At rDialogue, we believe that loyalty marketing can be summed up best as: brands paying attention to customers, and acting accordingly. Consumers give brands access to their preferences, their purchasing history, their data—all in exchange for relevance. We have long believed that there is no single, best approach to creating customer loyalty. In fact, there are five key drivers for loyalty: access, financial value, information, recognition, and time. The latter, time, is quickly becoming the most important of these drivers. But what is time?
Time is a fairly vague term. How does it manifest as a driver of loyalty? To give it some context, we examined three ways in which brands are being more respectful of consumers’ time, and in doing so, strengthening their relationship with consumers. These three ways are: actual time savings, convenience, and frictionless experiences. It should be said, though, that these three categories have a lot of overlap.
Technology is rapidly becoming more intuitive and easy to manage. Today, consumers have an (understandably) lower threshold for inefficient processes. In fact, our research found that 56% of consumers say it’s very/extremely important that a brand uses technology to make the experience seamless. It’s even higher when looking at travel programs, where 62% of travel program members value travel/hospitality programs that provide cutting-edge technology (enhanced mobile app, robots, voice-controlled devices) available only to members.
How are brands providing consumers with frictionless experiences?
- In-App Payments: Brands like Uber and Lyft make it easy to use their app, and thus, ride with them. You never have to worry about cash and (rarely) need to call. Everything is done within the app. You can even interact with other partner brands, like Hilton or Delta.
- Mobile Check-In: Marriott and Hilton understand the desire to just skip the check-in line altogether so you can get to your room faster. That’s why both hotel chains offer in-app capabilities that allow you to have the seamless, frictionless checkout experience you know and love at check-in. You can even use your app as a key.
- Starbucks: Starbucks, like other brands, has made it easy to order within the app. With the testing of tools like Barista, getting your caffeine fix has never been so simple.
What is your favorite example of frictionless experiences?
To learn more about time, why it's fast becoming the most critical loyalty driver, and why brands like Walmart, Amazon, and Delta are investing in it, check out our new white paper.