In an Australian first, two Brisbane shopping centres have introduced a new service that allows shoppers to collect and redeem loyalty points with their mobile phone.

Launched in May this year, Capalaba Park and Redbank Plaza are offering customers the ability to download the app to earn points which can then be used to claim free prizes, retailer deals and offers, or enter exclusive competitions.

Other Retail First shopping centres will follow suit with Brookside Shopping Centre, Australia Fair and Sunnybank Plaza rolling out the app later in 2015.

Retail First head of marketing, Bec Gascoigne, says the launch of its new rewards program app was a logical progression from the traditional cardboard or plastic loyalty card, ensuring customers were rewarded for their retail loyalty, while avoiding a wallet full of reward cards.

“The old card based loyalty systems are fast becoming ineffective, so we are using technology to attract and importantly, retain customers,” Gascoigne says.

“Australia has one of the highest smartphone-to-population percentages in the world and so it made sense to embrace this technology, particularly when most shoppers are rarely without their phone, unlike store loyalty cards.

“The overall goal of the app is to promote the advantages of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores by enhancing customer engagement, retention, and interaction with retailers, while being more environmentally-friendly thanks to elimination of the need for plastic cards.

“We were also aware that customers tended to ‘cross-shop’ between Retail First shopping centres and our surrounding competitors, and we wanted to create a longer term loyalty incentive to shop at our centres.”

Members will earn points every time they visit Capalaba Park and Redbank Plaza and shop at participating retailers. Customers use the App to accumulate reward points which can be redeemed on a huge range of rewards, including free prizes and exclusive deals at the participating retailers.
To join, customers simply need to download the free Park Points app for Capalaba Park and Redbank Rewards app for Redbank Plaza, and once they have registered their details, they are able to start earning points.

The success of the loyalty app in the short time since launching is demonstrated in the number of app downloads and retailer participation. Both Capalaba Park and Redbank Plaza have over 1,000 downloads for each centre which far exceeds initial objectives. Hundred per cent retailer participation at Redbank Plaza including major retailers Coles, Kmart, Big W, Aldi and Cinemas, and over 70 per cent retailer participation at Capalaba Park, including major retailers Coles, Kmart, and Target.

Park Points and Redbank Rewards are currently available to download for free from Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Brook Rewards, Sunny Rewards and Australia Fair Rewards will also be available later in the year.