Shopper’s Stop – Loyalty Or Disloyalty Program?

AD-QR-SHOPPERSSTOP-01-13MAR2013Since I wrote Loyalty Or Disloyalty Programs? and Beware Of Losing Sales With Bad Loyalty Programs, a couple of companies have used technology in very innovative ways to design loyalty programs that truly foster loyalty.

But Shopper’s Stop is not one among them.

The pioneer of India’s organized retail industry recently introduced a mobile app variant of its First Citizen loyalty card. I went to the Google Play Store and downloaded the app. It installed without any problem on my smartphone. But, from there on, the enrollment process was full of friction: Fill a form, send an SMS, wait for a reply, enter the PIN code, yada yada yada.

Given the limited value of this app – it replaced only one of the several plastic cards in my wallet – it wasn’t worth my while to jump through so many hoops to activate it and I gave up as soon as I reached the form. Going by the reviews on the app’s Google Play Store page, I’m not alone. Some users reportedly abandoned the enrollment process even earlier.

Unlike Shopper’s Stop, popular mobile loyalty apps like Keyring and Apple Passport let people move their entire collection of plastic loyalty cards in a into a single mobile app. By doing so, they deliver the following compelling value to their users in a highly frictionless manner:

  • Ditch their fat leather wallets. Just for context, the average loyalty program member has 12-15 cards in America and 3-4 cards in India.
  • Earn rewards at a store they happen to visit even if they haven’t carried the store’s plastic card.

It makes no sense for Shopper’s Stop to develop a generic mobile loyalty app but the retailer could definitely draw a lot of inspiration from Keyring, Passport et al towards reducing friction from its loyalty app.

In a series of blog posts in the next few weeks, I’ll deep-dive into the loyalty programs of other brands that do a better job at building loyalty. Watch this space.

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