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Easton’s Hotel Group embraces crowdsourced mobile loyalty

Easton’s Group of Hotels, a Canadian hospitality brand, is leveraging a crowdsourced-driven mobile loyalty program to drive more customer traffic to its properties and bolster its community of fans.

The group is partnering with the rewards platform, which encourages guests to check-in to its mobile applications upon arrival at a hotel and share their travel experiences in exchange for digital currency. Members of MoPals can then exchange the rewards or currency for dining experiences, room accommodations and other hotel services.

“MoPals crowdsourced loyalty platform helps premier businesses and big brands, such as Easton’s Group, reach out and foster deeper relationships with their customers,” said Alex Haditaghi, CEO of MoPals, Toronto, Ontario. “Customers can now earn rewards for sharing their experiences with friends and family, and as a result, these businesses retain more guests, encourage new visitors through referrals and secure the future of their hotels.

“Further, we are living in a world where collaborative consumption is a serious threat to this industry — with tech companies like AirBnb and CouchSurfing — meaning hotel chains need to become more social media and tech savvy to compete.”

Relevant rewards
Easton’s Group, which owns hotels such as the Hilton Garden Inn in Toronto City Centre and Courtyard by Marriott Kingston, believes that the partnership will drive more traffic to its locations due to the relevancy of mobile rewards for travelers. To participate in the loyalty platform, customers must download MoPal’s branded mobile app to collect and redeem rewards.

Guests can begin collecting rewards after writing a review of the hotel, checking in to certain facilities, uploading photos onto social media, eating at hotel restaurants and simply checking in to the property.

Once one of these activities has been completed, the MoPals member will see the reward be automatically deposited into their account, which is accessible on Android and iOS platforms, as well as the Web.

The rewards are also redeemable at participating businesses, food and beverage vendors and retailers that have integrated with the MoPals platform. The businesses are able to send targeted offers to users based on previous purchases and personal preferences.

“For the longest time marketers used gamification apps like FourSquare and Yelp to give brand ambassadors meaningless badges as rewards,” Mr. Haditaghi said. “A steady decline in this engagement clearly demonstrates that this type of recognition is fickle and people would rather receive tangible rewards for their recommendations.”

Users will receive the MoCoins digital currency when they take advantage of targeted deals.

Easton’s Group of Hotels will begin rolling out MoPals loyalty rewards in early 2015.

Hospitality and loyalty
Easton’s Group is the latest travel brand to revamp its mobile loyalty strategy in a bid to increase commerce. United Airlines recently introduced a new mobile app that also allows guests to earn rewards points for being frequent customers, and enables them to redeem points for in-store purchases at participating major retailers (see story).

These integrated mobile loyalty platforms are helping drive sales at a plethora of stores in addition to the brand leveraging the platform, proving that cross-partnerships are beneficial when it comes to rewards programs.

“MoPals currency allows members to earn up to 20 percent of their purchases back in MoCoins and can use them towards great perks and rewards,” Mr. Haditaghi said. We are a coalition loyalty program, just like AirMiles and Aeroplan, and our goal is to reach millions of members and thousands of businesses all at once.”

“These hotels serve over one million guests annually, and our big data platform gives them a better understanding of their customers while enabling them to customize guest experiences,” Mr. Haditaghi said. “This is integral to the success of an industry founded on customer service and hospitality.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York