The franchise industry in Australia encompasses more than 90,000 businesses and is worth over $155 billion, according to recent figures from IBISWorld. However, the impacts of Covid have put the industry under extreme pressure and forced franchise owners to re-evaluate business priorities and focus on improving the customer experience.

Historically, loyalty programs have been a key part of the consumer experience but can be difficult when it comes to navigating individual business objectives. This is where the opportunity lies for franchise owners to create a positive user experience that can be replicated across locations.

“Fostering trust between a retailer and a consumer comes down to the feeling the customer has as they leave the store or check out online. Do they want to return? Do they want to recommend the experience to a friend? These interactions, be it in person in a retail store or through the online experience of eCommerce can be make-or-break for a business,” Loyalty Now CEO, Cary Lockwood said.

“The more challenging or time-consuming this process is, the less positive the experience will be for customers. However, savvy franchisors are increasingly leveraging frictionless point of sale experiences to help improve the customer experience.”

Benefits of implementing a card-linked and frictionless rewards program across a franchise include:

1. Providing the same experience regardless of location
With franchise businesses operating across multiple locations and with multiple owners, having a program that can be implemented widely across the business will ensure that the consumer experience is consistent, and that overall brand perception stays positive.By implementing a frictionless, card-linked system, businesses can move away from loyalty membership cards and seamlessly replicate the same experience at multiple locations.

2. Capturing data for future use
Digital rewards systems capture valuable real-time data from customers as they shop. This data can be accessed by franchise owners to determine upcoming deals and offers that can be personalised and improve customer return rate.

3. Providing a fast and frictionless experience
Quick service is often key to the customer experience. A frictionless, card-linked system that takes advantage of the bank card in a customer’s wallet removes unnecessary steps at the point of sale, serving to increase customer participation and improve the user experience.

4. Scalable for multiple locations
Frictionless, card-linked systems require a relatively quick and intuitive installation. They are also scalable and can grow as the franchise network grows. The ability to pivot to a business’s needs over time means the benefits of this style of rewards program far outweighs its initial start-up costs and helps franchise owners achieve their overall business growth targets.