In my opinion: digital innovation is key to customer loyalty, claims Eagle Eye



Phillip Blundell, CEO of Eagle Eye, says merchants that embrace digital innovation will secure customer loyalty 

Blundell: creating unique customer loyalty schemes

Blundell: creating unique customer loyalty schemes

In the past consumers relied on local shops. It was easy for businesses to develop strong relationships – to learn preferences and to understand their customers. Today, smart consumers shop around to find the best deals. Arguably this is a buyer’s market. 

Today consumers are confident. Recent research by Google shows 67% of consumers believe that having access to multiple devices makes it easier to shop. There are those that argue that consumers today are promiscuous. 

Thanks to digital technology the modern consumer is always connected – there are now more than 1bn smartphones in use around the world. Smart retailers have adapted. For them the currency of the digital store space is an opportunity, not a threat. How are these retailers harnessing the virtual high street? 

Technology enables retailers to better engage with and understand their customers. By creating apps, optimising their websites for tablet and smartphones they are creating opportunities to target, engage and understand their audience. The true key to customer loyalty is understanding what value means to your customers. 

Value isn’t always financial. For example, some merchants request customer feedback before adding any new features to their smartphone app. Innovations such as barcode scanners have been introduced to allow customers to scan items before disposing of the empty containers which then generates a shopping list, which saves customers time when in store.

Eagle Eye AIR provides merchants with data and insight that enables them to build a customer profile on their frequency of visits, behaviour and shopping trends. The intelligence gleaned from this data can be used by merchants for future customer engagement, ensuring they receive offers that are tailored and relevant. It also enables loyalty rewards and real-time offers to consumers’ mobile devices when in-store, helping to convert straying customers into loyal customers. 

At Eagle Eye we are fortunate to have worked with some of the most successful and innovative companies in the UK to create unique customer loyalty schemes. We have partnered with the Tesco Clubcard Boost programme switching the traditional and unreliable paper based vouchers to digital in August 2012. The restaurants using this programme saw a return on investment within three months as customers opted to receive their vouchers through the digital channel. The programme is now driving hundreds of thousands of customers into restaurants every month.  

Continuing the digital evolution from paper based vouchers we recently launched the Greggs Rewards mobile payment app, making them the first on-the-go food retailer to launch an entirely digital-based loyalty scheme. The Greggs Rewards app applies a unique customer ID to each customer allowing them to pay swiftly for their purchases and be rewarded with exclusive treats and gifts built in to the app. The unique ID allows Greggs to identify and engage with their customers and enrich the customer experience by understanding what is valuable for their shoppers.

Loyalty is still possible for merchants – but the world has changed. Where there was once cash, now there is a mobile wallet. Where there was only a shop window, now there are more than a billion screens. Where a local shop keeper once knew and understood his customers, now there is Eagle Eye AIR.

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(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)