Card-Linked Offers

Using card-linked offers to boost brand awareness and customer loyalty

Card-linked offers can boost brand customer engagement programs, providing ease of set-up, clarity of instructions, and personalized rewards.

Brand image is an intangible asset that every business wishes to maximize in order to increase consumer engagement, and especially, customer loyalty.

Traditionally, retailers and brands have used promotions, coupons and other related incentives, but with the shift to digital promotions, physical coupons and vouchers are less prevalent. Instead, retailers and brands are increasingly investing in digital promotions to increase brand awareness and connect with consumers in more meaningful ways, such as more personalization and audience targeting.  

However, even digital loyalty and reward programs have drawbacks, including the longer amount of time it takes to develop a promotion, the complications of implementation, and  the longer period of time from when a  purchase is made to when  the reward is earned. 

In this article, we outline how card-linked offers (CLOs) can greatly improve customer loyalty and overall brand image, why consumers love them, and the best ways to implement CLOs into your brand strategy. 

What are card-linked offers? 

Card-linked offers (CLOs) are consumer incentives, and they are changing the landscape on how consumers can earn real time rewards, without the need for any physical or digital coupons. Not only does this benefit consumers, but it also drives sales and increases brand loyalty. In fact, 62% of brands that use CLOs saw transaction volume more than double over the past year.

Like coupons and affiliate offers, CLOs are designed to reward customers when they complete one or more purchases, typically in the form of cash back paid by the merchant.

Unlike coupons or affiliate offers, CLOs are evaluated and rewarded automatically. Moreover, they do not impact top-line revenue, nor do they require any effort or training for staff. The cost of CLOs is only applied when revenue is earned by the merchant whereas with coupons and affiliate offers, the cost is borne beforehand.

Finally, CLOs are safer and more secure. They do not store any personal card information nor does anyone have access to the consumer’s banking information. 

Why consumers prefer card-linked offers: 

  1. Ultra convenient: Unlike other digital loyalty programs, CLOs do not require any additional physical coupons, special offers or discount codes for the consumers. Once they connect their cards, customers can start shopping, automatically saving money and earning rewards after eligible purchases are made. 

  2. More savings: Due to the convenience of CLOs, consumers can start saving more effectively compared to traditional coupons. Since CLOs are tied to your credit cards, consumers can receive great deals on everyday purchases that contribute towards their individual financial goals. 

  3. Only ONE card needed: With CLOs, there is no need to carry loyalty cards for each merchant to take advantage of deals or offers. Instead, once the credit card is linked,  offers are automatically applied when a purchase is made. The days of carrying around coupons and loyalty cards are finally over, and the only card consumers need is already in their wallet or app. 

Why merchants prefer card-linked offers: 

  1. Consumer insights: CLOs provide powerful insight into consumers’ spending patterns which can help merchants tailor specific offers and drive sales. Merchants can use this data for better segmentation and targeting fuelling overall growth. In fact, half of new merchants who used CLOS increased their growth rate by more than 30%

  2. Seamless integration: As mentioned above, with CLOs there is no need for any coupons to start an offer. On the merchant side, there is no additional training or physical hardware implementation needed. Furthermore, CLOs are safe and secure without any personal banking or credit card data being shared, reducing the retailer’s risk. 

  3. Positive ROI: CLOs help increase customer retention and drive new sales, and have been especially effective for Gen-Z consumers. According to a customer study, 75% of Gen-Zers are likely to revisit businesses that offer CLOs.

The future of card-linked offers

Card-linked offers are more valuable than ever, making everyday purchases more exciting and affordable for consumers. Retailers and brands are increasing their total budget to accommodate for more CLOs due to its many benefits. CLOs are only second to social media as the preferred marketing channel for brands.

With the increase in e-commerce and online shopping, CLOs are the most effective way for brands to implement digital marketing strategies. Currently, restaurants are the top CLO merchant category; however, e-commerce has quickly grown to become the third most popular CLO merchant category

Olive’s approach to card-linked offers

Unlike other platforms, Olive focuses on providing benefits not just for the cardholder, but also for the merchant partner. We do this through flexible configuration options that allow you to reward new and truly loyal consumers.

  • Greater customization: Merchants, retailers and brands can customize the CLO, from cashback reward percentages or the minimum threshold for obtaining a reward. Therefore, retailers can drive specific business goals, such as sales volume or value. 
  • Better margins: We also support rewards that are fixed cashback amounts versus percent of sale, ensuring that “big purchases” don’t hurt your margins.
  • Secure ROI: There are no fees unless a qualified purchase is actually completed.

CLOs are game-changers for retailers to increase sales and consumer engagement. To learn more about how to securely and easily implement CLOs in your business, reach out to Olive today.

Click here to schedule a chat with an Olive expert.

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