Consumers are more connected to their devices now than ever. Yet more than the majority—85 percent[1]—still prefer to shop in physical stores. Retail marketers face a conundrum trying to maintain foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores while encouraging customers to visit their online, mobile and social channels.

In a recent article published in Modern Marketing Xchange, our own Theresa McEndree provided several insights into how marketers can address this dilemma using virtual rewards programs.

Here’s a quick excerpt from the discussion of digital rewards:

The use of smartphones and other mobile devices is steadily on the rise. And consumers already use technology to seek out deals, rewards and promotions. Retail marketers can offer omnichannel consumer rebates and smart digital rewards that will motivate in-store shoppers to engage with brands online. These channels can also increase frequency of purchase.

Tips for using digital rewards programs to make this happen include:

  • Using egifts as a promotional strategy to invite shoppers online. eGifts can be redeemed in different ways, including in-store. But shoppers may be more likely to avoid the hassle and redeem online when reward claim sites offer quick reward issuance. 
  • Offering online or mobile rebate fulfillment to improve customer experience. Instead of the traditional rebate redemption process, modernized rebates allow shoppers to redeem easily with a few thumb swipes on a smartphone. 
  • Leveraging digital rewards that attract customers to your website for redemption or spendback. Once shoppers are on your website, you can surprise and delight them with ease of use and add-on deals.
  • Offering virtual prepaid rewards. Offer network branded prepaid rewards that can only be redeemed online.

Encouraging shopper engagement with a brand’s online channels can help retailers forge these deeper relationships, increase sales and build customer loyalty. Utilizing smart digital rewards can be the impetus for directing traditional, brick-and-mortar customers into these valuable online relationships.


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[1]“The State of Retail” study was a survey conducted by TimeTrade® in 2015. The sample size included 1,029 respondents.