Around couple of decades back Loyalty Programs first started appearing in Indian markets and disrupted the way brands interacted with trade partners and consumers. Around a decade back, owing to growing internet penetration, web based solutions through participants in Loyalty Programs disrupted the way Loyalty Programs are executed. With Web based systems partners gained unprecedented access to their points and rewards. We are now standing at the cusp of another disruption within Loyalty Programs which is usage of Mobile based systems.
According to Statista Inc., a Global Leading Statistics aggregator and publisher, Mobile devices contribution to overall internet usage went from 0.7% in 2009 to 52.2% in 2018. As of now majority of internet consumption is happening through mobile based devices. In developing regions of Asia and Africa this ratio is further skewed at 66% and 64% respectively. With more traffic moving to mobile devices Loyalty program systems need to be equipped to handle this to keep up with the audience.
This situation is exacerbated in India with the onset of the biggest technological disruption this country has seen in a while. We are of course referring to the launch of Jio which has lead to complete crash of mobile internet prices across the board and giving every mobile owning Indian access to as much mobile internet as one needs with negligible marginal cost. This is changing the way Indians are consuming internet rapidly. Everyday there are so many people accessing internet over the first time in their lives and they are doing this through mobile devices.
In this background it is important that Loyalty Program systems adapt to the changing usage patterns. Firstly all loyalty programs now need to be accessible through mobile devices and preferably have a mobile app interface. All features of web based systems such as tracking points, uploading documents, recording transactions, redeeming rewards and raising grievances should be included in the mobile App so that it becomes a one stop solution in their palms for the complete program.
Going mobile also comes with other benefits. Biggest of them all is increasing engagement through higher ease of access. The camera feature in Mobile devices makes document upload much easier as compared to desktop based systems. The notifications that can be sent also lead to more timely actions and can cut through the clutter that exists in everyone’s SMS and Email inboxes.
Couple of pointers to keep in mind in building mobile apps right now are keeping the Apps light and not be a drain on power and memory of the devices. With the constraint of mobile data gone, the biggest constraints people have in their mobile devices right now are battery life and system memory. It is important to use these resources as sparingly as possible to keep the usage high.
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