Some rewards are better than others. And some loyalty programs are also better at listening to their members, to better understand exactly what they find valuable and meaningful. This concept is crucial for all brands and marketers today. Understanding what resonates with the habits and expectations of modern consumers is no longer just a competitive advantage. It is a key step along the path toward customer loyalty.
Simon Properties, a global S&P 100 leader in retail real estate management and development, took great care to drive straight to the heart of this concept while designing its new loyalty program. Before launching the new Simon Insider throughout various malls across North Carolina and New Jersey, Simon needed to understand exactly what would and what wouldn’t work.
To keep pace with evolving customer behaviors, the Simon Insider eliminated traditional loyalty cards, coupons, and even redemption codes. By working directly with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, this loyalty program allows members to link their personal credit cards directly to their rewards accounts.
“Our solution solves two major issues facing a program that has to work across a mall,” Ed Vittoria, Simon VP of Loyalty, told Loyalty360. “First, having to carry around another card or paper coupons or to remember a specific code when shopping is unpopular with consumers and ultimately will not be adopted broadly. Second, those cards, coupons or codes would need to work across all the various point of sale systems used by thousands of unique retailers, which is highly unlikely.”
Simplicity and accessibility are two key attributes associated with the new Simon Insider loyalty program, which works by relying on credit or debit cards shoppers already use. It does not force members or retailers to break their normal purchasing process.
This is a major strength of the program, but the Simon Insider goes further by understanding what customers really want. A perfect example is Simon’s willingness to give meaningful and desirable rewards to members. Prime parking spaces are a perfect example.
“Access to the best parking spaces is the No. 1 request from our top shoppers, so we focused on that first, but we will be looking to add other benefits that recognize our members’ loyalty,” Vittoria continued.
In addition to special reserved parking near primary entrances, reserved for members who spend $1,000 or more every month, Simon Insider members can also earn up to $25 in cash rewards per month. And that comes on top of any credit card-based rewards they may already earn.
Simon Insider is currently available at four locations, including SouthPark Mall, Concord Mills, Menlo Park Mall, and Rockaway Townsquare Mall. Simon does, however, plan to launch the program across 12 additional centers in 2016