App Aims to Make Retail Loyalty Programs Web-Savvy

Loyalty Lab, an on-demand CRM application for consumer brands, has introduced Loyalty 2.0, an upgraded product to help retailers and grocery stores incorporate e-commerce channels into their first-generation loyalty programs, and to better segment their customers. It is part of the summer 2006 release of Loyalty Lab’s CRM Suite.

In essence, it is targeting retailers that first rolled out loyalty programs during the pre-Internet era.Upgrades to the application include easier import of data from existing platforms and better marketingtools, Mark H. Goldstein, CEO of Loyalty Lab, told CRM Buyer.

Integration with Older Platforms

“Grocery stores and retailers were among the first to introduce loyalty programs,” he observed. “Now,though, they want to better leverage the data they have collected, as well as take advantage of e-commerce tools to bring further customers into their fold.”

Loyalty 2.0 was designed to work as an add-on to existing industry applications, including platforms offered by Brierley & Associates, VRMS MarketEXPERT and S&H Solutions, he added. “It can extract data with no integration work. We have written a number of adapters to make that possible.”

New Functionality

Once a grocer’s or retailer’s system has been integrated with Loyalty 2.0, the company said, users can carry out the following actions:

  • Conduct targeted e-mail campaigns based on specialized or triggered rules-based customer purchases and preferences.
  • Mine customer behavior and history to target specific promotions to individual customers, eliminating the need for coupons.
  • Develop invitation-only clubs for specific customer segments based on interests or preferences.
  • Develop Web sites that recognize customers while they’re shopping, and that have the means to offerpersonalized messaging and targeted offers.

Veering Away from the POS

The common denominator of these features is that they are not dependent on the point-of-sale but incorporate tools that allow grocers and retailers to reach out to customers in new ways.

Shopping behavior has changed significantly over the last decade, Goldstein explained, with more consumers going online to find product information and to comparison shop for bargains.

“The world has changed since grocery stores and other big-box mass merchants rolled out their customer loyalty solutions in the mid-1990s,” Goldstein said.

“Adding the ability to deliver personalized Web-savvy marketing on top of [a retailer’s existing] platforms … is like taking the fluorescent tubes and asbestos out, and installing new carpet tile and latte machines in the store.”

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