easily, so they can see where their points can be used and where they can earn more points, either at the point of sale or at the time of reservation.
Mobile Wallet Loyalty Programs will provide a Competitive Edge
Given that 45% of consumers utilize their mobile phones for hotel bookings and travel arrangements, businesses in the travel and hospitality sector possess a distinctive opportunity to enhance loyalty through mobile payments. The integration of mobile wallets with unified loyalty programs presents a compelling approach to not only boost hotel booking rates but also to foster overall customer loyalty.
Companies offering this capability to their customers stand to gain from the following three benefits:
Increased customer engagement
As mobile wallet loyalty programs streamline what was once a complex process, customer engagement is poised to rise. Companies can leverage this marketing channel for push advertising, presenting special deals for point redemption during low seasons, or simply serving as a reminder to customers about their current point balance and available benefits.
The integration of personalized offers can significantly enhance customer engagement. This heightened engagement is expected to translate into increased reservations from repeat visitors, a pivotal target market in the hospitality industry.
Improved customer experience and convenience
In the hospitality and travel industry, businesses should embrace mobile wallets for seamless payments. By integrating digital rewards cards into the mobile experience, customers can effortlessly manage loyalty benefits, enhancing their overall satisfaction and encouraging repeat visits. This streamlined process not only sets businesses apart but also contributes to positive online recommendations.
With the simplicity of a click, swipe, or tap, travelers can effortlessly book their next trip using their mobile devices. By enhancing the customer experience through a straightforward mobile reservation process and facilitating the convenient use of accrued benefits from pertinent loyalty programs, businesses stand to secure the loyalty of their guests. This not only encourages repeat visits but also fosters positive online recommendations.
A competitive edge over the competition leading to repeat customer visits
To gain a competitive edge, travel and hospitality providers can distinguish themselves by offering benefits across different brands or enhancing point accumulation. A significant percentage, ranging from 65% to 81% of consumers, considers these advantages pivotal when choosing a particular brand.
Travel businesses that go above and beyond, perhaps going the extra mile (pun intended), stand to earn the loyalty of repeat customers, thereby solidifying their position in the market.
- While most travel and hospitality sites offer loyalty programs, many customers still search around, without presenting loyalty to a specific brand.
- Loyalty programs have not succeeded in improving loyalty, but customers expect all brands to offer such a program.
- Customers would access and use loyalty programs if they were available over mobile devices.
- Mobile wallets integrated with loyalty programs are attractive for travelers, who are already increasingly using mobile payments to seamlessly complete reservations.
- Combining mobile wallets with loyalty programs will improve hospitality and travel businesses’ customer engagement rates, customer experience, and it will give them a competitive edge and ultimately increased revenues from return travelers.
In summary, the travel and hospitality industry can enhance customer loyalty by embracing mobile wallet loyalty programs. Integrating these programs improves customer engagement, streamlines the reservation process, and provides a competitive edge. Businesses that adapt to these evolving trends stand to gain repeat visits, positive recommendations, and increased revenue.