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    Increase Customer Loyalty Through Mobile Technology

    “Loyalty” and “mobile” have become big buzz words, but despite their popularity, it seems like everyone is still trying to figure out best practices for both. How do you keep a customer coming back, making them loyal to your business or your brand? And where does mobile fit into all of this? Henry Helgeson, CEO, Merchant Warehouse, has identified five opportunities mobile presents and how each can increase customer loyalty.

    When customers realize that you’re eager for their business — and interested in reaching them when it’s convenient for them — they’ll see you as an obvious choice when they need to buy what you sell. This leads to happy, loyal customers.

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    Click through for five ways mobile technology can help your organization increase customer loyalty, as identified by Henry Helgeson, CEO, Merchant Warehouse.

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    Forgot your wallet? Or just don’t feel like carrying it? If a business accepts mobile payments, they’ve opened up a whole new avenue of convenient, frictionless transactions for their customers. They will appeal especially to the early adopter crowd, who will see those businesses as savvy organizations that are willing to go the extra mile to make life easier for customers.

    Worth noting is that according to RSR Research’s survey on mobile and payments, 44 percent of respondents report that their current primary form of payment accepted is credit card, but 20 percent of respondents expect that some form of digital payment, including mobile, will be their primary form of payment in three years’ time.

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    Mobile payments give merchants far more data about each customer and transaction than they’ve ever had before. This data allows smart businesses to offer super-targeted deals. They can identify favorite brands or products of each customer, their favorite days of the week and time of day to shop, and their typical buying habits. They can use this information to push out smart deals that customers don’t find spammy — deals they’re actually excited to receive.

    Think about your typical trip to the grocery store. What are your staple items? For most people, bread and milk top the list. Imagine getting a coupon for the gallon of milk you didn’t get on your normal trip. It’s a great way to encourage your key shoppers to come back. And what about your typical Tuesday night? For most people, it includes heading home, possibly catching a favorite TV program. But what if a favorite local restaurant sent you a deal to be redeemed on a Tuesday night when you don’t traditionally go? As a favorite restaurant, with an incentive to go, you’re more likely to take advantage of a fun opportunity to break out of your routine.

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    Loyalty programs have historically been quintessentially analog: boring, low-tech and often hard to manage. With the advent of smart mobile payment apps and point-of-sale systems, businesses are increasingly able to offer loyalty programs that provide real value to customers, and thus accomplish what they’re meant to: increase loyalty.

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    Often businesses run promotions for a limited time only. If you can reach consumers in a timely fashion using mobile communication, you can share the news of the deal while it’s still relevant. For example, if a grocer is having a sale on some super-fresh strawberries, a timely mobile reminder in the form of an ad, an alert or even a well-crafted email, can reach mobile consumers and bring them in, increasing the frequency of their visits and thus building loyalty.

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    Location-based services can help you find out where your customers are, which can help you target them with offers more wisely. Plus, if you can automate outreach to consumers when they are close to your store, you can increase foot traffic. According to a joint national survey conducted by Sybase 365 and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), mobile devices are playing a more crucial role than ever before in influencing consumers’ shopping decisions at the point of sale and across every stage of the purchase funnel. In fact, 61 percent of consumers reported they would be more willing to make mobile payments if improvements were made to the current mobile commerce landscape, including more accurate results that are relevant to their shopping habits and exact locations.

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