The accelerated move to ecommerce has made it easier for retailers to gather rich data on sales, trends, and customer behaviour, and analyse this information to drive better business insights.

This enables businesses to personalise the customer experience and increase engagement, which can result in more loyal customers, but a card-linked loyalty program can take this a step further, according to Loyalty Now.

“Ecommerce provides retailers and service providers with another revenue option and way to reach more customers across a wider geography. However, this has proved to be a double-edged sword as the convenience of online shopping means that customers now have more options at their fingertips, and they have the time to compare and choose between different businesses,” Loyalty Now CEO, Cary Lockwood said.

“Card-linked loyalty programs can eliminate sources of friction in the purchasing process by letting consumers participate in loyalty and rewards programs without having to enter additional details at the checkout. This means consumers never miss an opportunity to accrue rewards while merchants and program operators reap the benefits of loyalty by collecting more data.”

A card-linked loyalty program lets customers register their payment card details with their loyalty program of choice so when they use their card to pay, the rewards are automatically accrued to that program.

A card-linked loyalty program can help retailers and service providers take their ecommerce to the next level in two ways:

  1. Increasing competitiveness

An Australia Post Industry Report found that 22% of shoppers purchased from an online store that was new to them in 2020, which was likely due to finding better prices and offers. When merchants can offer streamlined loyalty and rewards programs, consumers are more likely to choose them. This can reduce the risk that consumers will defect to another business, increasing the merchant’s competitiveness.

2. Retaining customer loyalty

With a card-linked platform, customer purchases can be allocated to the right merchant. Importantly, customers can be assured that their rewards will accrue appropriately. And, if the merchant is part of a card-linked loyalty platform with an extensive ecosystem, then customers know their rewards will consist of things they want. This can include contributions to the customer’s superannuation, donations to key charities, or other benefits that are meaningful to that consumer.