Comment: How Hammerson is using tech to reward loyalty

Retail property giant Hammerson’s head of customer experience Kathryn Malloch explained to Charged how it is using technology to drive customer loyalty. 

Rewarding loyal customers has been a fixture of retail for generations. From stamp cards and coupons to Clubcard, Advantage points, and Nectar, there’s no shortage of options.

In some ways, the ubiquity of options has become a problem. When you have a card for all your favourite retailers, after a while, building up points becomes a burden rather than a blessing. Who wants to spend 10 minutes at the front of a long queue desperately rummaging through their bag trying to find the right card?

We have been trialling “Programme FIDEAL” at Espace St Quentin in France. FIDEAL is a loyalty programme powered by the technology start-up TRANSACTION CONNECT, and it essentially turns a consumer’s debit or credit card into a multi-brand loyalty scheme. It takes all the stress away, as shoppers automatically earn rewards every time they shop in our destination, all they have to do is pay with their card – there’s no printed vouchers, no codes, no searching for the right loyalty card, and no waiting at the checkout for the card to swipe properly.

It’s early days, but since we launched the trial the feedback from consumers has been really positive, and we’ve seen a redemption rate of around 65%, which is significantly above the industry average.

The scope for this is huge. Not only is the scheme simple and easy to use, it also gives us an insight into exactly which brands a customer really likes, and the types of products they buy in store. We can then tailor the offers we give them to their specific needs, which makes them more likely to come back and shop with us again.

We’re planning to run the trial for a further 5 months, and if we continue to receive positive feedback and see similarly high redemption rates, we’ll look to roll it out to some of our other flagship destinations later on in the year.

This is just one example of how we are using technology and insights to improve our offer for customers. Trialling new technologies and innovations with smart partners is the best way for us to add value for our shoppers, drive loyalty and improve the overall experience.

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