Air Miles has launched a new program that uses in-store beacons to send its members exclusive mobile offers, allowing them to collect extra points on products.
The rewards program is testing the system of small messaging devices at 15 Rexall locations in Toronto, as well as in several Staples stores in Calgary and Edmonton. Air Miles will cover the cost of installing the beacons at the test locations.
Members can download the iOS Air Miles app and consent to receive push notifications. Then, when they enter a participating store, they’ll receive an alert letting them know a mobile offer is available. If they tap through the notification, they’ll see two to four offers for mobile-only bonus points on featured products, and will be able to select one of them to redeem or save for a later date.
Air Miles plans to change the available offers each week.
Emmie Fukuchi, vice-president of product development at Air Miles, says, “ are living life on their mobile. On average, we have seen a 31% year-over-year growth in active mobile collectors over the past three years.”
Air Miles has experimented in the past with geofenced offers based on GPS data, but Fukuchi says the recent introduction and support for mobile beacons on Apple iOS devices was too good an opportunity to pass up.
She says Air Miles will test consumer reactions to the offers to improve the offering down the line, experimenting with exact beacon placement on store shelves and near checkout.
“While we ultimately hope this will increase the rate at which our collectors can find value in the program through higher offer redemption rates, our first goal is to gain understanding of how our collectors want to be served in-store through their mobile phones, and use that learning to drive future iterations of the Air Miles mobile experience,” she says.
As far as user privacy, the company says it will follow industry best practices: informing the user within the app about the purpose of the program and requiring active consent before sending push notifications.
This article originally appeared in Marketing magazine.