The challenge of loyalty systems in the omnichannel era

In brief
Customer loyalty programs are worth nearly $2 billion, a figure that could triple by 2023, growing at least 20% more each year. And blockchain technology could play an important role in the industry. Blockchain technology could play an important role in the industry.

One of the most debated trends at the moment is how to match customer loyalty campaigns with omnichannel strategies, with the aim of creating a virtuous circle with the online shop that will link the customer on the one hand and create a director from the physical shop to the online shop on the other. For this reason it is essential that retailers have a precise view of their touchpoints, in order to make the channels dialogue with each other in a fluid way and guarantee the customer a unique and emotional experience that differentiates the brand and preserves the loyalty of their consumer. The new technological frontiers involve in the approach to Customer Fidelity the issues of Big Data, Business Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence in the lead, accompanied by a more uniform approach to all touch points present within the same ecosystem.

The importance of dialogue between all touchpoints in the same system

The importance of proper communication between all contact points is represented by the need for there to be a connection between the collection systems with regard to the physical and digital stores: if the customer’s archives and identification systems are not in common, the customer experiences different experiences for each touchpoint and can get lost halfway between channels. This is an obstacle to buying and retaining. On the contrary, the fluidity of the passage between the different channels, the perception that the channel is always one, with the same characteristics and experiences, is critical for the brand’s image, its differentiation from competitors and customer loyalty.

The loyalty market

According to Nielsen, customer loyalty programs are worth nearly $2 billion, a figure that could triple by 2023, growing at least 20% more each year. And blockchain technology could play an important role in the industry. [1]

For customers who have different types of loyalty programs, blockchain technology could offer them numerous advantages such as the ability to instantly redeem and exchange loyalty points for different currencies, through a single platform. In fact, with the possibility of taking advantage of a single wallet, consumers would save the time spent researching options, limits and rules of redemption of each program but, according to Deloitte, have, thanks to blockchain technology, ways of creating, redeeming and exchanging instant loyalty points between programs, suppliers and industries, within a common space. [2]

Blockchain technology applied to loyalty programs: Digital Coins

Through blockchain technology and thanks to the support of digital touchpoints such as smartphones, Retex offers an innovative solution that enables retailers to independently launch and manage promotional campaigns based on the purchase of Digital Coins, a crypto-currency within the network, which can be spent as “advantages” within affiliated stores.

In particular, at the time of activating a loyalty campaign, a retailer, in this case the Headquarter, buys and distributes to its franchisee the Digital Coins, issued by Retex, then paid to its customers in support of promotional initiatives and convertible for the end customer into discounts. The Digital Coins, which can be accumulated in the various affiliated supermarkets, can be used as advantages in each store participating in the initiative. In fact, the customer, thanks to the QR code present in the store and the social login, can directly access the collection of Digital Coins, after having indicated his point of reference. Finally, through the app it can track all active promotions in each affiliated store and check the credit and balance of its digital coins.


[1] Data from Nielsen’s Global Survey “Retailer Loyalty: Card-carrying consumer perspectives on retail loyalty-program participation and perks”.
[2] Source: Deloitte Blockchain Global Survey 2019.