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VIP Loyalty Cards
Loyalty programs are structured marketing efforts that reward and therefore encourage, loyal buying behavior which is potentially beneficial to the firm. In marketing generally and in retailing more specifically a loyalty card, VIP card, rewards card, points card, advantage card, or club card is a plastic or paper card, visually similar to a credit card or debit card, that identifies the card holder as a member in a loyalty program. Loyalty cards or VIP cards are a system of the loyalty business model. In the United Kingdom it is typically called a loyalty card, in Canada a rewards card or a point card, and in the United States either a VIP card, discount card, a club card or a rewards card. Cards typically have a barcode or magstripe that can be easily scanned and some are even chip cards.

A retail establishment or a retail group may issue a loyalty card to a consumer who can then use it as a form of identification when dealing with that retailer. By presenting the card, the purchaser is typically entitled to either a discount on the current purchase or an allotment of points that can be used for future purchases. Hence, the card is the visible means of implementing a type of what economists call a two part tariff. The card issuer requests or requires customers seeking the issuance of a loyalty card to provide a usually minimal amount of identifying or demographic data for consumer purchases

Where a customer has provided sufficient identifying information, the loyalty card may also be used to access such information to expedite verification during receipt of cheques or dispensing of medical prescription preparations or for other membership privileges like, access to a club lounge in airports using a frequent flyer card. Across the globe loyalty programs are increasingly finding the need to outsource strategic and operational aspects of their programs, given the size and complexity a loyalty program entails. Program managers are typically agencies with specialist skills in loyalty consulting, creative and communication, data analytics, loyalty software, and back end operations.

The loyalty business model relies on training of employees to achieve a specific paradigm: quality of product or service leads to customer satisfaction, which leads to customer loyalty, which leads to profitability. Loyalty marketing is an extension of that effort, relying upon word of mouth and advertising to draw upon the positive experiences of those exposed to loyalty business model inspired ventures to attract new customers. The rapid expansion of frequent flyer programs is due to the fact that loyalty marketing relies on the earned loyalty of current customers to attract new loyalty from future customers. Incentive programs that are exclusive must strike a balance between increasing benefits for new customers over any existing loyalty plan they are currently in and keeping existing customers from moving to new plans. Hallmark did this through devising a program that directly rewarded customers not only for buying merchandise and utilizing Hallmark.com, but gaining additional benefits through referring their friends. The Credit CARD Act of 2009, which went into effect in August of 2010, legislates that expiration dates must allow at least 5 years from the date the card is issued, so time limits are becoming less of a problem for consumers. Some states outlaw expiration dates altogether, which gives consumers unlimited time to use gift cards. Still, it doesn't matter what the expiration date is if you never remember to pull the gift card out of your wallet and use it. The most recent loyalty marketing programs rely on viral marketing techniques to spread word of incentive and inducement programs through word of mouth.

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