The ultimate loyalty program challenge
When Ayala Malls, a leading shopping mall retailer in the Asian region, were developing Zing – their new loyalty program, they had several universally complex challenges to solve. First of all they didn’t have any direct relationship with customers. In addition, mall operators don’t receive sales revenue so there are no sales margins to fund loyalty. But most importantly, the logistics of running a program across multiple stores, owned and operated by different types and sizes of retailers, some of them with an existing merchant loyalty program, is close to impossible.
As each one of their merchants was using varying POS and payment systems (integrated and non-integrated), they needed a strong and seamless technological solution that can support these requirements across 30 mall locations (comprising 11,000 merchants and servicing 2.5 million footfall per day).
It was clear that in order for the new program to work, it should offer a rewarding experience to everyone – the customer, the merchants and the Mall operator.
The customers look for a seamless, digital, real-time experience which can be mobile delivered (meaning no coupons or membership cards). Ayala Malls would need to have a merchant-funded solution and to be able to access the rich transaction and location data for better insights. But for the program to be really successful, they would need the cooperation of the merchants, who will only play along if there’s no POS modification or staff training needed, and if there’s an easy way to control their offerings.
Where most tech solutions out there failed to meet Ayala Malls’ requirements, the emerging technology of card-linking offers (CLO) seemed to be the closest one to save the day. However, with many consumer payments in the Asian region being made with a QR code payment platform, there was a need for a solution that would be payment-agnostic and not limited to cards only.
Their search for a payment-linked technology landed them on our doorstep. Our plug and play solution could offer them a highly customizable program management platform and enabled them to offer a payment-linked reward program that was the first-ever to include a QR code payment network.
Using the OpenSparkz platform, Ayala Malls launched Zing – their new payment-linked based loyalty program, fully packed with its own branded app, management platform and merchant dashboards.
While the program was launched in 2020, just before COVID hit (and is still impacting) the region, and despite still being in early stages due to COVID restrictions, we can already see it is delivering the core promised benefits to Ayala.
The bottom Line
The removal of coupons and membership cards, and the existence of an easy to onboard mobile app attracts more and more customers to the program every day. Unlike before, the mall operators now have the ability to communicate directly with these customers, no matter where they are, 24/7 and in a relevant and personalised way.
In addition, owning all the data of who’s visiting the mall, when and what they’re buying, including transaction size and frequency of shopping, provides the Ayala Malls management with insights they couldn’t previously generate in any other way. This rich real-time transaction and behavioural data helps them better utilise the space, optimise their marketing efforts and generally convert more foot traffic into paying customers.
Even the merchants are happy to collaborate with the program as it makes it really easy for them to participate without any operational impact. All they have to do is decide on the offer and everything else is seamlessly integrated and managed by the OpenSparkz platform.
With less friction for consumers, increased satisfaction from their merchants and more power in the hands of their program managers, Ayala Malls accomplished their mission of creating the ultimate loyalty program and amplifying their entire business while doing so. If you wish to learn more about payment-linked loyalty programs and how they work, contact us; we’d love to show you around and bring loyalty back to your program.