The New Loyalty Card


Yesterday marked Steve Jobs keynote address at the WWDC. One of the key things mentioned: iPhone updates. Sure it announced a series of upgrades for one of the world's most popular smart phones but it's a great reminder of how popular the smartphone is becoming. After all, many tweeters and bloggers were keeping track of every update at every second yesterday via hastags and liveblogs.
The WWDC event yesterday was more proof on how much more our market is dependent on smartphones. They have grown beyond the early adopter and "techie" phase and have become extensions of ourselves. We can do anything from our phones now whether it's email, tweeting, taking pictures or even shopping.
With mobile devices becoming virtually attached to most people, its role in loyalty programs will be on the rise as well. Already many companies are utilizing services like Yelp and Foursquare to attract new business. During a conversation I had last week, one person pulled out his smartphone and simply stated "This will be the new loyalty card."
He's absolutely right.
Instead of having to juggle several cards or pieces of information, it makes sense for the industry to shift this direction. If consumers are already using their mobile devices to talk, share and shop (and even accept credit card payments via Square), it seems only natural that loyalty programs will utilize mobile for their programs as well. Companies are using this via custom apps, such as Southwest Airlines' DING alerts. Others will utilize third party sources like Foursquare or Yelp while some programs could even develop a program as simple as a text-message based platform.
Mobile loyalty programs will eventually become more of the norm and less of the future before you know it. How do you all see loyalty programs fitting into the smartphone industry?