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Why App-less Reward Experiences Are More Effective Than App and Beacon Powered Customer Reward Initiatives

While beacons were the hot topic in 2015, with big retailers such as Tesco and Waitrose deciding to pilot the technology, the hype surrounding them has since been questioned. Beacons hold great promise for the advertising market and their full potential is yet to be discovered, but they have so far failed to hit the ROI mark in the world of reward programmes.

Why? The ultimate goal of any reward programme is to retain customers and drive bottom line results. In order to do that, it needs to be cost-effective, as well as relevant and comfortable to the consumer. App and beacon powered reward programmes have not yet managed to achieve this.

Here are 9 reasons why app-less might be the better route when creating reward experiences:

1.      The use of beacons is conditioned on Bluetooth connectivity and a pre-downloaded app

Beacons are wireless devices that transmit Bluetooth Low Energy signals to nearby smartphones and tablets. These signals can open a relevant app on a shopper’s phone, even when the app is not running in the background, and trigger location-based actions and features, such as targeted coupons or offers. This sounds great in theory, but there are two conditions for it to happen in practice: shoppers have to have a corresponding app installed on their smartphones and their Bluetooth connectivity must be on while in store.

The reason why this is problematic is twofold. Many users don’t have their Bluetooth switched on while shopping, and the average app loses almost its entire user base within a few months. Research has shown that apps lose 77% of their Daily Active Users within the first 3 days and 90% of mobile apps are deleted within 30 days of being installed.

This means that the user base of this channel is limited, significantly restricting the reach of a beacon-powered reward programme. On the other hand, the reach of app-less reward experiences is not conditioned on anything except the will of the shopper.

2.      Beacons can’t deliver robust analytics

Analytics are a crucial source for measuring the effectiveness and reach of reward programmes, as well as for creating intelligent targeting and personalisation. The problem with beacons is that they are still not able to be a key source of analytics.

Their so far low adoption numbers mean that retailers cannot capture a large enough percentage of the visitors for robust analytics. Additionally, the existing beacon analytics are not so accurate – the technology is built on a lighthouse model, meaning that their signal goes around the store and gathers information only from the users it catches, missing many others.

3.      The cost-benefit analysis of apps and beacons doesn’t stand up

Beacons are a pricey technology, while developing a high quality app requires a lot of time and investment. Taking into consideration the limited app adoption and Bluetooth connectivity of consumers, it becomes questionable whether investing in these technologies to power a reward programme makes sense.

4.      In-store tracking is unpopular among consumers

Shoppers don’t want their every move tracked. 80% of US consumers find it unacceptable to be tracked via their smartphones in store, while half of US smartphone users don’t want anything to do with retailers’ beacons or in-store tracking. In other words, shoppers don’t want to feel stalked.

5.      Consumers are worried about privacy when tracked without permission

Privacy concerns were cited by 51% of US smartphone owners as a reason why they are not interested in receiving benefits via mobile tracking, while 67% of consumers stated that tracking feels like spying.

The need for transparency is growing. Retailers need to show customers why giving up some of their data is worthwhile, and shoppers want to be able to opt in or out, and choose whether they want to share their personal information, instead of being monitored without consent.

6.      Push messaging can be intrusive and scary

Customers have reported that getting an offer for an item they’re looking at can be creepy. Being flooded with unwanted notifications can cause consumers to feel anxious because push messaging is just that – pushy. It invades people’s devices, their space, and their time.

7.      Shoppers want to opt-in and choose their rewards

64% of consumers believe that the “opt in” approach is the way to go. A shopper wants to be an active participant in their reward experience, and not just someone bombarded with messages against their will.

App-less solutions with no push messaging are less invasive and show more respect for the consumer as a person with a power of choice. A reward experience engages consumers in a more productive way where shoppers get to choose the offers they want, when they want them.

