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Plastic vs Digital Loyalty Cards: Which is Best?

Not sure whether to go for a plastic or digital loyalty card? It’s far cheaper to retain current customer than to gain new ones. But most people in the UK belong to eight loyalty programs on average, indicating customers remain fickle in their purchasing preferences. Here we weigh up the benefits of a digital loyalty program to beat the competition.

Plastic Loyalty Cards

Traditional, non-digital loyalty programs are super simple to get up and running. Customers are familiar with these cards and they’re straightforward to use. But how many times are loyalty cards lost or left at home?

Other cons of plastic programs include:

  • Manufacturing Costs: the price of printing loyalty cards soon mounts up, especially when they’re prone to going astray
  • Lack of Data: messaging and rewards cannot be targeted
  • Low redemption: cards that get lost or are often forgotten are more likely to go unused, making loyalty redundant. Find out more in our article on the cost of misredemption
  • Prone to fraud: It’s easy to create counterfeit stamp cards (take Subway for example) or take advantage of coupon codes


Digital Loyalty Cards

Retailers that ditch the plastic cards save money on production and avoid sending their customers irrelevant and untimely offers. In our latest research 59% of older millennials (25-34 year-olds) also stated that it was important for a loyalty scheme to offer a digital option. Find out more in our loyalty whitepaper.

Further benefits of digital loyalty cards include:

  • Intelligent Marketing: you can collect customer purchase data to target promotions and rewards around products you know individual customers will be interested in. This promotes a single customer view and strengthens loyalty
  • Real-time data: data is delivered in real-time so you can monitor and adapt your campaigns based on customer uptake a reactivity instantly
  • Easier to Use: a fully automated digital system means all purchases are tracked and counted, making it easier to earn and redeem reward points
  • Mobile savvy: digital propositions like Eagle Eye Engage work in tandem with your digital loyalty program to send promotions to smartphones via SMS, MMS or email in real-time. Mobile technology also means being able to target customers with location-based marketing, such as beacons

Boost your Loyalty Strategy by Going Digital

The current generation of consumers feel less loyal to brands than previous generations according to statistics. So what’s the answer?

  1. Get digital. Build closer connections with customers and make your program more relevant by digitising your loyalty proposition
  2. Get relevant. Collect customer data to send personalised messages and rewards to consumers at the right time in the right place
  3. Get connected. Employ a single customer view by managing communications across multiple channels from a single, unified digital promotions platform

Ready to get started? Discover our quick and easy online loyalty software today, whether you’re digitising an existing scheme or starting from scratch.