A Better, Simpler & More Effective Way to Accelerate Customer Loyalty by Utilising MACH Architecture

How MACH principles enable more effective loyalty and personalisation execution.

Author: Max Kruger, Director of Technology at Eagle Eye

In our previous post, Meet MACH: The Principle of Eagle Eye's Technology Approach, we examined the nature of MACH architecture, its benefits and how (and why) Eagle Eye embraces the MACH principles. According to the MACH Alliance, an industry association that provides businesses with expertise and insights about modern technologies and their impact on customer experience, revenue, and overall performance, MACH is "an industry tech standard describing modern technology. The prerequisites to achieve this standard are Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless."

In the following article, we look at how MACH impacts the most important stakeholders in our ecosystem – our clients and their end customers. 

If you’re unfamiliar with what Eagle Eye does, our loyalty and promotions technology helps companies create value-driving, digital connections with their customers through real-time, omnichannel loyalty programs, personalised promotions, stored-value services and more. Our clients are grocers, retailers, quick service restaurants and travel and hospitality operators worldwide, all of whom are looking for the best and most effective ways to engage with their customers in the fast-paced and omnichannel world in which we live.

For our clients, the ability to respond to consumer demand and quickly implement the right technology solutions to meet that demand is paramount. And the need has never been greater for retailers to engage their customers where they are, whether in-store or online, and create consistent, relevant experiences across all available touchpoints. They must be able to deliver personalised content to individual shoppers at scale and in real-time to optimise their promotional strategies and spending, rewarding the customer behaviour they seek. And they need to deploy these capabilities in a flexible way that doesn’t place a burden on their budgets, human resources or timetables with platform refits or extensive change order processes.

A MACH approach to technology helps them achieve all of that.

Here are four critical areas of loyalty, promotions and marketing execution that are integral to all consumer-facing businesses but are particularly important for the grocers, retailers and QSRs that work with Eagle Eye. In what follows, we illustrate how MACH principles significantly improve each area over legacy solutions.

Creating a connected customer experience

Most of our clients have multiple, if not dozens, of potential touchpoints with their customers. And that’s not just because a global retailer like Tesco has 4,000+ store locations. A shopper can interact with a loyalty program app, the point-of-sale system at checkout, the brand’s ecommerce storefront, a digital or physical coupon, a marketing email, a notification message, a third-party delivery app, and so on. Businesses, therefore, must be able to create a consistent experience across all those touchpoints and connect data from each into a usable system (like a loyalty or CRM program). 

The traditional approach to managing multiple channels and touchpoints might have been to create an all-encompassing custom platform governing these disparate systems. Such a platform would be a battleship – mighty by necessity but unwieldy, resource-intensive and needing constant maintenance.
A MACH approach, which employs APIs to connect independent systems and is front-end agnostic, is far more flexible while achieving the same aims. With MACH architecture, the loyalty program can talk to the POS, the CRM, and the payment processor, while lightweight APIs orchestrate the omnichannel communication in real time.

This approach ensures the customer has a connected experience whether they’re checking their points balance, ordering delivery or redeeming a coupon at the till.

Personalised promotions at scale

Personalisation at scale is traditionally difficult for retailers, grocers and quick-service restaurants, especially for those relying on legacy technology. Almost a third of global loyalty program managers we surveyed earlier this year, as part of our report, Grocery’s Great Loyalty Opportunity, admitted that delivering personalised offers was one of their biggest challenges.

Again, the omnichannel connectivity facilitated by the API-first element of the MACH approach helps make personalisation at scale more attainable for retailers and other consumer-facing businesses. The ability to plug into ecommerce tools and other relevant systems easily and with minimal configuration allows for a complete picture of customer activity, fueling the ability to execute many more tailored offers and messages to individuals.

The ability to do this through APIs rather than an umbrella-style platform allows brands to scale up this capability as they grow or extend it across the geographies they serve.

Real-time engagement

Scalable personalisation is one benefit, but the “C” element of MACH also enables another key advantage: real-time engagement. Cloud-native SaaS solutions are not only maintenance-free and constantly updated, but they also facilitate near-instantaneous communications and offer delivery. Without the need for time-consuming transmission to a central hub, interactions can be initialised the moment a customer action triggers them. This means a program member is notified immediately when they achieve a new loyalty threshold, or a promotion can be communicated to a shopper when they’re in proximity to a specific item in the store.

Our research shows that this capability can have a significant positive impact on retailers: over 70% of consumers said that if they received an alert about a promotion for a product while in-store (that is, in real-time), they would either consider buying it or view the information as helpful.

Lightweight loyalty, flexible functionality

Beyond the advantages of a MACH approach, it also alters the “build-versus-buy" calculus for Chief Technology Officers and other decision-makers at enterprise companies. Solutions built under MACH architecture allow companies to opt into the capabilities they need rather than having to choose between buying a monolithic, black-box platform or building a custom solution from scratch in-house. This is inherently more efficient and opens up opportunities to allocate resources more effectively.

Between real-time engagement, personalisation at scale and a connected customer experience across channels, MACH delivers critical capabilities that retailers and their customers benefit from more efficiently and more effectively than legacy technology ever could.

This is why the MACH principles are central to our product development strategy – not just because it’s a forward-looking approach emphasising best practices any technology company should adopt (though MACH is certainly that), but because it delivers recognisable, tangible advantages for our clients and their customers. And at the end of the day, that’s the MACH metric that matters most.

To learn more about Eagle Eye’s MACH-based solutions that power the loyalty and promotions strategies of many leading retailers across the globe or to see specific applications across industries, visit our solutions page or get in touch with us here.