Customer Loyalty, Engagement and App Usage thanks to Mobile Vouchers

5. November 2021 - from Michael Schranz

Coupons, vouchers and mobile tickets are an integral part of the marketing mix and have proven their worth for customer acquisition and retention, frequency increase, cross- and up-selling as well promotions of all kinds. The idea of enticing customers with discounts or vouchers has probably been around as long as retail itself. However, today digital vouchers, coupons or tickets offer more diverse possibilities and significant advantages compared to the "traditional" variants in paper form. 

In this blog post, various mobile vouchers, couponing and mobile ticketing apps and their advantages are presented. It also explains new possibilities for handling digital vouchers, virtual currencies and discounts that have arisen thanks to the blockchain.

More flexibility and more diverse options thanks to digital offers 

There are many reasons for implementing digital vouchers, discount coupons and tickets. In contrast to conventional paper vouchers, owners most probably always have digital coupons with them on their smartphones. In addition, offers in digital form can be personalized and tailored to the preferences of consumers more easily, scatter loss from couponing campaigns is minimized, success is easy to measure, and this data allows measures to be optimally aligned with the needs of the target group. Campaigns can be controlled in a very targeted manner depending on various triggers and market conditions can be responded to quickly.

If digital coupons, vouchers or tickets are integrated into apps, they represent a good opportunity to increase usage (frequency of use, retention) and engagement with the app. After all, a successful app is not one that is downloaded often, but one that is also used frequently. The retention rate, the percentage of people who return to the app within a certain period of time, is a more meaningful measure than pure download numbers when it comes to analyzing the success of an app. 

However, engaging app users and convincing them to use apps regularly is not an easy task. Goodies, vouchers, and coupons can be a great help in this regard. As part of customer loyalty programs in combination with gamification, digital vouchers, sweepstakes and goodies can satisfy both people's play instinct and the obvious desire for discounts (saving money). Incentives are provided to return to the app on a regular basis. The added value that the end users experience through the coupons can also greatly increase the recommendation rate and thus the passive promotion of apps. 

For the success of these campaigns and the achievement of the set goals it is very important that everything runs smoothly from receipt (user is informed) to the redemption of digital vouchers. A clean end-to-end user journey with a good user experience and ease of use (designed for the DPU, i.e. the dumbest possible user) is important here. It must not be too difficult or cumbersome to redeem coupons. 

In the last years we were allowed to individually tailor and implement our voucher service for different customers and have collected countless experiences, which we'd like to share. Below are a few customer projects where we have integrated goodies in the form of vouchers or discount coupons in various ways.

Shoppi Tivoli - Vouchers to Increase Loyalty

People who use the Shoppi Tivoli App regularly and collect points will receive numerous surprises, vouchers and discounts for advancing to the VIP level. Vouchers are automated and sent directly to the end user via the app using various triggers. For example, when someone has a birthday or reaches a new VIP level.

To prevent these vouchers from being forged, the valid vouchers were animated and a redemption process with a timer was implemented. Furthermore, a protection mechanism that prevents screen recordings of the redemption process which could lead to vouchers being used more than once was integrated.

Voucher activation
Voucher Visilab

By digitizing the vouchers in combination with gamification elements, the Shoppi Tivoli shopping center was not only able to increase app usage, but also to make its B2B partners happy, who can now deliver their vouchers via the app.

Nicole Corti

"With the integration of the voucher system, Apps with love has given the Shoppi Tivoli app the foundation to finally include our tenants. The ability to play digital vouchers is very well received by both our users and the vendors.”

Nicole Corti, Marketing Shoppi Tivoli Management Inc., App Project leader

Bern Welcome - Mobile Ticketing for Tourists

Before the Bern Welcome app was launched, tourists in Bern had to go to great lengths to obtain and use the free Bernmobil ticket given to them for staying in Bern overnight. They had to get a written confirmation at the reception, which in turn could be exchanged for a day ticket at Bernmobil. A manual and very time-consuming process for all parties. As part of the development of the Bern Welcome App, this process was 100% digitalized and integrated directly into the tourism app. After starting the app, end users are asked for their booking number. This is checked in the background and the users automatically receive the mobile tickets available to them. These mobile tickets were equipped with an animation, so that no one can simply show a picture or short video of the ticket. Through this integration, hoteliers, just like Bernmobil, save valuable time with the manual issuing of tickets. At the same time, tourists experience real added value. The app provides an easy way to get and immediately use the mobile tickets without tedious offline processes - a good reason to download the Bern Welcome App.. 

