Promotional campaigns are very popular with many of our mall clients. These programs are an effective way for malls to increase customer engagement, foot traffic and sales. While some offer rewards to customers throughout the year for specific actions like becoming a member or “referring a friend”, others are largely centered around festive periods and other special occasions. The mechanics are simple. Shop and use your receipts to redeem a gift-with-purchase.
Points during these special promotional campaigns can double and exciting gifts can include items such as plane tickets, gourmet meals and gift cards designed to entice customers to shop more, to snag them. As the value of rewards increase, so too does the probability that some shoppers will attempt to “game” the system. The Placewise team has worked together with our clients on thousands of promotions, and we’ve designed our Placewise Rewards platform using artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize anomalies in purchase behavior.
Though most people follow the rules there are always a few that will attempt to “go around” them. Let’s look at a few of the most common examples we see.
The classic dumpster diver: Most loyalty programmes require purchase transactions to be made by the account holder. In one incident the shopper had been literally fishing for discarded receipts and then passed them off as their own. Witness? The mall’s very own customer service team member.
Receipt pooling: Collecting receipts from friends and family to attain more points or a higher value gift. Hence when a member is asked to confirm eligibility of receipts by providing proof of purchases, the shopper is only able to produce bank or card statements belonging to others.
Friends & Family: This occurs when a retail employee knowingly violates the promotional programme rules, giving special benefits to friends and family such as overissuance of reward points, or splitting reward points over several visits based on a single purchase amount etc.
There are several triggers, or anomalies that would deem a transaction ineligible or flag it as potentially noncompliant or fraudulent. Transactions that may exceed a certain stipulated quantity or spending amount based on backend rules set by the mall for instance. But recognizing a potentially fraudulent transaction is only part of the solution.
How can you turn what could be a negative shopper incident into a win-win situation?
Instead of an embarrassing customer confrontation and removal of the transactions from the system, the mall’s marcomm or customer support team could reiterate the programme rules and graciously make a one-time exception. The shopper now clearly knows that he or she is on the radar and is less likely to repeat this antic.
To streamline the monitoring of future reward activity the Placewise CRM system has a function in the shopper profile module which easily allows customer support team members to add remarks and customised customer tags to member profiles. Profiles can also be flagged for exceptional handling purposes like “VIP” for example, ending the need for manual tracking, and saving the support team time and resources.
Interested to find out more about how this module could benefit your center’s promotional campaigns and improve your customer experience? LET’S TALK.