Evolving technologies, driven largely by consumer preferences, are a driving force behind rapidly evolving retail environments. Often, a key to the success of one brand over another is its ability to skillfully leverage payment and loyalty solutions, creating a better consumer experience than the competition.
As the premier provider of payment-powered, rewards driven loyalty programs, ZipLine has led the retail sector in developing ACH payment technology since 2004. By studying, understanding and anticipating changes in consumer buying habits, and offering innovative and effective solutions, ZipLine helps retailers attract, engage, and retain customers. ZipLine consumers are amongst the ‘stickiest’ in retail.
In 2019, 1 in 4 convenience merchants will be using ZipLine platforms. With the largest market share in the convenience vertical, its platforms are often the number one consumer payment preference at some of the largest convenience chains in the U.S. Headquartered in Portland, Maine and Coconut Creek, Florida, ZipLine serves retailers and consumers across in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and is a recognized leader in mobile and alternative payments in the fuel and convenience vertical.
ZipLine has created the first fully integrated, combined mobile loyalty and payment experience, featuring CPG funded offers and rewards and payment in a single app, with a single enrollment. Developed to boost sales and increase consumer stickiness, the platform increases store visits and creates loyal customers through a seamless combination of convenient private label debit and targeted rewards. Payments and Loyalty on a single, seamless app.
Kristen Bailey, Chief Marketing Officer at ZipLine, is a driving force behind the company’s forward-thinking, consumer driven approach. A consumer experience expert with deep insight into the art and science of enhancing brand engagement, Kristen has a keen understanding of consumer behavior and segmentation strategies. Her leadership experience in sales, marketing, business intelligence and consumer engagement drives a constant and overarching focus on delivering next-level performance, a key in creating strategic partnerships and providing advanced customer-centric solutions to leading fuel and convenience brands.
“We like to call our solution—a seamless combination of payment and rewards—the “secret sauce”, if you will, to gaining consumer loyalty,” says Bailey. “The key is a real and authentic merchant-consumer connection. ZipLine helps retailers create safe, simple and personally rewarding payment programs that go beyond individual purchases. We work with our merchant partners to find the rewards that motivate their customers to create real and lasting connections.”
The Research is rewarding: Consumers Respond to Combined Payment and Rewards Programs.
The success of ZipLine-supported merchant programs stems from experience and research. Our analysis proves that merchant-branded payment programs create stickier consumers through a seamless payment and loyalty experience. Private label debit has a flat, per-transaction fee structure. No interchange or percentage fees. This makes it the most cost-efficient method in the payment ecosystem and creates discretionary margin that retailers can use towards their reward programs —and rewards are a key to loyalty.
Debit—whether card or mobile based—is by far the favored payment method in the U.S., representing two-thirds of all transactions. Programs that combine debit with rewards are proven to accelerate consumer participation and generate higher sales than separate payment or rewards programs on their own. Consumers want fast and easy and a combination of payment and rewards have become an expectation, and foster trust and builds relationship with the brand.
Nurturing the Merchant-Consumer Connection
With so many choices and a constant bombardment of consumer advertising, consumers become particular about where they shop. Similar products are available at many locations and from many brands, so today’s consumers gravitate to experiences that go beyond the purchase, and include rewards and experiences that make consumers feel like the retailer understands and appreciates them on a personal level. An ideal dynamic is one where the consumer feels that this merchant ‘knows me’.
This may sound like an impossible task, but it’s attainable with expert and strategic use of data and consumer insights. Strategic and tactically crafted reward programs enhance and strengthen the relationship between the brand and its customers. They provide immediate gratification—the surprise and delight that keeps consumers coming back, and encourage stickiness and loyalty to the brand.
ZipLine experts assist merchants in designing effective loyalty programs that create actual, measurable sales lift. The Consumer Insights Suite and ZipLine’s team of analysts, help to organize, segment and make sense of consumer data so it can be leveraged to engage consumers along their shopping journey and position them to purchase. ZipLine’s Consumer Marketing professionals work together with Consumer Insights to differentiate brands from their competitors, creating shopping experiences that match the consumer’s individual purchase preferences. Personalization is key. The marketing team effectively works as an extension of the merchant marketing team, offering constant support and expertise to ensure success. This includes constantly measuring and evaluating the program performance to adjust and adapt as needed.
The Ever-More-Seamless Future
Leading an industry requires constant innovation and self improvement. ZipLine recently released ’bank-linked’ enrollment functionality to streamline the enrollment experience for new members. It eliminates the hassle of entering a bank account and routing number and gives consumers an immediate opportunity to enjoy the rewards and benefits of a program.
Directly integrated with most major banks, this frictionless enrollment process eliminates a prior barrier to entry, makes enrollment quick and easy on any device, and fosters a feeling of security on the part of the consumer, a key ingredient in gaining trust and loyalty. Again; real-time enrollment lets consumers take advantage of program benefits immediately.
ZipLine is committed to providing best in class solutions for all consumers and retailers. Frictionless enrollment will play a key role in creating a remarkable, immediate customer experience, a driving force behind consumer gratification, which is the key to loyalty