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California eateries push for loyalty via beacon-enabled shopping app

A dozen small California businesses are participating in the beta launch of a new touchless, beacon-enabled shopping experience through the Slyde mobile app to generate on-the-spot rewards and benefits for their most loyal customers while creating a more personal and engaging shopping experience.

Slyde enables merchants to market to customers based on accurate statistics, such as customer visit frequency, product preferences and purchasing patterns, in turn maximizing marketing efficiency while lowering cost. Merchants can also increase coupon redemption rates by offering the right discount or benefit at the right time.

“It’s a big first, as this has never been executed before in the U.S.,” said Kihyun Jung, chief operating and product officer of SK Planet, Inc.

“Slyde is derived from the hugely successful SK Planet mobile commerce platform called Syrup that enables a large part of Korean commerce, with approximately 10 percent of all transactions across the country utilizing the service.”

“Anyone can redeem coupons, get loyalty credits and pay for goods, without ever having to take one’s phone or wallet out of his or her pocket,” he said.

SK Planet Inc. is the U.S.-based mobile commerce subsidiary affiliated with SK Telecom, is testing the app at businesses in Berkeley, CA, including Montague’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Cheese N Stuff and Michelle’s Yogurt.

Slyde currently integrates with DoubleBeam’s GoPago POS system to enable loyalty program software and secure touch-less payment technology within a single, comprehensive system.

Contactless capability
Slyde can be downloaded from iTunes and GooglePlay under the name SlydeNow.

It can be used at a dozen eateries, including the popular ice cream establishment, CREAM as well as Lucky House Thai, Pancho’s Mexican, King Pin Donuts and Bear’s Ramen house among more.

Slyde promises to manage every stage of a consumer’s retail experience, including the ability to identify when a customer is nearby and offer customized promotions, automatically checking the user into the store upon entry, mobile redemption of e-coupons and purchasing, and finally, a touchless payment experience.

The app allows a consumer to receive personalized deals and rewards, all with the simplicity of being able to pay without taking out their phone or wallet.  Once a consumer has downloaded the app and linked a credit card, the beacon technology securely gives store owners the necessary information via their POS system to reward and incent their customers.

The phone can stay in the shopper’s pocket while the owner completes the transaction even when it is time to pay, as the customer is recognized via photo.

The shopper receives a receipt via email and the information is available for reporting to the store owner.

App-contained receipt

Slyde recognizes consumer loyalty by accruing points for the consumer and turning them into rewards via their app on their mobile device.  Customers and merchants alike will save time and energy that would otherwise be wasted in clipping coupons, punching cards and redeeming offers.

Broader availability of Slyde is scheduled for Fall 2014.

Buying power via beacon
Shoppers who received location-based beacon messages were 19 times more likely to interact with the advertised product than those who did not receive a beacon message, according to recent research from inMarket (see story).

Beacons bring in a location-based marketing approach where there was not one before and build upon a consumer profile to make it easier to communicate and ensure interaction does not intrude with user experience, creating personalized product information and location on a consumer’s journey.

Regent Street in London, owned by the Crown Estate, rolled out beacon technology earlier this year which similarly used an app to push promotions and information to shoppers.

Retailers including Other Stories, Hamleys, Hackett, Karl Lagerfeld, Anthropologie, Armani Exchange and Cos all partnered with the platform to collect shopper data generated by using the app and to draw footfall into stores.

The app provided shoppers with information about everything from new products and upcoming events to offers only available to those shopping on the street that day. The app also built a profile for each user so the content received became tailored according to historical use cases to infer suggestion they may respond well to.

Rewarding loyalty
Generating loyalty from customers ultimately comes down to how well a company understands the needs of its customers and how quickly they can respond to satisfy those needs. 

Beacons can help retailers do that by leveraging the data collected on customer behavior, pairing it with past shopping habits and delivering personalized messages, offers and incentives at the appropriate time to streamline the shopping experience for each individual proactively rather than retroactively.

McCormick & Co.’s Zatarain’s claims to be the first consumer packaged goods brand leveraging beacon technology to engage directly with shoppers while they are inside a retail location. The in-app beacon campaign which launched in April enabled shoppers to receive grocery list reminders and loyalty points from the food and spice brand on their mobile phones (see story).

More innovative customer loyalty, marketing and payment technology is the next evolution of mobile commerce for small to medium size businesses.

Contactless payment systems are approaching a ‘tipping point’ of adoption in retail, and the continued pressure to improve the customer shopping experience is prompting retailers to embrace this technology

Boots UK, a leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer in Britain, allows customers to pay with their contactless cards at all stores, following the successful completion of the roll out of contactless terminals that generated over 8 million contactless purchases in August 2013.

Slyde fuses integral activations for loyalty, convenience and awareness to enable a more personalized, and rewarding shopping experience for consumers and a vastly improved integrated sales and marketing solution for brick and mortar businesses.

“We just rolled out two weeks ago so feedback is just coming in but we there’s a lot of excitement about the pilot,” Mr. Jung said.

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York