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Harlequin introduces the publishing world to mobile rewards

Book publisher Harlequin is bringing its romance novels into the mobile space with a new rewards program, which fans can access for a more personalized experience while helping the publisher drive sales.

The Harlequin My Rewards program allows readers to send images of Harlequin novel receipts from any retailer through email or upload the photo to the mobile-optimized Web site to receive points. The multi-platform program ensures a wide range of options for its customers to take advantage of, to create a unique and more personal relationship.

“By introducing a rewards program with an emphasis on convenience, we are making it easier for our increasingly mobile readers to easily earn points for reading Harlequin books no matter where or how they shop,” said Lucy Scinocca, director of loyalty and customer Insight at Harlequin. “Harlequin readers, one of the first groups to embrace digital, are avid readers who are always on the go taking care of everyone else.

“By making the program mobile friendly and the activities are easy to complete on mobile phone they can engage Harlequin My Rewards wherever they are and whenever they can,” she said. “They can easily earn points to redeem more of what they want, including more great books.”

Mobile loyalty
Introducing a digital rewards program signifies a deeper relationship between the consumer and Harlequin. The publisher is showing the value that these loyal customers bring to the table, and thanking them for being such devoted fans.

Customers of Harlequin novels must save their receipts, from any retailer where the novels were purchased, access the mobile site on their device and upload an image of the receipt. Users can also send in the image through email, take a picture on their digital camera or scanner and upload through desktop.

Readers who have purchased online or an electronic version of a book can forward the email confirmation or digital receipt to the rewards email address. Customers who purchase books directly through Harlequin’s Web site will automatically have points added to their account.

The brand is focusing on its mobile availability to ensure easy access to the program, as it is easier for customers to use through mobile devices directly after purchasing while in-store.

Offering a multichannel range of options for consumers ensures that a variety of customers can take advantage of the program. Consumer behavior varies from person to person, and to cover everyone’s needs it is essential to offer a span of platforms to engage with.

Harlequin is offering an assortment of reward prizes for readers using the program such as autographed novels, signature gift baskets and Skype sessions with Harlequin authors. Eligible participants can win these rewards through purchasing novels, sharing book reviews, providing opinions, completing challenges and games offered weekly and engaging through social media.

Prizes are not the only rewards offered to those apart of the program, it will also offer book recommendations to readers based off of past purchase history. Also, a digital bookshelf will soon be launched where fans can store favorite novels, rate them and share with other Harlequin fans.

Rewarding brands 
British department store Harvey Nichols also exemplified the future of loyalty programs with a new mobile rewards application designed to better serve its customers (see more).

Also, Kellogg updated its rewards program with a mobile-first approach, claiming to be the first consumer packaged goods company to use a combination of retailer frequent shopper integration and receipt scanning for point collection (see more).

“The most important aspect of Harlequin My Rewards is Increasing engagement with our readers,” Ms. Scinocca said. “Additionally, we are able to gather data on members’ purchasing behavior and reading preferences, which allows us to provide them with individualized recommendations on other Harlequin titles they may enjoy.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily