While coupons and discounts are perhaps the simplest way to drive a short-term traffic boost to your store on a tactical basis, stamp cards are actually the simplest and most popular way to track and reward loyalty on a longer term basis.
They have been around in various formats for over one hundred years and of course, this approach has evolved quite dramatically as the digital world develops, so in this article we’re discussing stamp cards as one of our favourite features within the Liquid Barcodes loyalty marketing platform.
Our goal is to ensure you use the full functionality of our stamp card feature, as it offers an increasingly easy way for you to recognise your customers, capture their data for marketing purposes, and of course reward the ones you value the most.
McDonald’s use stamp cards globally to reward customers buying coffee
Benefits of the Loyalty Stamp Feature:
- As a convenience retailer, a key objective is to work with your supplier partners to drive habitual purchase of their products. Brands like 7-Eleven use our stamp card feature to drive customers to buy their favourite drinks, such as Coca Cola, on a regular basis. For example, buy five, get one free. These retailers can showcase their loyalty programme to their suppliers to negotiate jointly promote branded products on a seasonal, tactical or strategic basis throughout the year. You can even use the “push notifications” feature if a customer is close to earning enough stamps for a free reward but has been inactive for a defined time (eg a week).
- Stamp cards are extremely flexible and configurable. As well as tracking product or category purchases (eg for coffee or lunch purchases), stamps can also be awarded as competition prizes (“win a stamp”), for completing a survey, or for supplying additional profile information. In fact, stamps are actually a currency like points, so you can create fun as well as anticipation, with the ability to award bonuses such as double stamps if want to, which is less expensive than giving a free coupon to members. Stamps are also an affordable way to acknowledge a milestone such as the 13th visit or the 30th and delight your member in a completely unexpected way.
- Stamps with tiers or levels: The Liquid Barcodes stamp card feature can also be set up with different levels such as bronze and gold with higher tier customers earning rewards faster. So a bronze card holder might earn a free coffee after she buys five coffees, but a gold card holder might earn hers every time she buys just 4! This is a super simple way to incentivise customers to choose to buy their coffee from you every time – with the added benefit of recognising as well as rewarding your customers.
Stamp cards are perhaps the easiest feature to set up as they simply need four or five images to be uploaded, then the campaign can be built and launched.
Stamp Card Solutions
Many global brands realise the importance of tracking purchase behaviour in different ways in different countries, however there are four very different approaches to using stamp cards within your loyalty strategy as follows:
- Firstly, traditional stamp cards are the printed cards that simply allow your store to stick or stamp a branded card to confirm the customers purchase. These are widely used in both independent and retail store chains because of their simplicity, however this approach is extremely limited, with no way to capture any insights on who your customers are and what they like. They are also often forgotten or lost by customers, and they can even be easily abused in stores – with the risk of staff stamping cards for their favourite customers more frequently than they should. We therefore recommend upgrading from this approach using the stamp card feature in our loyalty marketing platform.
- Stamp Cards with codes: In recent years, our loyalty platform has dramatically improved loyalty stamp cards with the addition of a unique bar code or QR code feature that can identify customers. These trackable stamp cards can be printed out directly in your store and this feature offers two immediate benefits:
- Firstly you capture basic information about the members collecting stamps.
- Secondly they prevent fraud as each transaction can only be scanned to one card for every purchase.
- The third option for stamp cards is the FULLY DIGITAL version where customers simply open your loyalty app and have their digital code scanned to earn their stamp. As with printed cards, once they earn a reward, their digital stamps are simply traded in for their free coffee, Coca Cola, cake etc and customers love the convenience of digital stamps because their phones are always with them. A great example of a brand responding to customer’s demands for a digital stamp card is the “Caffè Nero” card in the UK – with estimates that over 25 million people had lost their paper stamp cards and they convinced the brand to go digital!
- Finally, our favourite way to use this feature is called “auto-stamps” – or sometimes called “payment-linked loyalty”. With this approach, customers need to connect their payment card (such as Visa, American Express or Mastercard) with their loyalty account once to set it up. Using that payment card consistently means the member NEVER has to show a stamp card in store again. Our loyalty platform takes care of your tracking, stamps and rewards, and the solution is proving hugely popular with clients who initially wanted to award stamps more quickly but now love the added benefits of automatically stamping for customers, as it has earned such appreciation from their members.
One of our favourite examples of using stamp cards is the ‘Ok Stamp It’ loyalty programme by Circle K in Hong Kong as stamps are a high profile lever and the key mechanic of the programme.
This program is also an excellent example of creating urgency, with a relatively short lifespan of ninety days for its stamps. Members share their stamps with friends or family rather than lose them if they are about to expire.
The OK Stamp It programme has grown by 50% to 1.5 million in just two years
Stamp cards are used by all of our clients – but in very different ways, so if you’d like to make sure you are using stamp cards to their full potential, please contact us for specific coaching and support on this powerful feature.
Some of the world’s top brands use stamps to drive long term loyalty
Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialising in the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.
How we do it:
We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.
Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.
One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.
Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:
Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant
With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2 Priority, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer Group (UAE), as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a former judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards and host of the “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast.