A Retail Property Company Bets on Apple and Google Apps for their Customer Loyalty Programme

A Retail Property Company Bets on Apple and Google Apps for their Customer Loyalty Programme
A Retail Property Company Bets on Apple and Google Apps for their Customer Loyalty Programme

FACTS

  • Mercialys, retail property company owned by Casino Group and key player in managing shopping malls in France, has been focusing on dematerialising their loyalty programmes for months. They now bet on Web giant’s wallets to meet their goal.
  • Customers visiting the group’s shopping malls will be provided access to their loyalty programme via Apple Pay and Google Pay, rather than a dedicated app.
  • The customer process consists in:
    • Connecting to the mall’s Wi-Fi network using a registration form.
    • Confirming access through a link received via e-mail.
    • Uploading the loyalty card to Google or Apple wallet apps.
    • Showing his smartphone at the cash counter when making his payment.
  • This last step lets the customer store a certain percentage on each purchase to a digital money pot later to provide him with discount coupons for use at the shopping mall.
  • Mecialys’ loyalty programme was designed and rolled out by Captain Wallet.

Initial Results

Mercialys’ loyalty programme has been tested for 6 weeks at Cap Sacré-Cœur shopping mall in Réunion:

  • 4,000 customers registered
  • 88% of 75 stores enlisted
  • 4 new shopping malls soon to be equipped

CHALLENGES

  • Simpler equipment. Mercialys bets on customers’ interest in Apple Pay and Google Pay, and pairs their own loyalty programme with these apps to boost its use rates. This also explains why they opted for a card to be uploaded to the existing wallet, rather than crafting a full-fledged app which soon stops being used.
  • Capturing customer data. The customer registers to upload his card to the wallet app. In doing so, he agrees to sending information to the shopping mall (at least his identity and e-mail address). More generally, when the customer chooses to connect to the app, he can be counted, located and his purchasing process can be scrutinised. This is new for Mercialys, which is provided access to qualified data, usually retrieved by the brands themselves, and likely to be analysed to increase store frequentation levels.
  • Helping their stores stay in touch with their customers. This paperless approach is a way for Mercialys to secure brand/customer relations, sending notifications on their mall’s activities and offers. This promise may contribute to increasing their malls’ attractiveness and talking more brands into opening stores in their buildings.

MARKET PERSPECTIVE

  • This attempt to rely on Google and Apple wallet apps for a loyalty programme further stresses the ongoing market renewal. Web giants started entering this segment several years ago (Google in 2011 and Apple in 2012) but did not hit success as their adoption levels were still low.
  • This trend seems to have been taking off and more services –including paperless payment options and marketing features– have seen the day. On these platforms, value is added to the payment step through including other services (such as customer loyalty programmes).

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