The Loyalty 'Game'

Published in CSP Daily News

Digital game at checkout lures customers into loyalty registration

By  Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- One of the biggest hurdles in starting a loyalty program is getting customers to register or provide enough information for the retailer to begin a dialogue. It's a valuable step. Having that two-way communication would mean understanding customer purchase history, identifying relevant offers and reaching back to that customer, potentially using mobile or online methods, to influence behavior. A Walnut Creek, Calif.-based company is now expanding its efforts help an undisclosed c-store chain to do just that.

"People are not really loyal," Patrick Probst, vice pres of marketing for Passbox LLC, told CSP Daily News. "We've created a fun, engaging game inside the store that connects the mobile and social experience together."

The "game" Probst refers to is an Android-based touch screen positioned prominently at checkout. As a customer waits for the cashier to finish, the screen encourages him or her to start the game. To play, the customer has to enter a phone number, but the five-to-eight-second game that follows will let every first-time player win.

A text message follows, explaining what the person has to do to redeem his or her fuel discount. Probst said it is designed to formally tie the customer to a specific phone number or a more complete registration into the system. The retailer is then capable of studying that consumer's buying habits and relating back compelling, relevant promotions or offers.

"By building a fun, game-like experience in the store that connects to your mobile phone and your social communities, you can inspire unprecedented levels of brand loyalty, driving incremental visits and sales growth," Mark Strauch, CEO of Passbox said in a statement.

Passbox was founded in January 2011 and recently secured $5 million in "Series A" funding from Alpine Investors, a private-equity firm based in San Francisco. The funding is now being directed towards adding more stores to the Passbox loyalty network, the company said. The funding also drives the continued evolution of the Passbox loyalty game, giving customers easy access to personalized rewards and offers while benefitting the retailer with increased store visits and revenue.

Customers earn fuel discounts, attain preferred status, and gain access to personalized offers directly applied to both their store rewards card and their Passbox account on their mobile phone.

By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Content Development Coordinator
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