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American Express helps retailers drive loyalty, sales via mobile deals

June 16, 2011

American Express steps into growing social deals space

The mobile deals space continues to heat up with American Express jumping in to drive brand loyalty and sales via its new pilot program.

The company is teaming up with LevelUp for the new initiative in three cities that will enable cardmembers to receive special savings notifications on their mobile devices. The Levi’s Store is the first retailer to sign up.

After making an initial purchase from an offer via LevelUp, consumers unlock progressive deal levels that get better each time, creating incentive to return to the business as well as driving loyalty.

The launch also marks the first time Android’s new push notification technology is being used in market.

The daily deals space is attractive to brands because it enables them to offer locally targeted offers.

Groupon and Living Social both continue to sign up new customers at a fast pace using the social deals model. Groupon, which is the leader in the space, recently filed for an initial public offering and set its potential value at $750 million.

Now, other companies are looking for ways to get a piece of the action.

American Express and LevelUp do not respond to a request for comment by the press deadline.

A better offer
LevelUp and American Express are betting that the ability to support loyalty along with driving sales will be an attractive proposition for retailers.

Consumers who sign up for LevelUp can browse the offers in their city. When they buy one, they can “level up” and go back to the merchant for an even better offer.

This helps retailers build loyalty and drives repeat visits. It is also viral, with LevelUp reporting that 25 percent of customers share their LevelUp offers.

Levi’s is the first retailer to sign up for the LevelUp American Express program, which is being piloted in Boston, San Francisco and Pennsylvania. American Express cardmembers who sign up and use their cards will receive special savings notifications via their mobile phones.

LevelUp was developed by Google Ventures-backed SCVNGR. It provides progressive levels of offers so, as consumers spend, they can receive more offers.

American Express cardmembers who enroll in the program and use their card at a merchant, will automatically receive a statement credit to the card account. This eliminates the need for punch-cards and coupons.

At level one, cardmembers can spend $10 and receive a $20 statement credit, at level two, they spend $10 and get a $30 credit. In the third level, consumers can spend $10 and get a $50 statement credit.

Cardmembers will receive instant notification via their mobile devices indicating that a statement credit is on its way.
T-Mobile USA is also getting into the daily deals space with the launch More for Me, an Android app that will aggregate offers from daily deals sites like Living Social.

The app can be downloaded by any Android smartphone user. T-Mobile plans to make it available on other operating systems as well.

The app addresses the growth in the daily deals space, with consumers having numerous choices. The app makes it easier for consumers to review them all.

T-Mobile will get a percentage of every deal that a customer purchases.

The app is part of a bigger push from T-Mobile into mobile advertising which will include an opt-in program for consumers.

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