Combined with the other features and content, such as the handy augmented reality view, which conjures up important points of interest and orientation directly on the camera view, or the cultural, dining and shopping offerings, the Bern Welcome app offers a great digital experience. 

Bern Welcome libero ticket
Bern Welcome AR Card
Bern Welcome Agenda

Selecta App Coupons - Promote Products & Increase Frequencies

The Selecta App was designed and developed by Apps with love several years ago for the well-known Selecta brand with over 20,000 vending machines. Initially, the app only offered a finder and an SMS payment function for all vending machines in public areas such as train stations, parks or other well-frequented locations. As part of a further development of the app in 2018, a couponing service from Apps with love was then integrated to offer both Selecta B2B partners new opportunities for promoting their products and end users added value in the form of discounts. The coupons from the Selecta app can be, for example, discounts on products, free products or even cash backs. A dashboard for creating and managing new coupons was programmed into the app's backend, or content management system, so that Selecta can easily create and launch new coupons at any time without the help of developers. 

Especially for apps with consumer goods, like the Selecta app, vouchers and discount coupons can greatly increase the attention for new products or promotions and thus increase the purchase frequency.

Helsana Loyalty Program Vouchers - Strengthening Customer Loyalty

For the Helsana loyalty program, Apps with love conceived, designed and programmed a gamification-based reward system that rewards Helsana customers for their healthy lifestyle with vouchers. The whole thing is based on a sophisticated points system and different "missions" that end users have to complete in order to get closer to the needed points for the desired voucher.

Helsana Bonus Program
Helsana bonus program offers
Helsana bonus program voucher

Startfeld Wallet-App: Vouchering 2.0 with Blockchain - Technology for Startup Capital

Startfeld is the network for founders and stands for innovation development in the Säntis region. The association supports startups but also SMEs that are open for new impulses with funding, provision of infrastructure and support from experts.

Together with Blockchain Trust Solutions and of course the Startfeld association as the client, a wallet (digital purse) was developed for the disbursement of the funding in "Startfeld-Coins". This is a digital value voucher in which one Startfeld Coin is equivalent to one Swiss Franc.

This use case of blockchain technology for the implementation of digital vouchers is a small innovation and at the same time revolution in the digital voucher market. Previously, it took longer to transfer the funds to the beneficiaries and it was much more complicated for the startups to redeem their credits.

In addition, the blockchain promises greater security against counterfeiting and transparency. Each digital voucher in the form of an entry on the blockchain is unique. The fact that entries on the blockchain can be tracked completely and subsequent changes are impossible means that ownership rights and the allocation of digital coupons, vouchers or tickets to their owners can be clearly ensured. Startfeld vouchers can therefore not be misused (or only with enormous effort, which would probably not exceed possible profits).

Find out more about the Startfeld wallet here!

Startfeld Wallet
Startfeld Wallet Onboarding
Startfeld Wallet Homescreen

Use Cases for Digital Vouchers

  • Product promotions within an m-commerce app - e.g. Selecta

  • Loyalty program - e.g. Helsana 

  • Distribution of capital - e.g. Startfeld Wallet 

  • VIP / customer loyalty program - e.g. Shoppi Tivoli 

  • Mobile ticket voucher - e.g. Bern Welcome App

Context-based Triggering of Vouchers

The more vouchers are contextually and individually tailored to the interests and environment of the end users, the higher their conversion rate. Vouchers have the potential to trigger a wow effect and a positive experience for end users. That's why we have implemented various triggers in our voucher service, which enable very flexible and individualized experiences:

  • Timing: aligned with a fixed date or specific time of day (e.g. morning coffee).

  • Location-based: With GPS (geo-fencing) or Bluetooth beacons, it is possible to detect when a user is at a specific location. Accordingly, a voucher can be played out, for example, when a user is in the vicinity of the respective store.

  • Event-based: User's birthday, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, etc.

  • Activity-based: A user buys a product and then receives a voucher / discount coupon.

  • Referral: As a gift for recommending the product or app to others.

  • Gifting: as a gift from other users

  • Win/Prize: As a prize in the context of sweepstakes or contests.

Successful Customer Retention with Voucher Marketing

Voucher marketing is a simple but effective way to acquire customers, increase sales, and build customer loyalty. Especially in the digital age, vouchers offer a quick and easy way to convey the right gift for any occasion. The potential of vouchers has long been known in marketing - discount codes and vouchers very often play a central role in marketing campaigns. Thanks to the mobile internet and the widespread use of smartphones, the possibilities of using vouchers to increase customer interaction have improved, the costs of implementation have been reduced and the possibilities for scaling and automation have increased.

If you are thinking about using vouchers in an app or your next digital campaign, don't hesitate to contact us!

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