Reward programs are often designed to retain customers so they return for more transactions and purchases of the product or service. Due to the new technological developments and the rapid growth of the online shopping trends now, many brands tend to activate online reward programs as opposed to the traditional reward programs.
It is true that recently customers are given the chance to redeem reward points through the brand's website; however, the shift online has not been entirely smooth as most reward programs still rely on the use of gift vouchers, meaning the customer still needs to go to the store to get the reward or enter the voucher in a separate step online.
Read about how technology made a change in the world of reward programs
Why hasn’t brands gone completely online with their rewards programs, especially in the Middle East?
It is faster and easier to offer vouchers: Providing vouchers does not require too much effort from the reward program, they only need to get these vouchers and publish them on their website or mobile application. However, redeeming vouchers requires customers to take two steps; they need to visit the website and claim the coupon, then go to the store to use it. According to Statista, much less than 1% of all issued vouchers in the US have been used, although online vouchers have had more success.
The technological difficulties: In order for reward programs to shift completely online, they need to have agreements with different stores, which in turn should provide e-shopping options. As such, many brands find it difficult and time consuming to invest in these deals. The process itself requires a full team to follow up on technical issues and other logistics, for that reason, most of the rewards programs in the Middle East prefer to provide vouchers only.
Lack of awareness on the importance of the collected data: Most brands in the Middle East look at reward programs only as an opportunity for customer retention. However, they do not realize that the recent data collection portals allow them to learn more about customers’ purchasing habits, product preferences, and spending limits. If used wisely, data from reward programs can increase sales and enhance the customer’s relationship with the brand itself. With vouchers, brands simply know the customer preferred a Zara or Amazon voucher, without an insight to what they purchase, and if used at all.
The ease of use for members and merchants alike
Even though reward programs prefer vouchers for the ease of use, PointCheckout online payment gateway has provided enhanced features that make these programs more successful and accessible from different aspects:
One place for all reward programs: Point Checkout provides an electronic wallet for customers, where they can link all their rewards programs and securely store their bankcards in one place.
The use of different loyalty points in one purchase: Point Checkout allows users to pay online using multiple reward programs and pool the points in the same transaction. In addition, the total points could still be complimented with a card payment for large transactions with insufficient point balance.
The ease of integrating Point Checkout into e-commerce stores: through a simple plugin, and online stores could start accepting PointCheckout within hours.
Multiple shopping options with loyalty points!
Away from gift vouchers, expiration dates and product limitations, the shear variety of items that are provided by PointCheckout gives users a large network of stores to shop online from. This also includes vouchers for the ones preferring that, however, it is always cheaper to pay through PointCheckout as even 1 point could be used for a discount on the purchase.
Accurate data for a better relationship with customers
Rewards programs receive tokenized analytical reports on the purchasing behaviors of their clients, which helps them learn more about the customer. This makes the customers’ relationship with the brand more personalized and successful, thus increasing the brand’s engagement and eventual sales.
It is important to note that PointCheckout is PCI certified, meaning customer data is protected and secured under the same standard as banks and financial institutions.