The single biggest technical issue facing loyalty program operators is how to match the member to the data.
If a member of a loyalty program walks into a retailer and spends $100, how does the loyalty program’s system collect the relevant data to know to reward the member with 100 points?
If the retailer has a modern Point of Sale (POS) system then the program operator may install an API connection to capture the data. This ideal approach quickly becomes untenable if the retailer has an old POS (we know large household-name retailers still running 25 year old POS using Window 95) or if the loyalty program operates across multiple retailers, such as a frequent flyer program. Also, retailers as a general rule don’t like 3rd parties touching their POS, as it is such a critical piece of equipment for the running of the business.
An alternative solution used extensively by large coalition loyalty programs involves the retailer sending them a .csv file once a month detailing the member identifier and the amount they’ve spent. The main draw-back with this approach is the lengthy delay in the member receiving their points. Astoundingly, this is still the approach used by major programs such as Qantas Frequent Flyer, but in this era real-time points earn is high up the expectations list and needs to be embraced as part of a serious customer experience approach.
PiCoLabs, a Sydney-born but global IT solutions company, has invented a suite of plug and play products which solve this challenge.
PiCo’s unique combination of plug-in hardware and cloud-based software eliminates integration issues, hardware upgrades and software installs. PiCoHub will connect to any register that uses a barcode scanner, collect any data which is scanned, and send it to the cloud for back-end processing.
PiCo can also manage rewards in real-time so customers can be offered discounts and value-adds at the register as part of the checkout process., making it useful for running consumer loyalty programs.
And all of this without having to touch the POS.
PiCo’s latest innovation is even more exciting, as it allows for the capture of receipt data, including individual product information and the amount spent.
This provides a much richer data set for segmentation and profiling. If the program know a member spends $300 per week at a particular supermarket, that’s useful. If the program also knows they buy cat litter, protein shakes, lots of meat, People magazine and hair removal products, they can build a much more complete picture of the member (in this case, an inner-city metrosexual male).
Loyalty & Reward Co believes PiCo one of the greatest loyalty industry innovations of the past ten years.
Philip Shelper is a loyalty management consultant based in Sydney, Australia who obsesses about everything to do with loyalty and rewards. His company Loyalty & Reward Co are a leading loyalty consulting firm.
Phil is the author of Blockchain Loyalty: Disrupting loyalty and reinventing marketing using cryptocurrencies. Buy the book.
Visit www.blockchainloyalty.io, a global resource centre for everything blockchain loyalty.