New Loyal = Comparison shopping + Passive Payments
Digital Consumers are increasingly becoming less loyal. Traditional Loyalty models are failing - comparison shopping is becoming a must for them to get the best deal. They are first searching a product in leading ecommerce sites - browser add-ons like invisiblehand are helping them to find the best price in other sites. Once found they are shopping from the cheapest sites using their mobiles-possibly while travelling back home. They hate typing (name, address, card number details) in small mobile screens - so they prefer 'one-click checkout' type passive payments options. They are always under time pressure - so they feel happy if someone can virtually guide through the whole shopping process(finding right store or coupon etc.) - as if it were a private shopping experience(of course without paying any additional fee for the premium experience).
Banks & Card Companies have tried their own shopping sites with special offers for card members. Most of these sites are membership based - you can only get those offers if you have the card. They can improve these shopping sites for digital consumers and get loyal business (merchant discounts/interchange) from these comparison shoppers by helping them to play their own game. Here are some winning steps -
1. Build a Membership-only site (must be mobile-friendly) which can be accessed by only cardholders - preferably use single-sign-on from online banking site.
2. This member only site should allow cardholders to search for any product or service e.g. camera, travel booking etc.
3. Now when the consumer searches for an air booking the comparison shopping engine (similar to invisiblehand) should display the lowest price options for same itinerary from various partner sites (it should consider all charges, taxes, coupon codes etc.to make it the best deal for the consumer).
4. Finally when the customer is ready to pay - the checkout or single sign on feature should identify the right card from the profile, apply the best coupon and make the checkout process as frictionless as possible.
If executed properly this can help banks or card players win significant customer trust, loyalty and sticky profits. The key success factors will be to continuously fine-tune the comparison shopping engine(comparison shoppers will start trusting you when they will feel you are doing a better job than themselves and thus saving time and money), create a frictionless checkout experience through responsive web-design, build partnerships and communicate the value to customer in right way.