Card Linking

Navigating the festive frenzy: how businesses can capture customer engagement this holiday season

With the holiday season upon us, there are unique opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers on a deeper level and build stronger relationships.

The holiday season is an overwhelming yet exciting time of the year for everyone. It is the time of year when people reflect and give back to their loved ones and their communities. It is also an exciting time for businesses getting ready for some of the busiest shopping times of the year. With this comes many opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers on a deeper level and build stronger relationships. In this article, we explore how businesses can capture customer engagement with every transaction this holiday season, setting themselves apart from competitors and providing a more valuable experience for their customers. 

How business change their marketing efforts during the holiday season

Traditionally, many realtors change their marketing strategy to coincide with the holiday season. The largest share of holiday ad budgets go towards brand awareness campaigns (about 37%), followed by spending on customer acquisition (33%) and customer retention (roughly 31%). Usually, businesses will offer special promotions, discounts and gifts in their promotional campaigns. For example, Sephora offers their customers free items with purchases of $35 or more. This is an effective way to increase brand reputation and strengthen customer loyalty. 

However, not all rewards are created equal. Many rewards often require customers to have a branded card and onboard into programs - a process that can take weeks - before earning any rewards. 

So, how can businesses better position themselves this holiday season to take full advantage of their marketing and rewards programs? An effective method that complements any loyalty program is card-linking. This technology leverages existing customer cards, like a Visa or Mastercard, and pairs them to a customer program, such as a loyalty program, rounding for savings and investing programs or retail programs, and more. The onboarding process is swift - usually within minutes - and customers can continue to use their primary card, reducing friction from behavior change. Moreover, businesses can engage with their customers on every transaction and seamlessly deliver rewards that matter.

Navigating finances during the holiday season

The holiday season is often financially stressful for many shoppers. By directly linking existing cards to savings, loyalty, donation, cashback and cash forward programs, businesses can help customers navigate the holiday with their financial troubles. Before customers shop, more than half of cardholders check for merchant offers associated with their cards. With card-linking, any card can be used to earn rewards, and businesses can leverage this to attract more customers. Having an open enrollment program that any customer can opt into is a great way to build strong relationships with new and existing customers.  

How retailers can leverage card-linked programs to increase customer engagement

Retailers can give the gift of customer programs powered with card-linking technology, empowering customers to save and earn this holiday season. On average, customers will spend around $1500 during the holiday season, much of it on credit, making it difficult for them to stay on track toward financial goals. Customer programs like rounding and cashback help keep customers optimistic about their finances. 

Rounding is personalized for customers, allowing them to put aside money after every purchase to pay down debt or any other financial need. Many retailers offer great discounts and deals for their customers during the holidays. However, they can take it further and implement cashback rewards. 

Cashback was cited as the most desired cardholder benefit due to the versatile nature of redemption options, with 50% of cardholders ranking cashback as the top card benefit. Retailers can pair their promotional campaigns with a card-linked offer. For example, instead of earning a free item with a purchase, customers can earn cashback on eligible purchases. 

Both roundups and cashback are great customer benefits that retailers can leverage during the holiday season to encourage their customers to spend, earn and save. 

How money managers can gift the power of investing

Many customers want to allocate the roundups and cashback they earn from their purchases to an investment account where their funds can grow even further. In fact, a poll done by Yahoo Finance indicated that about 70% of Americans say they would be happy to receive an investment as a holiday gift. 

Money managers can offer investors simple and effective ways to find the funds to invest regularly. With how busy the holiday season can get, many people may overlook contributing towards their investment accounts. However, with the flexibility of card-linking, rewards can be allocated anywhere, including a designated investment account like a TFSA. Individuals can shop without the worry that their investment goals are not being met. 

Spreading cheer through fundraisers

The holiday season is about giving back to causes that matter to people. Fundraisers and nonprofits can make it possible for donors to donate cash-forward rewards and rounding with every transaction. Customers can shop and simultaneously contribute towards their favorite causes. 

For fundraisers, this is a great way to attract new donors and create new, sustainable, recurring donations. The holiday season is often the time of year where people are donating the most. With the cost of living rising, many people are cutting back on their spending. However, the least likely expenses to be cut are donating to charities during the holiday season (17%). This means fundraisers are in a strong position to raise their funding even more this holiday season. The power of small micro-donations by donors from their rewards lies in the cumulative effect. 

Card-linking with Olive

At Olive, we specialize in pairing engagement with transactions. The impact of this approach is substantial. We help businesses provide their customers with the ability to reach their financial goals, especially during the busy holiday season. For businesses, this means engaging with their customers, building deep relationships and increasing overall customer loyalty. 

Get started today

Request a free demo to see how Olive works, or reach out to an Olive specialist to learn more.


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