Look in your wallet or pocketbook, or wherever you keep your trove of internet passwords. We are all members of loyalty programs. Lots of loyalty programs. The average US household belongs to 28 loyalty programs, and in an obvious marker of our nation’s love affair with getting free stuff, the US is home to 3.8 billion memberships in total.
In a very interesting article in the online edition of The Economist explains that “Mobile technology is revamping loyalty schemes” (this article originally appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline "Forsake all others") and that this may be the what drags a lot of firms into the new digital reality of data mining:
As Starbucks has shown, many advances in the loyalty industry are driven by mobile technology. For a start, it allows firms to use location information to send well-targeted, real-time offers. And storing scores of cards in an e-wallet, rather than having to wedge them into a purse, encourages shoppers to use them. A quarter of people who abandoned schemes did so because they did not offer a smartphone app, according to Colloquy. Smartphones are also increasing the number of ways in which customers can garner rewards. Some restaurants, for example, offer points for those posting photos of their meals on Instagram, or for “checking in” on Facebook. The only limit, it seems, will be customers’ desire to protect privacy.
Will people be willing to accept the implicit Faustian deal and trade their data for customer rewards?Read the source article at economist.com