Consumers increasingly value high-quality customer service and the ability to co-create their brand experiences with the companies themselves, which has led to brands implementing more immersive technologies to create more customized loyalty program experiences

Modern consumers increasingly are less brand-loyal. Consequently, retailers are reinventing how they incorporate unique benefits into their customer retention models. For many years, retailers offered similar benefits across industries, for all types of consumers. In the post-digital age, brands now understand that loyalty programs will only resonate with modern consumers if they fulfill their customized needs. 

With the use of AI, AR, and cryptocurrency technologies, brands are creating programs centered around immersive, omnichannel experiences. Here are four brands that are integrating these features to incorporate custom-tailored benefits for member programs:

HSBC, the U.K.-based bank, is creating an AI-enabled program that allows consumers to customize unique rewards that meet their specific needs. The bank has partnered with Maritz Motivation Solutions, a provider of loyalty programs to the U.S. and global companies, to integrate a technology that suggests a redemption category to promote to each credit cardholder and calculates the percentage of customers likely to redeem in rewards from each category. In its development phase, HSBC engaged with thousands of existing customers to study their search patterns and how it compares with their activity six months prior and after the research was conducted. Eventually, HSBC plans for the program to consistently read customer data to predict how customers might redeem their credit card points, to help them, more actively and effectively, navigate rewards offerings across categories— such as travel, merchandise, gift cards or cash.

American Express
American Express, the international credit card company, has partnered with the music festival Coachella to give its cardholders exclusive offers and benefits. For example, within the Coachella app, Amex cardholders can tap a dedicated Amex tab to unlock a unique AR experience. Users can instantly purchase exclusive merchandise by clicking the “shop” feature and waving their phones will trigger an AR image of exclusive merchandise, which can be purchased on the spot.

EZ Rent-A-Car
EZ Rent-A-Car, the rental car company, has rolled out EZ Money, a loyalty program that offers its members a range of ways to customize their benefits. Members can redeem their points for credits on future rentals, earn extra perks, such as child seats or toll passes, or convert their points into cryptocurrency that can be redeemed at any participating store.

Bumped, a U.S.-based technology company, has disrupted the loyalty program marketplace by enabling shoppers to own shares of the companies that they shop at. Shoppers can choose their preferred retailers through Bumped’s app. Then, when these customers spend money at these specific stores, using a linked credit card, Bumped will automatically purchase shares in those particular companies on their behalf.

79% of consumers feel that brands must actively demonstrate that “they understand and care about me, and 74% of shoppers believe that brands can set a new standard by how they serve customers. Therefore, by adding extra and personalized benefits for their clients, brands show that they are listening and catering to their consumers' pain points, using their uniquely-curated rewards programs as an antidote to an increasingly fragmented marketplace. For more on how retailers are using technology to better meet consumers needs, see PSFK's report Leveraging Data To Create Personalized Experiences.

Lead Image: holding smartphone and application in a clothing store by Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock