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Weve Tesco Unilever

Weve kicks off trials for one-tap mobile loyalty with “large scale” retailer

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By Jessica Davies | News Editor

July 5, 2013 | 3 min read

Weve, the mobile marketing and wallet joint venture, is working with a “large scale” retailer to trial contactless loyalty services, dubbed "tap", via near-field communications (NFC).

The Drum has learned that Weve, which now has hundreds of brands running mobile campaigns across it, including Unilever, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, is looking at ways to simplify and streamline the loyalty point collection and redemption process for consumers and retailers.

It has been running trials with independent merchants in north London since the start of May and has now moved onto the next stage which will see it work with a major retailer, which it is yet to reveal, to test and understand the technical implications of rolling out tap on loyalty via NFC.

The May trials comprised distributing iPhone and Android apps to around 100 local participants which supported QR and NFC collection and redemption.

The aim of the trials was to assess the ease of collection and redemption methods with customers and better understand what drives loyalty behaviours and how comfortable customers would be with the process at the point of sale.

It was also aimed at understanding if schemes and offers helped drive more in-store footfall and influenced purchase behaviours.

Weve CEO David Sear told The Drum the plan is to “solve some of the pain points” that currently exist around loyalty, letting customers manage and control rewards and offers in a single place using their mobiles, while also providing merchants with a direct line of communication with their customers.

“Mobile has the potential to save the retail high street…We are trying to work with the retailers to create the right loyalty mechanism – rather than creating a system and asking them to join us.

“One of the pain points is that there are so many different ways of retailers using loyalty technologically, for example in Boots it’s all chip and pin cards, then you go to Nero’s and it’s a piece of cardboard you have to stamp and at Starbucks it’s different again.

“I don’t think that’s right. We would like to see you earning and redeeming loyalty points in one place through a tap in your phone. It will also be a reduced cost for retailers at the point of sale,“ he said.

Weve will now work with its retailer partner throughout the summer to test and fine-tune any technical glitches that may occur, before moving onto the next stage.

Weve Tesco Unilever

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