Flagging activity levels in loyalty programs are well documented, and Bink hopes to reverse the trend with the launch of its new app in the UK. As reported by City AM, the average American household belongs to 29 loyalty programs but is active in only 12. Participation rates are even lower in the UK, with residents only active in 6 different loyalty programs.
The founders of Bink recognized that low participation rates resulted in part because consumers tend to forget their loyalty cards or just leave them at home at the most important time – when they’re in the store ready to make a purchase. Bink addresses the issue in a clever way that should find acceptance by consumers shopping in an increasingly digital world
Bink was designed to enable users to store all of their cards in one place by linking them to a payment card. Shoppers can collect rewards and additional benefits from each of their loyalty programs stored in the Bink app.
Bink is launching this week with support for loyalty programs sponsored by the Arcadia Group, Virgin Airline, and expects many others to join in the coming weeks. Co-Founder Lee Clarke shared that “Bink is compatible with all the loyalty schemes on High Street today, and allows consumers to upload their card details, view their latest transactions and access marketing offers and other content”.
Beyond providing a convenient way for consumers to manage their loyalty program memberships, Bink is focused on new customer acquisition and in-store conversion. For example, if a Bink user shops at a particular store often enough, the app recognizes the behavior change and invites the customer to enroll in the brand’s loyalty program. Clarke said, “It’ll pop up on screen saying ‘would you like to join our programme’, and you can collect your points for the last transaction… we make it really simple to register straight away. You don’t have to go online, you don’t have to collect a card in store, it makes it all nice and simple within the app.”
Through these alerts, Bink is removing a key point of friction in loyalty programs today. However, not everyone wholeheartedly endorses Bink’s strategy. Mike Atkin, Chairman of the Customer Strategy Network, said, “While some program members will be motivated and, possibly more engaged, in Loyalty Programs, it is unlikely to improve the performance of a participating scheme other than, perhaps increase redemptions. The reason that many programmes are failing is because the CVP is weak and often poorly promoted. Clever technology can help reduce friction but is not the silver bullet that many claim.” Bink has the potential but we’ll have to wait to see how it performs after launch. In addition, Brands will have incentive to join with Bink as they become aware of potential new customers through its data management engine and are able to deliver relevant offers to drive repeat visits for the merchant.
Bink was recently released for download on the App Store and Google Play in the UK. Plans to release the app in the U.S. and other locations are set for early 2017.
Photo Credit: Bink