From The Editor | October 9, 2013

An Interesting Approach To Loyalty — With Gift Cards

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies
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By Bob Johns

Bob Johns, Robert Johns, associate editor

Loyalty normally relies on discounts to bring people back, but this company is trying to help build loyalty for retailers through gift cards, points, and games.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Rysa Pitner, COO at Dlyte.com, to discuss customer loyalty and how her company can help increase that loyalty and build repeat business. Dlyte.com is an online platform that rewards customers for purchases of branded currency. The most familiar of these methods is the gift card. “For retailers, gift cards represent built-in shoppers who are guaranteed to come in at some point in the future,” Pitner says. The Dlyte platform helps create a loyalty gateway by delivering these pre-installed shoppers to the retailer. The solution launched in beta last year and is readying for rollout soon.

“We all know that rewards enrich the relationship with brands more so than discounts do,” Pitner says. “But, the key is building that relationship into frequency and repeat business.” For retailers, the Dlyte solution is a turnkey customer acquisition and loyalty program that functions as an extension of their sales force. Consumers purchases gift cards from the site and are rewarded with loyalty points, which are then used for games or shopping experiences increasing their ability acquire more gift cards. The customers are not locked into specific brands, which can help create customers for other associated brands.

“By getting away from discounts, retailers are able to eliminate those customers who only return when there is a discount,” Pitner notes. This can help facilitate a move to reward customers who are proactive and build value. These customers return over and over again to purchase gift cards, earn points, and shop brands. Customers who share the website on social media are able to earn points faster. There are games offering a risk-reward for points. More games are being added all of the time based on customer feedback.

“The solution just came out of a round of beta testing that used a random selection of customers to kick the tires on the site and experience. They can tell us where we missed and where we succeeded,” says Pitner. “We made the recommended changes, and the public beta is happening now.” The initial test are using gift card aggregators, but the ultimate goal is to work directly with retailers to market their own cards.

This seems to be an interesting way to build loyalty. As part of a larger loyalty program, the Dlyte solution can help capture the customers who may feel a lack of connection with a brand.