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Greggs ditches tradition with loyalty, payments app

The Greggs Rewards app will let consumers pay in-store via QR codes, replacing the need to pay with credit card. It will also integrate a rewards program that will provide exclusive offers and deals.

“The whole point of a loyalty program is to encourage repeat usage and having an app that makes it easy to collect and track points makes a lot of sense,” said Ritesh Bhavnani, chairman of Snipp, Bethesda, MD.

“One of the perennial problems with loyalty programs in the pre-mobileozoic era had been the absolutely insufferable number of loyalty cards you had to keep on your person,” he said.

“An app is not just better for the environment, but affords a lot more functionality like mobile payments, coupons and on-the-spot rewards redemption options, all of which can enhance the effectiveness and attractiveness of a loyalty program.”

Mr. Bhavnani is not affiliated with Greggs. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Greggs did not meet press deadline.

Greggs has almost 1,700 outlets and is headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Greggs rewards
Once consumers download the Greggs app, they can put money into a Greggs Rewards account so that they can shop in-store via mobile. Consumers can then quickly checkout by scanning a QR code or entering a unique code into a chip and pin machine.

When consumers open a Greggs Rewards account with at least 20 pounds, they will get a free breakfast. Greggs will also give consumers 5 pounds if they are one of the first 10,000 to register for auto top up with PayPal.

Additionally, the app integrates a loyalty program that rewards consumers with a free coffee after purchasing seven. There will also be prizes draws and more offers.

Consumers can also view transaction history and manage their account via the app.

Currently, Greggs Rewards is by invitation only, but the bakery chain plans to expand to a general release after a short period of time.

This new rewards program not only benefits the consumers, but it also benefits Greggs itself. The bakery chain will be able to gain greater insight into consumer behavior so that it can better understand its audience and improve marketing.

Mobile payments
One of the key points that is always brought up when talking about mobile payments is that there has to be some additional benefit beyond payment that makes it worth more than swiping a credit card. Attaching loyalty and rewards to payments is one way to do just that.

A consumer might not be bothered to download a payments app since a credit card works just fine already, but if there is an incentive he or she might be willing to download it.

The Greggs Rewards program gives incentive by offering a free breakfast and a buy-seven-get-one deal. Once consumers get hooked with the rewards, they will then be more likely to use the payment service as well.

Two of the leaders in mobile payments, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks, already offer loyalty programs within their payments app. Dunkin’ Donuts recently enhanced its DD Perks program to try to compete with Starbucks (see story).

“The nice thing about single brand chains is that they control their point of sales systems – and hence can insure mobile payments work seamlessly,” Mr. Bhavnani said.

“Also, for chains like Greggs which have low price, high volume products and significant repeat purchases, having a mobile payment system can be very beneficial for their most loyal customers who keep coming back again and again,” he said.

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