Amazon seeks a better way to do loyalty rewards with new Moments program
The cross-platform feature, which is self-service and runs on a CPA model, had test partners including TikTok and Sony's Crackle streaming platform.
Amazon on Thursday announced a new self-service loyalty offering called Amazon Moments, which doles out both physical and digital rewards for marketers that are fulfilled, shipped and delivered by the online retailing giant. The cross-platform feature, rolling out to more than 100 countries and available on iOS, Android and more, marks another ramp-up in the Seattle-based company's attempts to attract more brand dollars by building out digital and mobile-first products that are focused on simplicity — with Amazon doing heavy lifting on the back end — and that tie back to its e-commerce platform.
The process for using Moments is simple, as Amir Kabbara, Amazon's head of digital marketing and consumer innovation, explained to sister publication Mobile Marketer. Marketers can visit a dedicated Moments console, pick the specific goals they want their users to reach and then set a budget for their campaign. Once those parameters are set, Amazon creates a rewards landing page tailored to each campaign, and marketers can plug their rewards links into an API. In one of Kabbara's examples, a music streaming platform could decide to send a link for wireless headphones or an iPhone case to a subscriber if he listens to more than 20 hours of music in a given week.
Moments additionally operates on a cost-per-action model, meaning that partners only pay when the desired action is taken by the user. Early adopters of the service, which has been in development for roughly a year and a half, have included teen favorite app TikTok, the TV network Bravo and Sony's Crackle streaming platform, pointing to the broad range of categories Moments is looking to court.
"The scenarios are pretty much endless," Kabbara said in a phone interview. "Really, marketers just need to go through identify the right action inside of their app or website, choose their reward and figure out what budget they have to get them positive ROI."
'Working like magic'
Moments arrives as a response to the demands of consumers, developers and marketers, Kabbara said. Amazon is positioning Moments as a point of differentiation to what it views as stale ways of doing rewards programs, such as only offering price discounts.
That sentiment has been reflected among consumers. A 2017 study by the digital marketing firm Helloworld uncovered a higher demand for innovation beyond the staple "spend-and-earn" loyalty models, including offerings like rewarded brand videos or surveys, as reported in Multichannel Merchant. Seventy percent of those surveyed by Helloworld said they supported the idea of brands partnering with other businesses as a means to increase the amount of loyalty points potentially earned. For marketers, many have also struggled in particular with loyalty on the fulfillment side, according to Kabbara — an area that's one of Amazon's strengths.
"With Moments, marketers can basically connect their digital and physical worlds with a few simple clicks," Kabbara said. "They can create new types of campaigns that drive all the way from engagement from customers to paywall conversion, reactivation, loyalty and so on."
A degree of simplicity is intended to extend to users as well. In what could be a strong selling point, consumers redeeming their Moments rewards will be able to apply any of their existing Amazon perks, such as free two-day shipping for members of the company's Prime service or free shipping on orders over $25.
"Reward links, I think of them as working like magic," Kabbara said. "A customer clicks on them, they go through to redeem their product, whether it's a digital or physical item, and they get all of the benefits that they expect with Amazon."
Amazon applied a number of use cases when testing out Moments, running test campaigns with partners that ran from a week to up to several months, depending on the goal, Kabbara said.
A subscription app trying to bring back lapsed customers found that those targeted with a Moments campaign were nearly four times more likely to stay in the app and renew their subscription compared to the average customer over time. Another pilot company, a gaming app, saw a 97% lift in 30-day app retention and a 43% lift in average daily revenue among new customers targeted with Moments, helping to stave off some of the typical usage drop off associated with newly downloaded apps.
Amazon did not disclose the specific companies tied to these results. It did, however, illustrate what some Moments promotions look like, including one around New Years run by TikTok that asks users to share a video with the hashtag #sweepstakes. TikTok said in a statement that using Moments allowed it to "quickly test and optimize campaigns to resonate with our global platform."
"One of the things that we were looking at that we wanted to get out of the testing period before going public was metrics that truly showed the long-lasting value of Moments," Kabbara said.
Early days of the service will also allow Amazon to gauge the marketers that could be repeat users of Moments, which will, in turn, help the company to iterate on the product and figure out how it best suits businesses and developers going forward.
"If someone goes through and creates two campaigns, it tells us they're likely to create three, four, five, six campaigns, and so on," Kabbara said. "What we look at is high-value actions as we try to figure out how to work with marketers to drive [consumers] toward them."
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