8.      Consumers prefer app-less reward programmes

Research has shown that 89% of customers would rather receive rewards through SMS than by using an app. This is why going app-less make sense. Retailers should aim to have as few obstacles to purchase path as possible. No one today asks for more clutter. On the contrary, we all want simplicity

9.      Immersive visual experiences engage consumers emotionally

Going app-less doesn’t have to mean going tech-free. Technology surrounds us – so much that shoppers expect not only to see digital solutions everywhere, but also to interact with them. In fact, 74% of consumers would interact with touchscreens for relevant offers. Retailers need to embrace this and provide consumers with reward experiences powered by interactive technology in-store.

Digital signage engages audiences visually and hence emotionally, becoming the glue that binds shopper to brand and sets the stage for ongoing brand curiosity, loyalty and engagement.

Beacons represent a huge potential for the advertising market, but they haven’t yet been refined for the purposes of an effective reward programme. This is why Streetlike’s reward experience solution relies on touchscreen digital signage and doesn’t require shoppers to install an app or have their Bluetooth switched on.

Touchscreens are installed in-store, offering shoppers to choose personalisable pre-purchase offers that they can claim by entering their mobile number, without downloading an app. This induces purchase in-store, increasing participation rates and hence the ROI of reward programmes. The technology also captures customer data in a way that is not invasive, all the while creating an engaging in-store customer experience.

Streetlike selected as one of the Unilever Foundry 50 and recognised as the ‘Future of Retail’

Unilever has announced that Streetlike has been chosen to be part of  the Unilever Foundry 50 at this year’s Cannes Lions Innovation.

The Foundry 50 is a search for the world’s best marketing technology startups by the Unilever Foundry. The Foundry 50 were chosen by a panel of experts against five categories identified by Unilever as future areas of innovation and investment. These categories include ‘Future of Retail’, ‘Brand and Content Innovation’, ‘Data, Insights and Personalisation’, ‘Social Impact and Engaging Millennials’. Streetlike was recognised as part of the ‘Future of Retail’.

The global search was open to startups that were incorporated in the last five years. The Foundry 50 panel of experts includes Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman, Rob Dembitz, Head of Lions Innovation, Olivier Garel, Head of Unilever Ventures and Aline Santos, Senior VP of Global Marketing Unilever. Technology developed by the startups, including Streetlike, will be available to demo in Cannes at the Foundry 50 Innovation Hub during the Lions Innovation.

“Streetlike is honoured to be included in the Unilever Foundry 50 for 2016.” said Daniel Levy, chief executive officer, Streetlike. “Streetlike is revolutionising retail with an app-less reward program using in-store touchscreens to drive purchase, capture customer data and build store loyalty. As retailers are constantly looking to find new ways to engage with shoppers while increasing market share and revenue growth, the app-less technology we have developed is doing just this.  Retailers and their creative agencies can develop instant and personalised rewards for their shoppers.

He added: “For the retailer, Streetlike brings a great opportunity to connect with their customers and drive in-store purchases, whilst building loyalty and retention.  For the customer, the app-less experiences engages a wider customer base than app-based reward programs and delivers a more personalised and instantaneous experience from the onset to drive an in-store purchase. Our inclusion and nomination in the Foundry 50 recognises the retail sector’s increasing interest in new technology which rewards their shoppers instantly and in the most innovative way.  At Streetlike, we are obviously delighted to have been nominated and very proud of our inclusion.”

Streetlike will be available to demo at the Foundry 50 Innovation Hub at Lions Innovation on Tuesday, June 21st and Wednesday, June 22nd from 9:30am to 4:30pm.

5 Reasons Why Touchscreen Technology Should Be Powering Your Store Reward Programme

In today’s business environment, more competitive than ever, retailers are always looking for ways to cultivate and strengthen customer relationships. In a world where it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one, it makes sense to implement loyalty and reward programmes to spur sales.

Many retailers have understood that scratch cards and points-based loyalty schemes are obsolete, and have widely digitalised their reward programmes by launching loyalty apps. These, however, are also being proven as ineffective, with 90% of mobile apps deleted within 30 days of being installed [1] and 89% of customers preferring to receive rewards through SMS than by using an app.

There is, however, a technological solution that provides a middle ground between physical scratch cards and digital apps that end up not being used. This solution is Streetlike’s app-less, personalisable reward programme powered by touchscreen digital signage. Touchscreens are installed in-store, offering shoppers to choose instant rewards that they can claim by entering their mobile number, without downloading an app. This increases the ROI of reward programmes by inducing customer purchase and significantly improves in-store customer experience. Here is five reasons why:

1.      Immersive technology increases customer participation

Less and less customers want to scratch loyalty cards or collect points in order to receive a reward in some removed future. A reward programme powered by digital signage, on the other hand, attracts attention.

It has been shown that digital displays capture four times more views than static displays, and draw shoppers in. According to research, 74% of consumers would interact with touchscreen kiosks for relevant offers. This indicates the increase in reward programme participation rates that can be gained by implementing immersive technology in-store rather than handing out clunky cards. The first step that needs to be completed for a reward programme to work is to have customers participate in it.

 2.      Personalised in-store customer experiences trump generic push messaging

Making offers hassle-free and relevant to the customer is key. With Streetlike’s particular solution, shoppers can be provided with one of three reward options – Personalised, Gamified or Feedback Rewards – encouraging customer participation, and therefore engagement. Offers are not just thrown at the customers whenever the retailer feels like it – customers are able to choose an offer they like whenever they like.

This is a significant difference between Streetlike and app-based Bluetooth technologies such as Beacons. With Beacons, for instance, the retailer can employ push messaging, but these messages and offers have to be generic as they are created with little data on the customer to begin with. This makes customers feel bombarded with generic offers, most of which they don’t even like, want or need. With Streetlike, on the other hand, customers personalise their own reward experience from the onset, making it immediately relevant to their lives, which in turn boosts brand loyalty and advocacy.

3.      Immersive experiences induce in-store purchases and increase repeat visits

Once they choose their reward on the touchscreen, customers enter their phone number and instant pre-purchase offers are sent directly to their mobile phones. They then show the offer voucher at the till and cash it in. This solution provides two major benefits.

First of all, it reduces customer waiting time for receiving a reward from “When I buy nine more items” to “In the next ten minutes”, providing customers with instant gratification.

Second, it helps to induce purchase in-store. One of the core objectives of any reward programme is to encourage in-store visits and drive revenue, which is precisely what Streetlike does. It gives customers a reason to come back, encourages them to come and spend in-store rather than shop online, and gives them an impetus to not only showroom but actually purchase items by providing them with relevant, personalised offers. What this gives the retailer is an increase in in-store purchases and repeat visits.

4.      Customer data is captured in a non-invasive way

Touchscreen digital signage collects customer information, such as phone numbers and offers of interest, in a way that is not intrusive. This information, combined with the massive amounts of data from point-of-purchase sales, can be leveraged – retailers can use it to calculate the ROI of their strategy and optimise it.

Combining and analysing these pools of information can help companies continually design and update more sophisticated reward programmes that keep their customers happy by offering them more targeted deals and promotions, while driving bottom line results. Additionally, Streetlike’s cloud-based reward management service provides retailers with a platform to implement these updated and optimised reward experiences centrally across their estate.

5.      Participating customers are engaged and loyal

A touchscreen reward programme pushes brand experience beyond what consumers may expect of traditional retail environments. It attracts attention, increases participation, and offers shoppers to choose an offer most relevant to them in a fun, interactive way. This leads to repeat usage and purchase, as it becomes part of the customers’ shopping behaviour, and sets the stage for ongoing brand curiosity, engagement, and loyalty.

Today’s businesses have a myriad of challenges to creating durable relationships with consumers. With so much competition and so much information on every channel in the consumers’ lives, it is crucial to focus on developing sustainable relationships and increasing consumer engagement. The best way to do that is to provide customers with real value and a sense that the company understands what is important to real people. It is important to not only be able to connect to customers, but to personalise that relationship with each individual. This is precisely what Streetlike’s touchscreen reward programme can do.

[1] Source: Andrew Chen, “New data shows losing 80% of mobile users is normal, and why the best apps do better”, http://andrewchen.co/new-data-shows-why-losing-80-of-your-mobile-users-is-normal-and-that-the-best-apps-do-much-better/