Marks & Spencer could soon launch a full-blown digital loyalty programme to rival MyWaitrose, after revealing trials of a mobile phone-based scheme for hot drinks, designed to replace the cardboard stamp version.
Dubbed M&S Barista, the mobile app is being launched in partnership with mobile couponing and voucher technology company Eagle Eye, which already works with Tesco on its digital Clubcard vouchers and Pizza Express.
Arch-rival Waitrose launched its MyWaitrose loyalty scheme last year, while Tesco expects to offer a digital version of its Clubcard programme within months.
M&S Barista is being tested in 58 M&S food establishments in the Greater London area, at is Hot Food On the Move outlets and M&S Cafés.
As part of the trial, the app will be integrated to M&S’ CRM and point of sale technology, which will enable rewards such as a free drink following a certain number of beverage purchases.
The app will open up far greater potential for M&S than simply offering free hot drinks, however, allowing the retailer to offer customers rewards and incentives on other products and could eventually be expanded into an all-signing, all-dancing digital loyalty card. Underwired was appointed in 2012 to spearhead its eCRM strategy, to boost customer engagement over digital channels.
M&S senior marketing manager Mathew Legge said: “We are focused on providing our customers with excellent quality, value for money and convenience. The trial of a digital loyalty card in our ‘Hot Food on the Move’ and Cafés will further help us meet those aims, while rewarding our customers for their loyalty.”
Eagle Eye Solutions chief executive Phillip Blundell added: “Digital stamp cards are one of the simplest ways through which businesses can drive loyalty and increase visit frequency. For M&S this trial will not only strengthen customer loyalty, it will also help them to stay one step ahead of competitors in the food-on-the-go market.”
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