Visa creates instant cross-marketing loyalty tool
Visa has come up with a new way to reward customers at the point of sale: providing discounts to other places.
Through the Visa Commerce Network, shoppers are sent targeted offers and rewards on their mobile phones that can be redeemed at other merchants’ locations. For example, a hotel can provide its guests with offers from local restaurants and, with cardholder consent, track engagement and even issue rewards. Qualifying purchases are recognized at the point of sale and rewards seamlessly applied to cardholder accounts, eliminating the need for coupons or points systems.
In December, Uber riders in Boston received discounted Uber rides when they used their Visa card at their local Shake Shack. Post-campaign results showed Shake Shack benefitted from new customer acquisition rates in the double digits and higher customer spend levels, while Uber riders saw the offer rewards seamlessly credited to their Visa cards.
Merchants receive aggregated, near real-time reporting on their programs with the ability to see how offers and promotions are affecting local spend throughout the campaign lifecycle
To-date, more than a dozen leading businesses, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Regal Entertainment Group, Shake Shack and Uber, have used Visa Commerce Network.
“Participating in this program was seamless,” said Laura Enoch, senior marketing manager of Shake Shack, in a statement. “Guests could receive their perks without the need to change how they pay at the counter and, because all of the rewards happened on the backend, it was a great activation without the need to train team members.”
- Grow Your Business on the Visa Commerce Network – YouTube
- No Points, No Coupons: New Visa Program Connects Merchants, Makes Rewards Easier – COLLOQUY
- Visa launches cross-marketing network for coupon-free digital rewards – NFC World
- Visa Launches Commerce Network to Drive Merchant Sales and Deliver New Cardholder Benefits – Visa
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the benefits and drawbacks of Visa Commerce Network for merchants? Are you a fan of cross-marketing offers in general?
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10 Comments on "Visa creates instant cross-marketing loyalty tool"
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This is a good idea. It will benefit the participating retailers as well as consumers. Provided that consumers need to opt in, and that they are not bombarded by messages from Visa or the retailers, consumers are incented sample merchants, and merchants get real time information about the success of their offers. It’s a win-win.
What drives me nuts is that I get sent “offers” for the item(s) I just bought. For example, I paid the dentist with a credit card and the next thing I know I am constantly getting dental promotions on Facebook and other places. Contrary to popular belief, the technology doesn’t know what I’m thinking or what else I might want in the future. Then again, you know the old adage about blind squirrels.
Partnering programs like this are a good idea when the offers are compelling to the consumers. It is only attractive to the consumer when they have interest in the companies being featured. Other programs like this have popped up in the past, however if each partner does not effectively cross-promote with the other partners, the program will struggle.
Although they appear to be popular in Canada and Europe, these coalition-style marketing programs have struggled to succeed in the U.S. market. The best example is the Plenti program, which has low momentum despite heavy investment from American Express and other partners.
In general these programs tend to be too complex for shoppers, as they attempt to couple together unrelated products and services. Shoppers today want relevant, personalized offers that are tailored to their preferences and purchase habits. It’s difficult enough for retailers to meet shoppers’ expectations for promotions on their own products; they should focus on achieving this goal rather than the cross-marketing of unrelated products and services.
For those retailers who sell products that aren’t by nature frequently purchased, it makes perfect sense to group together. Key is getting a sensible purchase history across these retailers at a level of detail that can drive meaningful text-based offers. That is going to be a bit of a challenge.
The key to me for how this innovation will scale is that “cardholder consent” is required. I would be interested if this consent is merely an opt-in to “yes” and then the network looks at transactions and locations to “guess” which offers to push. To me, this won’t work well, as most “guessing” technologies don’t work that well. Instead, does the network let users select specific intent and criteria for offers and then dynamically send these at a true 1:1 level versus in segments?
This is just another way for Visa to promote itself. Repackaging the Visa “benefits” in this manner adds few if any benefits to the consumer and is really nothing more than an advertising vehicle for merchants.
More unsolicited “targeted offers” on my cellphone? Make it stop. Please maaake it stop!
I think the cross-marketing is fantastic when it is executed well and the connection is meaningful.
As the Director of Retail of one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations, I definitely perked up at the thought of a connection with hotels. It would be awesome if anyone checking into a downtown hotel had an offer for the museum pop up on their phone. Where do we sign up?
I’m a definite fan of cross-marketing offers, particularly when they facilitate a “win-win-win” scenario: Visa wins data on what their cardholders appreciate in terms of rewards partnerships, retailers win new customers, and customers win discounts and offers targeted to their preferences. I hope we’ll see more of this kind of cross-promotional value exchange over the coming months and years (and I think we will).