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NYC merchants collaborate on mobile loyalty to combat ecommerce’s growth

The Union Square Loyalty Coalition, which is being spearheaded by mobile loyalty platform LoyalBlocks, is focused on helping local businesses interact with one another while enhancing customer engagements. The program enables shoppers to receive personalized deals on their smartphones using beacon technology and build their status as they frequent locations in order to achieve better rewards.

“Small businesses are facing huge challenges and decreasing marketing budgets,” said Ido Mart, vice president of marketing and operations at LoyalBlocks. “Fortunately, new technologies have emerged to help bridge the growing gap between themselves and their corporate counterparts.

“The Union Square Loyalty Coalition is powered by LoyalBlocks, which provides a distinct marketing infrastructure that is designed especially for the small business,” he said. “This is a new way to build an app in minutes; a new way to publish deals to a targeted audience; a new way to reward loyal customers; and a new way to encourage social sharing.

“LoyalBlocks provides merchants with it’s own proximity detection devices based on iBeacon technology. Beacon technology has added a significant improvement to location-based marketing, and we’re proud to be a leader in this field.”

Push notifications
The coalition will focus on building partnerships between participating merchants and facilitating communications with local customers.

Customers who have downloaded the LoyalBlocks app are greeted with a push notification when they enter a participating location that will include a personalized deal.

From there, customers ‘build’ status at each location they frequent, and enjoy better rewards as their status increases.

The goal of the program is to improve the business climate in Union Square and effectively engage the connected consumer through mobile technology as local merchants deal with the growing popularity of ecommerce.

Geographic expansion
Participating merchants include Brother Jimmy’s, Cevich, Side Bar, TGI Fridays and Vapiano, among others.

The initial participants are comprised of 50 percent restaurant, 25 percent service & retail and 25 percent health and beauty establishments.

LoyalBlocks hopes to bring the program to other parts of New York going forward as well as to other cities.

“Customers download the LoyalBlocks app which serves as their gateway to our entire network of merchants,” Mr. Mart said. “Every participating merchant acts as an ‘app within an app’ that gets triggered automatically when the customer walks in to a participating merchant.

“Merchants can promote their own loyalty clubs within the LoyalBlocks app, to create levels of loyalty and reward repeat customers,” he said.

“When a customer joins a club, they basically create an open line of communication between themselves and the merchant. From there they can enjoy deals, rewards and exclusive experiences.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York