Why the Right Loyalty Program App Is the Key to Success

A loyalty program app unlocks countless possibilities for eCommerce brands and brick-and-mortar retailers to engage the modern customer. Find out how!

The cover image for Antavo’s article on why choosing the right loyalty program app is the key to success

In the past few years, companies – from retail giants to indie manufacturers – have had to learn to adapt to new customer behaviors, spearheaded by a generation that primarily communicates with the world through their smartphones. This phone-wielding generation has little tolerance for poor experiences, so sticking to old-fashioned, unoptimized mobile solutions for your loyalty program is a recipe for ridicule and customer churn. The question is, do you have what it takes to create a customized approach for a loyalty program app, or is there something missing?  In today’s article, we’ll take a look at what benefits dedicated loyalty apps can offer.

Are you curious about loyalty programs with an integral mobile app experience feature? Check out our GetPlus case study, where you can find out more about the incredible results they’ve achieved (like the fact that 87% of program members have transacted more than twice) using the Antavo platform.

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Shifting Customer Priorities, the Rise of On-the-Go Demand

Keeping up with your customers and their habits has always been extremely important. The ever-growing trend of mobile-based interactions doesn’t seem to slow, with new generations growing up and older generations getting more and more technologically adept. Prioritizing on-the-go presence for brands has become crucial.

According to recent statistics, almost 80% of consumers make purchases via their phones, and 27% of retailer revenue now comes from mobile purchases (through social media sites, shopping apps, websites). Another interesting fact is that customers clearly stated their wish to hear more from brands outside of traditional email marketing. This could include DMs, special offers, or surprise push notifications.

Attitudes towards reward programs and loyalty program apps have also shifted. Customer loyalty is much harder to earn, especially in the long run. Customers are no longer swayed by generic offers, simple financial rewards, or a coupon thrown in every once in a while. For a loyalty program app to be truly successful, it has to be seamlessly omnichannel. The emphasis is now on complexity, accessibility, experience, and personalization.

Global Poin Indonesia (GPI) relaunched their fully app-based GetPlus premium coalition loyalty program in 2022 with the help of Antavo. The company now offers a more personalized, engaging platform, with more than 500+ easily accessible, on-the-go offers.

How a Loyalty Program App Can Help to Better Engage Customers

Differentiating Yourself From the Competition

Identifying and clearly communicating your USPs to customers is a full-time job. One of the easiest ways to elevate yourself above the competition is through a customer loyalty program with a dedicated mobile app. It sets you apart visually, allows you to constantly offer fun challenges (such as gamified experiences or VR) on the go, and piques your client’s interests through push notifications whenever, wherever.

Retaining Customers and Extending Customer Lifetime

Utilizing the power of easy-access loyalty program apps helps keep your customers engaged and invested even when they are not currently making a purchase. Making the user experience fun, easy, and objectively beneficial for customers, encourages recurring customer behavior and emotional attachment, which leads to long-term engagement and higher lifetime value.

In a loyalty program app, members can set their preferences, and see membership benefits and purchase history data.
In a modern loyalty program app, customers can see all information on the screen regarding their preferences, purchase history, membership status, points and benefits, plus all active and available offers.

Gathering Customer Data, Enabling You to Build Successful Targeted Campaigns

Mobile apps can help you connect the dots of your omnichannel marketing strategy. They allow companies to utilize the full spectrum of insights, with customer data pulled from in-app profile completion and offline purchases as well. The more frequent and relevant information you have about your customers’ shopping habits and preferences, the more easily you are able to create personalized, targeted offers and tailor the perfect reward system, guaranteeing a better retention rate.

Increased Data Stream Leads to Increased Revenue

Fine-tuning your loyalty program based on your available data stream helps not only with creating more engaging content, but also with presenting a much more personalized and likely-to-succeed plan. Whether we are talking about exclusively app-based loyalty programs or omnichannel programs, the wide-spectrum of insights supports a significantly more tailored and therefore successful marketing opportunity for businesses. 

Curious how the mobile experience overlaps with the store environment, or what role apps play in creating an interconnected data ecosystem? Then check out our webinar on retail loyalty programs.

Digital Loyalty Card – It’s a Classic for a Reason

Traditional paper and plastic-based loyalty cards have been around for more than a century at this point. 

However, a modern, digital loyalty card offers the same benefits as plastic cards while allowing even easier access (always handy on your phone) and added features, such as customization, push notifications, and geotracking.

Using a digital loyalty card is also pretty simple. At the check-out counter, shoppers simply show their dedicated barcode to staff members, who scan the code with a POS, and the after-purchase points are immediately and seamlessly transferred to the customer’s account. The only extra step retailers have to take is to ensure that the customers can be properly identified, even without an active internet connection.

Digital loyalty cards showcase all the essential information about the customers’ membership status.
Digital loyalty cards can be effortlessly integrated into native mobile wallet solutions, offering customers an easy, on-the-go way to take full advantage of their membership.

What a Complex, Experience-Based Customer Loyalty App Offers

Unlike a digital loyalty card, a native mobile app is created and owned by only one company or a loyalty program coalition, featuring only its own platform. Having a custom native mobile app helps tremendously with brand recognition, giving a distinctive feel to the program, offering full structural and creative control. 

As opposed to digital loyalty cards, native apps offer a more variable feature selection (including AI-based solutions or gamification elements), more customization opportunities (reviews, surveys, etc.), and space for constant growth with effortless modification options based on incoming customer insights. 

  1. Enabling experience-based features: Sports and lifestyle challenges, quizzes, games, and visually engaging community-building content is the cornerstone of modern loyalty apps. These features perfectly complement traditional earn&burn or tier-based reward systems, providing the best possible solutions for brands.
  1. Maximum customization: With a dedicated loyalty app you can constantly offer fresh and inspiring content for users. In-app features can easily be added, improved, and modified based on feedback and user insights.
  1. Strengthening brand awareness: Every time users unlock their phones they can see the name and logo of your company’s loyalty app. It acts as the perfect reminder of their past shopping experiences, reinforces positive impressions, and ignites curiosity for new offers, earning badges, or exchanging points for rewards.
  1. Push notifications:  Surprise messages, lifestyle tips, and birthday coupons can help strengthen brand affinity. With the help of the geolocator, you can also alert customers to the proximity of your nearest store, making them more inclined to go in and make a purchase, ergo increasing purchase frequency.
  1. Community building: Your customer base already has at least one common interest: your products or services. Encourage your customers to engage more with your brand, or with each other, using in-app features; or offer rewards for making positive, socially conscious choices or donations.
A smartphone displaying a Club Rip Curl membership program.
When it comes to integrating third-party applications with native loyalty program apps, the sky is the limit. The latest trends show a high demand for loyalty apps that can connect to other smart devices, such as smartwatches. This way members have the ability to earn rewards via working out or surfing. For more on this topic, check out our Club Rip Curl case study!

Mobile Passes & Wallet Solutions – Ready to Take the Fast Lane?

When it comes to mobile-based loyalty experiences, a loyalty program app isn’t the only possible solution. There are also mobile passes, which come with their own benefits.

A mobile pass is essentially a digital loyalty card that is integrated into a native Mobile Wallet app on the phone. It is a practical, easy-to-use solution, that is perfect for companies wanting to create a loyalty program with must-use features, but without the development time required to create a native app.

Now let’s see how native apps and mobile passes compare on several essential parameters:

Comparative table featuring the characteristics of mobile passes and mobile apps.
Comparing the most important characteristics of native apps and mobile passes could offer necessary insight into which solution is the best fit for a company’s specific loyalty program needs.

3 Real Life Examples to Inspire You

In this section we will present three inspiring mobile loyalty program apps to give you a glimpse of features and benefits currently on the market. Some of them are only available in certain regions, while others are accessible worldwide. 

Lidl Plus – Make It Friendly

The Lidl Plus loyalty mobile app has features that provide a complex experience for shoppers, seamlessly blending traditional point earning, modern challenges, and lifestyle features. The features and benefits can be broken down into three main segments: redeemable incentives directly before going into the store, handy features while browsing and completing the purchase, and creative additions after shopping. 

The Lidl Plus Card mobile app includes a wide range of features that help shoppers before and during shopping
Including informative and educational features – like the Lidl Plus Card – ensures more engagement and a higher emotional value.  
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Why it works:

  • Store-specific offers: the app asks you to choose your favorite store location, so you can access special promotions
  • Shopping list feature: get prepared before you arrive at the store
  • Challenges and rewards: gifts and discounts after reaching a specific spending amount
  • Digital membership card: QR code to be scanned at the registry, adding additional data from your purchase
  • Cooking school feature: tutorial videos and educational features

MyModanisa – Make It Fashion

As an international retailer specializing in women’s fashion, creating an excellent, customer-centric loyalty mobile app was essential for Modanisa. The company’s main focus was to boost customer lifetime value with an engaging, multilingual platform, fun and easy to use for their customers. 

With Antavo’s advanced technology, a brand new, hybrid system was created, combining earn&burn point collection with tiers, with additional features that engage customers outside of the buying cycle. 

Antavo solutions based MyModanisa app quickly became a fan favorite with interactive and engaging features.
The results achieved with Modanisa’s loyalty program have been astonishing so far: in the first year since launching the program, Modanisa experienced a 4x increase in revenue, a 2x increase in average customer spend and a 2x increase in AOV.
Icon for the "Why it works" section of Antavo's article.

Why it works:

  • Customized solution for Modanisa, to perfectly fit their audience
  • Hybrid model, combining the best features of multiple systems
  • Rewarding shoppers for engagement, for writing product reviews
  • Classic tier-based rewards: free shipping, special event invitations, priority discounts, and birthday bonuses
  • International, location-based partner rewards and benefits

KFC Rewards Arcade – Make It Fun

Revamp, rethink, reinvigorate! Through shifting times and customer behavior changes, quite a few brands conclude that their loyalty program is in need of a timely update, to once again fit their business and customer needs. The perfect example of a stunning revamp is the KFC Rewards Arcade

With the help of Antavo’s technology, the Rewards Arcade became a truly unique and entertaining gamified loyalty program for KFC, a successful endeavor for the company and a go-to space for their customers. Since launch day, there was a 30% increase in usage frequency, a 53% increase in app downloads, and a 26% increase in weekly active app users.

Antavo’s Award-winning, technology-empowered gamified loyalty program for KFC UK & Ireland. The KFC Rewards Arcade represents a modern, engaging and universally beloved arcade-style concept. Find out, how 
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Why it works:

  • Appeals to a broad spectrum of customers (from first timers to frequent buyers)
  • A gamified experience keeps customers coming back for more
  • Instant rewards help to build an emotional connection with customers 
  • Arcade-style games (such as Hammer Time) include stunning design elements
  • Delightful surprises at every turn, keeping users wanting to play more

Tailor-made Loyalty App for You, Customized for Your Audience

At Antavo, we believe in creating truly unique solutions for companies. We provide a solid foundation enhanced with entertaining, intricate, yet easy-to-use features. Antavo’s Mobile Wallet Module was built in this spirit: it provides a frictionless way to boost your loyalty program with offline experiences. Antavo loyalty passes include a barcode or QR code for identification. Customers can download the passes on their mobile devices and use them to collect points or redeem their rewards in your offline stores and events.

Antavo’s Backoffice showcasing the Wallet Module.
Antavo’s pass editor uses a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) approach. Use the selector on the top of the page to change between views and applicable settings.

With our dedicated, easy-to-use editor, you can build an unlimited number of pass designs to save and use later — on any pass type. Among others, you can select the pass colors, add images, and enter text and get an instant view of how your modifications affect the end result for both Apple and Google Passes.

Antavo’s backend showing the pass editor in the Wallet Module.
Antavo passes can be used for coupons, such as claimable rewards and surprise & delight benefits, or simply function as membership passes. 

If you want to learn even more about the solutions Antavo has to offer, please don’t hesitate to book a demo or include Antavo in your RFP process.

And don’t forget to download our GetPlus case study to read about the many ways an app-based loyalty program can contribute to a brand’s success.

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Headshot of Zsuzsanna Ban, Loyalty Specialist at Antavo

Zsuzsanna Ban

Zsuzsanna is a Loyalty Specialist with years of experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Zsuzsanna is known for having an analytic approach and high-level communication skills, helping her deliver engaging content. In her free time, she enjoys watching Formula 1 and listening to endless Taylor Swift playlists.

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