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The Evolution of Loyalty Cards


Loyalty cards are getting a makeover in many ways. In the beginning, they were typically the size of a credit card and customers were required to hand them over at the point of sale. For consumers like myself, I was not always good about keeping them handy, and would sometimes lose them.


The first transition happened, much to my delight, when an option was added to be able to enter your phone number into the keypad to locate your card information. This was a nice transition and helped the less organized consumers of the world.


Then came my favorite transition for the loyalty card – key ring cards. Many companies started offering the traditional sized loyalty cards along with a key ring version. This was even more exciting to me, because my keys are always with me when I’m out shopping, so handing over my key ring was very convenient. Imagine my surprise when even our local library used the key ring version of the library card! This is such a convenient way to allow consumers to keep their loyalty cards handy, and use them.


Of course, things don’t stay the same very long… there are apps available for consumers to house all of their loyalty cards in an app, which allows cashiers to simply scan the appropriate code from the consumer’s phone.


One such app, the Key Ring, claims to allow consumers to easily house all of their loyalty card information from their favorite retailers and restaurants, all in one app. The company created a fun video to demonstrate:





Loyalty cards should be easy for consumers to use and keep handy. The evolution of the loyalty card has been in direct response to ease of the purchase journey as well as the goal of seamless shopping experiences. In addition to these changes, many companies are integrating the loyalty card experience into mobile apps, as the increased need for mobile opportunities expand among companies in order to keep customers satisfied.


Loyalty programs are incredibly useful to gain new customers, retain and reward current customers, and keep ’em coming back for more. Convenience of use is just one factor to consider. If your company is still using the “old fashion” credit card size cards, requiring customers to present them at the point of sale, it’s time for a loyalty card makeover.



Author: Ann Michaels & Associates

Ann Michaels & Associates has been providing customer experience measurement services since 1998. We provide a full range of services to meet the needs of all industries and company sizes, including mystery shopping, customer and employee feedback services, and social media management.

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