Air Miles is hoping to catch a ride on the mobile bandwagon by sending in-store offers to smart phone users via mobile push notification technology. The pilot program is being carried out in several Rexall Drugs and Staples Canada locations.
“What we know is that our collectors are living life on their mobile,” Emmie Fukuchi, vice president of product development for Air Miles. “This is the next step in innovating how offers are served up to our collectors, when they want them and where they want them.”
The company is testing its Beacon technology which send messages and personalized offers to an Air Miles collector’s smart phone when they walk into a store that has signed on for the program. The location-based service is an opt-in service for the consumer.
Last year, Air Miles experimented with geo-fencing. Messages were sent to collectors’ phones when its users were 500 metres to one kilometre away from a store. With Beacon, the messages are sent to the phones when their users are just about to enter a store.
The program is being piloted in 15 Rexall drug stores in Toronto and eight Staples stores in Calgary and Edmonton.
Collectors that opt-in for the service get a push notification on their phones that welcomes them to the sponsor’s store and lets them know there are offers available in the store for them. The messages are transmitted as a text message.
“The offers could be specific to the collector’s spend or to a category,” said Fukuchi. “Collectors can choose to delete an offer or save it to access later, and they can identify those most relevant to them and act on them.”
So far, 500,000 people have opted in for the push notifications. The number is growing at a rate of about 20,000 opt-ins per month, according to Air Miles.
Monitoring the frequency of offers is critical as consumers tend to opt-out when they are overwhelmed.
She said Air Miles is currently rotating offers weekly to determine which offers and what frequency “makes most sense.”