Benefits of a Rewards Card App vs. Traditional Punch Cards

13 Jan Benefits of a Rewards Card App vs. Traditional Punch Cards

For years, paper punch cards have operated as the status quo for basic customer incentive programs at a variety of businesses. However, these outdated program have many drawbacks that have been addressed by new, more sophisticated rewards apps developed for smartphones. Many of these programs build upon the simplicity of paper punch cards, but digitize the program as well as introducing a whole slew of new features to help build a more profitable business.

Enhance Customer-Business Communication

Paper punch cards don’t tell you much, if anything, about your customers. Data such as who they are, where they live and work, age, visit history, and more more is not available through a paper-based loyalty program.  As a result, you’re missing out on a venerable gold mine of data by not using a digital reward card app.

Reward card apps have the ability to track relevant customer data in real-time. By rewarding repeat business in an efficient manner you can identify trends in customer behavior and allocate resources accordingly. This allows you to define high-value customers and pinpoint specifics about their encounters. Ultimately, you’ll be able to draw on these patterns to better anticipate your customer needs and thus maximize profit.

Ease of Implementation

Once downloaded by the customer, the reward card app has every advantage of traditional punch cards with none of the drawbacks. The biggest issues with paper punch cards include the fact that customers lose the card, they often forget to bring the card, and many flat out refuse to stuff their wallet with yet another card.  Additionally, paper punch card are often associated with massive amounts of fraud. All of these problems have a negatively impact the customers’ experience and sentiment towards the business.

When you integrate a rewards program with a customer’s smartphone, then many of the previously mentions problems are eliminated.  Consumers always have their mobile phone with them, and having their loyalty cards on their phone is a major convenience that is truly appreciated.  This way, customers always have their digital loyalty card with them. Plus, since punches are digitalized, there is a digital trail for every transaction, which significantly reduces the element of fraud.

Even More Benefits

Once customers have replaced their paper punch card with a reward card app you are free from the costs, both economic and ecological, in printing hundreds if not thousands of cardboard punch or stamp cards. So, you’ll not only save on the cost of printing the cards, but also the reduction of fraud associated with paper cards will be virtually eliminated.  The combination of lower costs, and reduced fraud often have a large impact on the bottom line. 

Furthermore, you can easily make changes to your digital reward card’s offers and interface without having to discard already printed cards. This allows you to react to data gathered by your digital punch card to better meet your customer’s need in real-time.

According to Michael Hemsey of Kobie Marketing, Safeway’s pilot program utilizes data gathered through digital reward apps to provide customers with relevant offers and discounts unique to their shopping experience. This model represents the future of transactions.

Digital reward apps create better-connected customer-business relationships.

The Future of Retail

According to AT&T’s Small Business Technology Poll, close to three-quarters of small businesses are turning to mobile apps to save time and reduce costs. In some ways the future is already here, as both customers and employees are accustom to using these technologies in their everyday life. It’s not an invention of an entirely new concept, but rather the migration and logical evolution of software used to track metrics like customer trends or inventory.

three-quarters of small businesses are turning to mobile apps to save time and reduce costs.

The future of retail, including restaurants, is in digital wallets. Being ahead of that curve is essential to remaining competitive in an app-optimized marketplace. Reward card apps are a critical step in the evolution towards future commerce. By implementing them today you ensure your business evolves with the marketplace.

Staying relevant often ensures survivability.