ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

TGI Fridays’ repeat visits increase with LoyalBlocks mobile loyalty program

TGI Fridays is among the merchants using a new mobile loyalty platform leveraging beacon technology to deliver notifications about special offers and rewards when a customer enters a store.

With interest in beacon technology quickly growing, LoyalBlocks has signed up more than 30,000 new small and mid-sized merchants, including Pizza Hut and Subway franchises since the beginning of the year. At the same time, the number of options available to retailers to leverage beacon technology is growing, with Motorola Solutions introducing MPact this week, an in-store loyalty offering using both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

“Since implementing Status by LoyalBlocks, we’ve noticed an increase in repeat customer visits and brand engagement,” said Joe De Nardo, executive vice president of Riese Restaurants and TGI Fridays.

“Our staff has been quickly trained and enjoys how simple the redemption process is thanks for the automatic nature of the LoyalBlocks Beacon,” he said.

Loyalty for small merchants
Merchants with a LoyalBlocks beacon in their stores can recognize customers on their phone as soon as they enter and deliver an offer, rewards or other message. As long as a customer has Bluetooth turned on and has download the retailer’s app created on the LoyalBlocks platform, no additional sign-ins or swipes are necessary.

Customers show their membership card on their phone at check-out to redeem offers and earn rewards. Users can select for themselves how and when they get messages.

The platform, which is being used by merchants in the United States as well as Britain, also permits small businesses to create various levels of status cards and determine different rewards for different levels of loyalty.

“LoyalBlocks was founded three years ago with a mission to solve fundamental problems for small businesses,” said Ido Gaver, CEO of LoyalBlocks, New York. “The way they market their business hasn’t changed – they are using primitive solutions to promotable business and don’t have a real way to get the word out.

“Mobile democratizes the field and makes it more acceptable for small business owners to have a loyalty marketing platform,” he said. “A small business can easily set up digital membership cards and tie rewards to it.”

Growing options
Izzo’s, a Lousiana-based chain of Mexican restaurants, reports that it used LoyalBlocks to announce a promotion to its customers and made a six-figure return in one day. Izzo’s has more than 8,000 followers on the platform.

There are currently 40,000 merchants using the service and between 20,000 and 25,000 building a loyalty program.

LoyalBlocks is among a growing number of mobile loyalty solutions available to merchants.

Motorola’s MPact platform, which was introduced this week, uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to pinpoint the location of customer devices in relation to the merchandise they are looking at and engage shoppers in the aisle.

Shoppers can opt-in and receive customized offers, access personal assistance via a Bluetooth-triggered loyalty app and use Wi-Fi to locate products in store, read reviews, compare prices and look up information.

Motorola Solutions has partnered with Aisle411, Digby, Phunware and Swirl to provide an end-to-end solution.

LoyalBlocks is betting on its ability to provide a low-friction experience to drive use with both retailers and consumers.

“Customization here goes both ways,” LoyalBlocks’ Mr. Gaver said. “LoyalBlocks allows business owners to feel they are building their own loyalty program and branding experience which complements the location experience.

“Mobile device enhances the experience and becomes a second screen,” he said.

“Other services create friction after the registration point, with LoyalBlocks it is just a card – no input of a lot of information.”

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